Friday, 13 January 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction

I may be a bit quiet for the next six weeks. I wrote over 10,000 words towards the novel this week and want to bury myself in finishing it.

Today is the deadline for entries to February Femmes Fatales 2012 - which is very exciting! - but it's a lot of work so please bear with me.

Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers is receiving some wonderful horror fiction, including some crackers from Predictioneers - and I will be spending time scheduling these for posting over the next couple of months.

As you can see, I am somewhat committed time-wise (and need to go to work every day too!) So don't worry - I haven't disappeared.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

And the winner of last week's challenge is... me! No, only kidding.

My (genuine) winner with his trademark, excellent use of dialogue is David Barber and The Package. This was a really powerful excerpt from, hopefully, something bigger. I often think Dave's work lends itself to scriptwriting - is that a consideration Dave? Either way, many congratulations!

Runner-up this week is Amber Taitague (MuckieDuckie) with the gloriously macabre Party Guest. I thought the twists in this piece uncoiled really well as we discovered the truth about Marie. Well done Amber!

Words for 13 January 2012

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: whoever wins this week's challenge gets to judge the following week! Don't let that put you off, on the contrary.

UPDATE 19 JANUARY: Please accept my sincere apologies. I've been very poorly all week and been off work. I am going to postpone my comments and announcing the winner/judge - as well as the new Predicition words - until Saturday 21st or Sunday 22nd. I hope you'll forgive me, fine friends. Thank you.

So what are we dealing with here?:
  • Evacuate
  • Ruby
  • Blade

A colourful challenge, methinks.

Rules

Note: if you prefer you can now add your comments as a Reply to each other's individual entries. Please include their name in your reply though, as anyone subscribed by email simply gets your user name and your comment THROUGH. Thank you!

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 19th January 2012 to enter.

Winner - and the guest judge - will be announced on Friday 20th January. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Let's start the year in the most wicked way you can think of... Fiction only - of course.
_________________________________________


211 comments:

  1. it took four goes to get into Blogger this morning, what are they like??? My first task on a Friday is to find out who won and congratulate them, so here goes
    David, superb piece of writing, many congratulations!
    MD, another one of your twisty turning pieces, great read, congratulations!
    Good words this week, Lily.

    I know the feeling about working. I work full time and am doing paid editing, Static Movement editing (just launched yet another another one titled Last Night, what could THAT do to the imagination???) and trying to do my writing around that! Fun, isn't it?? when all I want to do right now is play with my kindle, and Predictioneers can take that any way they wish... (LOL)

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    1. Play guilt-free with your Kindle, agile Antonia . . . Ensuing energies will manifest in recharged valour to hit all your ToDo-List running.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  2. dropping back in - forgot to subscribe to follow up comments...

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  3. Woohoo!! Thanks, Lily. I'm on the spot now, eh? I'll have to come up with something else for it!! Hmmm??

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  4. Well done David and Amber! Great stuff!

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  5. Congratulations David, look forward to the next installment.
    Well done to you Amber as well.

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  6. Taking Stock (End Games)


    “For fuck sake Jean there’s no time left, where’s the damned Ruby?”

    Michael’s agitation increases at the sound of gunfire from a neighbour’s house.

    “Give me the frigging stone you stupid bitch; the soldiers are clearing everyone out."

    “You can’t have it Michael its mine, you gave it to me.”

    Realisation dawns on him as he notes his ex-wife’s hands touching her belly.

    “We’ve got to evacuate and you swallow the only thing we have to barter.”

    He returns from the kitchen with a twelve-inch blade, part of a set, a last gift from him to her before they divorced.

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    1. Looks to be cutting edge, action-Adams . . . timely making a saving point.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    3. Oh the poor ex-wife is away to be sliced and diced. Good stuff SK.

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    4. Nasty little tale. Desperate times make for desperate measures. Love it.

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    5. No wonder she is ex-wife... xx Good one..xx

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    6. Thank you all for the kind comments

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    7. Nasty, S.K., desperation leads to desperate actions. A touch of human drama in a larger event.

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    8. Any excuse to take a knife to the ex ...! Nice!

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    9. I agree the action and sense of desperation are written with skill here. I liked the microcosm of marriage here too- the full belly with the thing precious to both of them and the severed ties through a divorce blade.

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    10. Jean seems a bit self-centered with skewed priorities. While Michael is trying to play the hero in saving them both. Self preservation, and perhaps frustration, win out in the end. Great story.

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    11. That is going to hurt, however it comes out. A fast paced chiller that works really well.

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  7. She pulled me closer, soft lips tried to find mine but I panicked.

    "No more foolin around Ruby. We're in trouble."

    "Not yet Claire." She held my cheek.

    "One more kiss Claire. I feel so alone." She breathed.

    We met after school and settled in for a thrill inside the neighborhoods old, haunted house. She brought a knife. With time on our hands we played dangerous games in the parlor.

    Ruby had taken the blade and sliced her finger. She showed no reaction. She held my hand and cut my palm. The thrill sent bolts of liquid pain through my body. With mixed blood we were sisters forever.

    One more kiss. Her press was desperate. From the corner I saw pillars of smoke rising from the floorboards. A sound like dry leaves could be heard below. Ruby had been busy.

    "What have you done Ruby?"

    "You must leave. Evacuate Claire."

    I ran to the door. The blaze was consuming wood and plaster. Once outside I looked to our window and saw Ruby. Her bloody hand was pressed against the window and her lovely eyes stared into mine. As the flames found her she looked up and began to scream.

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    Replies
    1. Blazing blood-sisters with an untimely desperate press. Angst burning, Anonymous.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    2. Marietta - feels like this could be expanded into something bigger. The elements and danger and excitment made this piece come alive.

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    3. The bloody hand pressed against the heating pane reeks of abandonment. Chilling ending.

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    4. I absolutely love this piece. So many questions, such passion, such terror. More!

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    5. Marietta, if the house wasn't haunted before, whatever is built there next sure will be! =)

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    6. Marietta, I wish I was better at commenting. I agree with Nick and Dion. This story needs to be expanded, very good first effort.

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    7. I don't care that this was over the 100-word limit. It's a violently emotional piece of stark fiction that feels like a window into a very disturbed soul, and one about to be damaged. Well done Marietta.

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  8. OK, pressure's on to take The Package somewhere and this weeks words were pretty cool. Hope you like...

    The Package, 2.

    “Piccadilly station.”

    A few taps on the laptop and I found the train times.

    “Ok, it’s got to be the 13:55.”

    I grabbed the phone and dialled, pressing 141 before the number.

    “What’re you doing?”

    I held up a hand as someone answered. “There’s a bomb on the next Manchester to London!” I said and ended the call.

    “What the fuck?”

    “Look, with security as it is, they’ll evacuate the train. We can’t let the package get away. It‘s too valuable, and I don’t just mean the ruby.”

    I grabbed my snub and blade from the drawer. I was going armed this time.

    ...to be continued.

    ~End~

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    Replies
    1. Taut tension tends to take train and treasure down new tracks, brilliant Barber . . . Hmmmm, clickety'clack, clickety, clack ... next week PackageMan, I'll be back.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    2. What can I say but keep going - I need to know what happens next week!

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    3. I like the building tension of these episodes. Having to wait to see what happens next certainly heightens the thrill.

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    4. ooh, I like the no-nonsense approach. Total focus on a goal, and screw the consequences. Keep up the good work.

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    5. David, intriguing stuff. Not just the Ruby, but the whole package? ;) Looking forward to more if you keep it up. =)

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    6. No rush - it's bound to be late! What is the package?

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    7. Oh hell, this is truly exciting. You keep raising the bar and my heart is still racing. Brilliant.

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  9. S.K. - Nice write, buddy. The gunfire at the neighbours is intriguing. Need to know more, please. Well done!

    Anonymous - Enjoyed this piece. There's a lot of story in so few words. Well done. (Only thing is, the word limit is 100. I done the same thing with my first attempt. Great effort!)

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  10. Mr. Barber
    Yikes. Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry for the extra words. It proves that I should have more coffee before I hit the publish button.

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    Replies
    1. Anon ~ In caffeine we scribe true and through.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  11. SK,. good one! Plenty of action crammed in that space.
    Anonymous: no name for us? We're all friends here. Yes, remember the 100 word limit next time, it's the really difficult part of this challenge and the one that helps hone the writing, as I have found.
    David, this is one rare saga going on here!

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    1. Ms. Woodville,
      No cold shoulder intended. I have no idea what I am doing. I am not signed in, or logged on or anything. Yikes cyberspace is a bear. I agree, the challenge and the lesson is in getting the story in 100 words or less. This makes my smug, oh so clever attitude after sending in my over the limit story all the more amusing. What a kick in the head.
      Marietta Miles

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    2. Prediction ~

      Marietta Miles should go far . . .
      (couldn't resist -- it was just waiting there)

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  12. good to meet you, Marietta! at the end of this box I can see 'choose an identity' and I always sign in with my Google account. It isn't my real name, it's one of my Internet names, in honour of my medieval hero, Antony Woodville, Lord Scales of Newcelles and the Isle of Wight, 2nd Earl Rivers (hero of the Wars of the Roses time)
    go explore and see if you can log in with a name.

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  13. David, Thanks. I found it a huge challenge to keep it within the limit.

    David again, The Package...rising tension, intrigue,another whole week to wait, Sigh a master of suspense.

    Antonia, Thank you.

    Marietta, 'cyberspace is a bear'Thanks for making me smile today with just those four words. I liked your story very much. I look forward to your next one.

    Kind regards,

    Shaun

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  14. Let the Right One Out

    Klaxons evacuated the school, but Oskar knew Johnny waited. Clotted welts from Johnny's willow stick itched Oskar's cheek.

    It was easy for a vamp to fight. Hadn't done him any good. Johnny'd triggered the alarm. In the swirling commotion, they'd find him.

    Couldn't allow that. His hand played over the Lovecraftian cover art, embossed with ruby flakes. He closed his eyes. A branch twisted against the glass, but Oskar saw gray clouds outside, no trees.

    His blade severed the book's cover. Wind erupted from the split as a demon tree—composed of skulls with Oskar's likeness—flowed into the room.

    Postscript: Thanks for all the kind words last week. I had thought I'd get an entry in, but I often find it difficult when traveling to squeeze the writing in the first few days. Last week, I was in Germany, but now I'm settled in Sweden and you should see more of me.

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    1. Nice to know I can see Sweden and you from Connecticut, never on the fritz, Fritz.

      Tough fight, a vamp fight -- No tellin' what no rules will do, though with your detailing, we saw we CAN judge salvation from a book's cover. Nice evoking from your title on down.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    2. Love the use of Ruby in this. Also loved the film of similar name - one of my favs from the last few years - the original - not the crappy american re-make!!

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    3. Nice. Read the book recently and it was fab, so great to see the characters take a final bow. Want more though.

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    4. Aidan, heavy on the supernatural imagery, this is a maelstrom of a piece, dense with power and conflict.

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    5. Aidan- A great appendage to the Lindqvist book. The choice of willow really struck something in me, a tree normally associated with healing used for violent destruction maybe.

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    6. Absolutely beautiful symbolism in this surreal world of yours; so tactile and atmospheric. I would read this entire book Aidan.

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  15. try again.
    Mistyped the title!

    Possession is 9/10ths of the law
    Forster had the ruby, I know he did, but where is it? I’ve searched everywhere, torn his home apart – he would have guessed I would be coming for it. He would have hidden it well.
    There is one last hiding place.
    The ultimate one.
    Drugged as he is he will not feel the blade which slices through his belly and allows his intestines to evacuate the body. Such big words I use for such a small thing.
    For there it is, I see it, in the disgusting mess that was his last meal.
    His eyes open; he knows.
    Too late.

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    1. Holy indigestion and rich appetite indeed, Antonia! I kinda shreiked at the eye-opening scene, as if a movie reel rolled. Egads!

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    2. Disturbing and gruesome - and all that over a Ruby? A diamond yes but Ruby... well actually any excuse I suppose! Good stuff.

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    3. This is gruesome and well crafted. The inclusion of the detail of the last meal spilling out was a touch of class.

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    4. It's the eyes opening that does it for me. One thing to cut a dead guy... There seems to be a lot of this kind of stuff this week, and they all make me quiver.

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    5. Yuck.. The lengths people will go to for a gem.... Good stuff..xx

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    6. A gem of gruesomeness!

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    7. Antonia, grisly! The push Forster needs to kick the habit, maybe, but not one he will get to act upon...

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    8. Oh, those opening eyes. The last meal scene is gruesome enough but for the vic to still be alive... Terrifying.

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  16. Aidan, the image of the demon tree could stand a good deal of elaboration in a longer work, nice one!
    Hope you can settle down for a while.

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    1. @Antonia, Thanks; I'll be here for a week-and-a-half, and I know the city better than some natives, so I almost feel like I'm home.

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  17. SKAdams: this brings to mind the adage that giving knives is bad luck... I've never hewn to that belief, but I cringe imagining the horrible scene that comes next.

    MariettaMiles: a heady mix of budding romance, sacrifice, and horror you've served us here.

    David: I like how you've mixed dialogue and the words all with moving the plot along.

    Antonia: the mix of viscera with the calm almost chatty tone of the protagonist is a thrill.

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  18. **************************************************
    ~ TODAY'S NEWS IS ALL WASHED UP ~
    **************************************************

    Ruby Blade, cub reporter, cut through banter, bravado and buzz at the Post Gazette, like a banshee outta hell. Similes, I should use similes should I make Late Edition. Her news was big news, important news, cutting edge news. They didn't name her Ruby Blade for naught, not to be sharp with a news splash:

    "IT STARTED WHEN Liz Magillicutty held Fanny Smoots noggin 'neath the faucet in the Ladies' Lounge following Fanny's dalliance with Liz's Lonnie. Liz drowned sorrows and adversary. Water's still running. So is newsroom as Liz brandishes a snubnose .38 to dilute witness testimony."

    "Evacuate! Evacuate!", Ruby reported succinctly.


    ©2012 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
    for Lily Childs' fab Feardom

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    1. AK-(47?) - a lot of interesting alliteration in this. Loved the character names and the phrase 'to dilute witness testimony'.

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    2. good one, AK, full of sharp newspaper(ish) talk which carries you through so fast you don't appreciate you are slap bang (pun intended) at the end!

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    3. Gigglesomely gruesome. Great gags.

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    4. You do tell a tale with such panache.. Love the names and the image that sprang to mind reading it..xx

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    5. Kate, so clever, as ever. ;) A headlong headline rush for Ruby, but has she the wit to outwit Liz and live to be a witness? Brilliant. =)

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    6. Kate- I agree with the clever use of language technique here. I loved the use of returning concepts of language- cub/banshee, the repeated water theme and of course the layered cutting words. They almost build like a mnemonic device.

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    7. @NICK ~ Never know when I'm gunning -- but you were a sure-shot at pickin' up on some of my own faves when this piece whoooshed through me, trying to stay safe in the newsroom and 'still' put out the Late Edition. Thanks man - always dig your comments.

      @JOHN ~ Clever YOU are ~ catching the hint of "Will she? / Won't she?" -- guess you'll have to subscribe to the evening edition ... or ... ponder the title. Points to you good sir on 'headlong headline' - you caught the rhythm ;-)

      @ANTONIA ~ Loved that you felt the speed and Lady - you pun intendedly swell!

      @DION ~ You cracked me up at your deep insights all over this challenge and getting gumption gave good game. ;-) *zing* Loved it.

      ROSIE, ROSIE ~ You touched me on 'panache'. Grin came when image sprang. ;-)

      @ANTHONY ~ Gosh man, bumpin' into you in every social media and writesite factor known to man (and wily woman) -- Much appreci'kation on how deftly you 'get' a piece. As they said in Butch & Sundance, "You've got vision while the rest of the world wears sunglasses".

      @LIAM ~ Likin' your likin' as a fella who knows flow.

      @AIDAN ~ Tickled to tickle your fancy (it's better than any ol' plain)

      @MUCKIE DUCKIE ~ I'm Luckie you're so wrong about thinking you're horrible at comments - You made my heart do that cool flutter step "picturing the world of RUBY BLADE". She was buggin' me to enliven her some more -- Yep, Rube made it out in seconds splashed flat.

      Thanks Feardom Fray ... this week was scary and fun in wordplay ~ Absolutely*Kate

      @HER LILYSHIP ~ A wise woman who stops the merrygoround to enjoy the greater park o'balance o'Life ... recharge flow as it comes - David though, won't share some secret stash he found behind the big armoire ...

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    8. And this deep dark tale of noir-infested journalism will be coming out as a book when? It's too big to be "succinct" - may we have more please? Loved it.

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  19. The Mule

    Blood like dark molten ruby poured from the horizontal slice of Mr. Sherman’s blade. The cut was done with medical precision; in seconds, the intestines would evacuate the abdominal cavity. It was unfortunate that he didn’t have time to kill the mule. His screams made the digging problematic,
    but time was of the essence. The disease should have killed him by then anyway. Sherman felt through the intestines and sliced out the two vials. But there were supposed to be three. Sherman muttered the most probable location of the third vial to himself…

    “Oh, shit.”

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    Replies
    1. Sheeeeesh Sweeny, you say "Oh shit" after slicing intestines. Whatta mess! Nice dark molten ruby metaphor to get there, unproblematically so.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    2. That whole thing sounds disgusting - hope the vials were worth it!

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    3. like this, dark, gory and very atmospheric!

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    4. Mule as in animal or... mule as in drug-runner. It's the second isn't it. That's a person he's slicing. Gah, this is horrible. Would love to read more of the wider story.

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    5. So shovelling sh*t for his hit... ? And yes I think Dion is spot on..xx

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    6. Liam, a punchline on a tale this dark? The blackest of humour. Good stuff. =)

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    7. Yeah, *Kate* I totally agree with "Nice dark molten ruby metaphor to get there"; that really stayed with me. I'm glad Sherman is going to have to get his hands really dirty. A horribly well-written depiction.

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  20. Superb'lative congrats to daunting DAVID BARBER and deservingly lucky MuckieDuckie!

    Energies, energies and good, good, good vibrations sent chockfull chatelaine CHILDS charming way. Go with YOUR flow Lily; not with how loud the world yelps at you.

    ~ ~ ~ ONWARD TO RITORNO TO THIS JIVING JOINT from similar overloads in holidaze, NOIRathon AT THE BIJOU, writing'worlds and that thing called Life. (Mightily missed you FeardomFolks unique intellect on a wordspree)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Going to REPLY my commentos up above following all your great writes, everybody. Thanks for setting this system up, Lily. Should display high regards to all's talents rather swell.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate
    AT THE BIJOU and beyond
    http://at-the-bijou.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for your inimitable words *Kate - you know we love it - and you.

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  21. S.K. - Diggin' it. Good capture of the scene.

    Anonymous - I like the imagery.

    David - Keepin' the package rollin...

    Aiden - Good visuals

    Antonia - Nice action.

    Kate - Love the flow of that.

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  22. My congrats to David and Amber - both worthy winners.

    For my entry this week, I must apologise for the use of Ruby - it is quite poor!

    Not So Funny Now

    ‘Tom? Did you just shit yourself?’ The smell detonated like a warhead.
    ‘I… I may have evacuated somewhat…’
    ‘Oh Jesus Tom!’ And we laughed.
    ‘Guys, I think I’m dying.’ Cue hysteria.
    ‘No, I’m serious, something ain’t right.’ I doubled-over, sides aching.
    ‘Come on guys… phone an ambulance,’ And I collapsed to the floor, tears blurring my vision.
    ‘Help Me!’
    ‘It was… a joke,’ I had trouble speaking, ‘teach you not to… to fuck… my sister. I laughed harder. ‘The blade… didn’t even go in that far,’ but he replied with blood; ruby red and soaking my carpet.

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    1. sharp dialogue, very well expressed - with a horrid but perfect ending, Nick!

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    2. Absolutely horror struck. Stabbed as a joke? Wait until they realise what happened. It's only seconds away. Good stuff!

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    3. Folks are dying in the readin' of your writes NOTORIOUS NICK. Liked the "Cue hysteria" midst your dialoguing carpet soak. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    4. Nick, bodily fluids loosing from both ends. Truly horrible. Well done. ;)

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  23. I'll apologise now.....

    Bum Burner.

    “Dave,” John said, “I’ve got to evacuate.”

    “What?” I asked.

    “That ruby’s gone straight through me. It...”

    “What? What’s wrong?”

    “It’s coming out, mate. Oh...either put your foot down or pu...”

    I slammed on the brakes.

    “Oh, that stinks! Get out.”

    “Argh! It’s burning my ar...”

    “The alley, go! There’s a packet of tissues in the door.”

    John ran down the alley, holding his arse with one hand and fumbling with his zipper with the other.

    Too funny.

    A scream. “Argh, it feels like...ARGH...it feels like I’m shitting razor blades!”

    Give me the hottest curry you’ve got,” I laughed.

    “Fuck...offfffffff!”

    ~End~

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    1. Couldn't help but laugh and feel slightly sick at the same time - good ending.

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    2. Horridly funny. Now, where can I get me a 'ruby'?

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    3. Think I will ring the "Burning Fire" later...order up a couple of Murray's

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    4. Oh crap. Lily goes to heal herself up aplenty and daunting David takes the joint down the toilet . . . (couldn't resist) ~ Absolutely*Kate

      ((Holy shit! My word-verification was "flushili" -- you can't make stuff like this up!))

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    5. David, great use of 'ruby', well, rather disgusting, clenchingly humorous use anyway, but you know what I mean. ;)

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  24. Yup. That Ruby Curry is a heart stopping dame. She'll set you on fire and never ask your name.
    I would say Cool Story, mate, but "cool" just wouldn't describe it at all. Guess I'll go with A Red Hot Trotter Of A Tail.
    (sorry about the anonymous post but blogger is acting up today
    AJ Hayes)

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    1. AJ HAYES being "anonymous"??? ... Never thought I'd see the day that Fedora Fella would cut his bluster ... ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  25. Well done David and Amber.

    Dead Weight

    The bright star in the blackness flickered with a ruby hue as though to draw his attention.

    His cold breath misted the glare.

    He glanced down.

    A pristine, cold reflection shuttered against his pale flesh; his eyes looked shrunken, afraid, the disseminate stain of inner turmoil marching beneath a frozen, fractured dermis.

    He looked to the rope tangled around his broken foot, the line disappearing over the icy crevice. Somewhere in the darkness below him, a voice grew weaker.

    They had waited for evacuation. Waited. But no help came.

    Now he had to save himself.

    The blade smiled.

    He sliced.

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    1. That sort of story really gets inside my head. Perfectly described scene as pristine as the ice and as clinical as the decision needed to be taken.

      Man still can't get that dangling climber out of my head.

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    2. superb writing, as always. I've said it before, it makes me think I should stick to editing instead.

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    3. 'The blade smiled.' Grim stuff. Another fabulous example of the variety of horror. What would it feel like to make that decision. High quality.

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    4. Oh yes.. superbly written as always.. What a thing to do..xxx

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    5. Awesome AJ ~ You had me at "the disseminate stain of inner turmoil" - such a lasting-on-the-mindwaves phrase. Then your whole tale did what you deftly crafted -- left a sharp icy impact. Brava. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    6. AJ, the details in the description bring this to life, and the ending has a wicked bite. Superb. =)

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  26. The Pied Piper of Balham.

    Ruby watched the country house fill the tiny window of the train. She’d been dreading evacuation. Hating leaving her mum with the tear stained telegram. But it was wonderful. Nightingales sang to her from the trees as the door creaked open.

    But Yellow teeth grinned somewhere down the long dark hallway. Footsteps echoed towards her.

    Death came slowly.

    The blades finally cut through the cement wall sealing the Tube exit. She remembered the bombs then, the government abandoning them to a rubble grave. A warm hand filled her palm. Her mother’s buttery smile thawed her heart. They drifted into London.

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    1. (I may be missing something here Antonia, but did you mean to post this comment on the next story?)

      Anthony, I found this to be dark and powerful. Are the yellow teeth that of The Grim Reaper, rats or...something else? A horrible claustrophobic kind of a death, with a warming postscript. Well written.

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    2. Intense.. Beautifully descriptive..xx

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    3. Aptly, ANTHONY -- your titling foretold . . . You had me on that first sad lyrical line and then I went along for the ride. I'm puzzled at the yellow teeth but too scared to go any closer to 'em. Likewise what Dion detailed -- warming last liner and well writ in stylistics. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    4. Anthony, this aches. The confused dream of death, but coddled in a mother's comfort at the end. Nice. =)

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  27. Crisis at the DMV

    I stood barefoot, a blade of grass across my big toe as I dialed the DMV. I heard muzak and was greeted by an elderly woman at the other end.

    "Department of Motor Vehicles, this is Ruby!" she chirped.

    "Hi, Ruby, I need to get new plates. I heard I can do that over the phone?"

    "You can, but they had to evacuate the building."

    "What happened?" I asked.

    "A disgruntled employee is shooting people." She replied.

    "Damn! ... So why are you still there? Are you okay?"

    "Oh, I'm okay, honey" Ruby said. "I'm the one with the gun!"

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    Replies
    1. Laughed out loud at this one. Can so see this as a scene from a movie. Brilliant set up, great last line.

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    2. LIAM -- 3 words for you:

      SO DAMN COOL.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    3. Ha! Some people just can't leave a phone ringing... =)

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  28. Paint It Black

    I picture Ruby’s tiny body as I found her that day lifeless and still as a statue in her cot. Her expression peaceful but her soul had long since evacuated the ruin of her body. The vibrant colours in the little bedroom at odds with the sheer fucking brutality of nature.
    The day after the funeral with a grim determination I picked up my brush and painted the bright red door to her room. With the feverish dementia of the truly heartbroken I applied myself to the task. The brush felt like a blade to my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. now that one is true heartbreak. Beautifully done.

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    2. Truly moving stuff, Daz. I whitened as I read it. Effective use of swearing. Real tightness to the emotion. Bravo.

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    3. Dazzling DAZ, sensitive with brushstrokes of emotion painting my mind readin' up this one. Second the 'Bravo'. "The sheer fucking brutality of nature" was sheer reinforcement to tone. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    4. Daz, ouch. This prose is like a blade to the heart, painful and pointed. Great writing.

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  29. Congrats to last week's winners, great work there. I'll post comments on this weeks a little later, but for now I'll return you to the world of Bête Noir with my story

    La Belle A La Bête

    The case was a bust. Should've pickled myself in Jack and let the world rot. Least I wouldn't remember what blades do to a face.

    Least I wouldn't remember Ruby.

    One night, steaming up a Chevy as the rain hissed down, and she owned me - body and soul. I thought I was the predator... but she was Wulf. Everywhere I turned now her scent haunted me like a stolen child or a bad case of heartburn.

    She'd left me for dead.

    Now, as the sirens screamed Evacuate, I knew. It was always Ruby.

    I'd have to return the favour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dion, this is clever, like it a lot.

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    2. Thank you. I'm finding I want to do more with these. Maybe something longer for TK&C next time...

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    3. Screaming out for extention Dion as you say.. Very clever and leaves you wanting more.. Nice one..xxx

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    4. SUPERLATIVE, Dion ... Yes, go for the way longer piece for TKnC -- (Will you let me know where else you post longer versions? Would you bring this on over AT THE BIJOU for our ongoing Noirathon?) Loved the feel, tone, predator, Wulf . . . and the smoothness of your delivery, as if the shadows lift a haze or so around the voice. Softly spoke, 'Brava la belle a la bete'. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    5. Dion, great feel to this, would happily read a longer version. =)

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  30. Can some one look and see if they can see my entry... Posted it this morning and it's not here now... duh..xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ((( I peeked. I see it Rosie. Yuck - it's gonna scare me - I just know it is ))

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  31. Brain dead... posted on wrong thread... Amazing entries here - will try to get back later and comment..xx

    SLAUGHTER

    They buried the babies first. As each small body was lowered into the ground, they wept.

    The mission to evacuate women and children had failed. Their unit had arrived too late, and the slaying was over.

    Not a living soul remained. Every woman and every child had been a victim of this atrocity. The men were long gone.

    As they gripped the ruby encrusted handles of the blades, signs of such opulence, and pulled them from the bodies of the slaughtered innocents, each of them silently wondered to himself what kind of men could murder their own wives and children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What kind of men indeed??! I was genuinely shocked by that. Brilliant!!

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    2. Rosalind, this is so cold as not to be true in a shocking "oooh" sort of way. Wonderful writing.

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    3. Shuddersome stuff, Rosalind, all the more powerful for the last line. I like that the twist is naturalistic, based on undercutting our assumptions rather than tricking us. Top notch.

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    4. Oooooh Rosie in the killing fields. How brutal, how cold, how impacting your writing told. Good one Lady Ros. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    5. Rosalind, this could be the beginning of something, it works well by itself, but has me truly intrigued as to the bigger picture. =)

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  32. Cleansing.

    Kayla wielded her blade with skill as she sliced through the herds of stampeding men trying to evacuate their prison through one small door. They came in bursts and were taken down fast; the cleaners struggled to keep up with the bodies as she felled one after another.

    The weakest fell underfoot and were trampled; the fitter ones tried to fight but were defeated in seconds. Those that passed were caught in the raging fires behind her and burned to nothing.

    Job done, she departed leaving only ruby rivers of blood meandering through the cobbles which the cleaners would take care of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there is a bigger story here waiting to come out! Go write it!

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    2. Great cinematic stuff here. Got the feel of a dirty urban fantasy. Harsh set-up but you still give the impression that the character is admirable somehow despite her slaughter.

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    3. Well Andie.. you get better by the minute girl.. that sets a vision in my head.. nice stuff..xxx

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    4. PHANTASMAGORIC is our ANDIE? Wowzers -- what Rosie said. This Kayla clearly kicks ass. Bring her 'round in more of her own storylines ... uh, and let me be on her side, will ya? Last line closed this off perfectly with image left to mind. {applause} ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    5. Phantasmagoric, as Dion says, this feels very cinematic. Seems Kayla is one dangerous lady. =)

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  33. Keep quiet

    We could hear the evacuation and the thunder of their boots on the stairs outside. The cries of my sister were soon muffled by Mum’s hand. My sister was given the pearl and I a ruby. Mum wrapped each gem in a slice of bread and made us swallow.

    It hurt going down but we knew it was for the best.

    We waited and when the soldiers had gone, tried to wake my sister up. She wouldn’t move. Mum began to howl. I took the blade from her and pushed it deep into her belly and twisted it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. F***ing yuck! Very effective writing. Simple, harsh and true. Bit scared at how quickly the pov character reaches the practical decision.

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    2. Craig.. glad you made it over... He did what he had to do I guess..xx

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    3. CUTTING EDGE CRAIG ~ Tight, taut, tough and timely, twisted. You don't mince words when you save the family jewels. Yep. That's writing. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    4. Craig, that's one harsh world they live in. Easier to carry the pearl than the dead weight, I suppose...

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  34. Craig, this is another one which is crying out to be a bigger story. Where, who why and when? Write it!

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  35. Hi peeps.

    Just had contact with our fantastic host, Lily. She really apologises, but she's not well enough to play this week. She's quite bad with a chest infection and is on pills and potions to get her back to full fitness.

    There was also a special big HELLO to new recruits.

    She will try and catch up with stories and leave comments on Thursday.

    c/o Lily.....Thank you all!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No probs, Lily. Get well soon. We'll all be here waiting when you're well enough to play out!!

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    2. Good job Lieutenant Barber -- Now, where are the keys to Lily's good liquor and potions cabinet??

      Get thee rested, recharged, revitalized better than what you thought you were Lily. We're all being good - we are - honest -- HEY! Who poked me?? Does Lily know you have that contraption? Yowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ------------

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  36. Take it easy, Lily, my dear one, it's not much fun being ill, be easy with yourself, don't push too hard. Get better soon!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sown

    Blades of grass tickled my nose. Just above the rise, ruby sunflowers tilted toward afternoon. Hot, loamy smells came off the rotting compost near meimei’s garden. I tried to rise, but sharp pain interfered.

    “Musta been pretty drunk to sleep here.” The ground was wet under me. I didn’t remember the storm.

    I pushed the button on my necklace. For a young man, I am very old.

    No one came to evacuate me.

    Teeth gritted, I pushed up onto my knees. All around me, the things my sister had planted writhed. I was the only one to crawl away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keenly, KOVAR you leave impressions. Lotta power packed in what looked like a soft piece. Very well SOWN, this tale bloomed of its own accord. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    2. Reba, darkly organic feel to this, appropriately. Feels like a tiny glimpse of something much bigger.

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  38. http://innocentsaccidentshints.blogspot.com/2012/01/lily-childs-feardom-100-word-challenge.html

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  39. So this is where it all ends. The loft of a old barn, already starting to collapse from the fire. The sky glowed ruby red with flame. The order to evacuate sent everyone into a panic, scrambling for spots on any ship headed anywhere. The noose was tightening, the artillery explosions closer and closer. I carried in my head information that could doom others, so when escape became impossible, I had to do it. I knew enough German to know they were demanding my surrender, pounding on the door. I drew the blade against the side of my neck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our hero must find a way out - surely? More!

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    2. Lotta action making way in your tale of tightening noose Michael -- I heard the artillery (and ducked) -- Good storyline swerve at the end. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    3. Michael, can't let that information fall into the wrong hands... he really is in a hot spot!

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  40. The Secret Serpent

    At sunset’s fall I held no blame
    ‘Til darkness stole from golden flame
    She sat alone on riverbank dew
    Where shadows cloaked my cold pursuit

    A blade of grass, a blade of steel
    Treading one and one revealed
    Tears fell like fetid rain on,
    her blood, her skin. My darkened shame

    Her eyes revealed through moonlight mask,
    Evacuee of Eden, as tall as masts
    She rose.
    She laughed.

    Ruby mouth dripped with secret musk
    Adam’s fruit bulged and thrust
    My silver point, my flesh torn
    My heart cut out, beat in her palm
    Eve’s twilight trick, she’s a man reborn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A twist in the serpent's tail. Must be part of a longer ode, Anthony.

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    2. Cunning COWIN taking prose to prince ... with such lingering lingua on the tongue well begun -- Loved the rhythms of "A blade of grass, a blade of steel / Treading one and one revealed . . . " You've got style with that turn o'wit. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    3. Anthony, I'm always impressed at a poem turned out here in a week. Particularly love the second stanza.

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    4. Impressive dark poetry, Anthony

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  41. AbsKate: ticklish play with language, I like the Tom Swiftie that bangs this out at the end.

    Liam: the opening sets the visuals perfectly pulling one through this gruesome endeavor.

    Nick: this dialogue zings with the way things get pushed over the edge.

    David: Ouch! Superlative touch with the back and forth between this one.

    AJ: quite the heart in this one... that isn't going to be an easy cut.

    Anthony: I love this piece and everything it evokes; delicious story.

    Liam: nice twist at the end... good day not to visit the DMV.

    GroovyDaz: I like the way you paint both the surface emotions and show it through the brush cutting into the heart.

    Dion: strong sense of world here and characters.

    Rosalind: I like the interplay of beauty (ruby handles) with the violence; it makes it stand out more for me.

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  42. Schrödinger’s mistress

    I walked out on Ruby two years ago. I walked out as she lay there bleeding in that windowless room. Blood evacuating her, pooling around her as she clutched the blade driven into her abdomen.

    I walked out across the sticky carpet whilst she stared imploringly at me, desperate to understand why; her life slowly ebbing away.
    I walked out on her and locked the door. It was the only way to keep her alive.

    Every day since I stand and stare at that door, pausing as I go to open it, then turn away.

    Sometimes I hear her crying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best you don't open that door! Very dark stuff.

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    2. I always amble in for a good Phil Ambler piece - this one reinforced the enjoyment at a story reaching in -- Title pulled me and essence held. Hauntingly so. (hope someone cleaned the carpets) ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    3. I want to laugh, but the punchline's tragic. I love a good play with Schrödinger, and this is a great one. =)

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    4. I really enjoyed this story,philambler, is it seeing the past and future in random order? Shut up Shaun, pretend you get it.

      No cat then? Good stuff.

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  43. The Lepidopterist

    ‘Ah! Ruby! Come in and watch.’
    She rested her elbows on the table and gazed into the jar.
    ‘I want these butterflies to stay beautiful – for ever. Let’s evacuate the jar.’
    He switched on the small motor, connected to the jar by a pink rubber tube. A few minutes later the butterflies were still.
    The old man smiled, rubbed his hands together then tipped the insects on to the table.
    ‘Now I’ll put the pin here, through its little heart. Lovely.’
    ‘Granddad, I think they looked better on a blade of grass – alive.’

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ahhhh Kim -- 'Grandad, I think they looked better on a blade of grass -- alive.' was such a sweet hunk of innocence amidst all these Feardom bloody Ruby'lines blading their evacuation. Like butterfly wings still alight, I salute you. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  45. Testimony


    Ruby droplets glistened like dew in the dead girl’s hair; her green eyes, glassy as marbles, stared at nothing. She was covered in other people’s blood, blood that hadn’t coagulated.

    “Captain Harrison? Ma’am? We’ve evacuated the floor.”

    They were alone. Harri sighed. This part was never easy.

    She pried the girl’s jaws open and the sergeant passed her a sterilised blade. As she carefully cut away the tongue, thick, dark blood oozed into the gaping mouth.

    Harri stuffed the muscle into her own mouth and began chewing. The dead girl spoke to her, in stained memories and crawling whispers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to read that twice,now I wish I had never read it.
      Very disturbing...got anymore like that? :-)

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  46. Ooh John - That made me shiver. Not nice at all but a wow of a story..x

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  47. UPDATE 19 JANUARY: Please accept my sincere apologies. I've been very poorly all week and off work. (Thank you David for posting a note to that effect on my behalf).

    I am going to postpone my comments and announcing the winner/judge - as well as the new Prediciton words - until Saturday 21st or Sunday 22nd.

    I hope you'll forgive me, fine friends. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get yourself well Lily, sending my best your way.

      Tonyx

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    2. Like I said, we'll still be here and ready to play when you're well. Get better soon, my friend. Sending healing hugs from Scotland!! x

      (I'm a little bit happy that you've postponed commenting and results. The Two Blokes turned up at lunch break today. I'll post it later. :-) )

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    3. Just spotted this, take care Lily and get yourself some proper rest. (Whiskey, honey and hot water is my recommendation.)

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  48. Slipping Into the Night

    This was too easy. I'd slide the blade into her ruby throat and then evacuate. Nothing to it. I crept into her bedroom, moving just an inch at a time. I listened for her breathing. In, out, in, out. It was so peaceful I almost thought I couldn't do it. I sneaked beside her and paused, admiring the way her nostrils flared in and out. I pressed it in and pulled it out almost as quickly, leaving the room before she could stain the sheets. She never made a peep. I always loved that about her.

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  49. Got to enter in quick, so I hope it's not too sloppy. I will be back to leave comments soon.

    Lily, don't worry about us. Concentrate on getting yourself well.

    The Hoarder

    I peel the gems and gobble the meat inside. Of my riches the jewels sustain me. Except for the rubies, I stay away from them. So like human blood in appearance the fruit inside is bitter to my tongue.

    My glorious wings hang limp from shattered shoulder blades, but my blood still yearns to fly to the wild song of the wind.

    Eons I’ve been trapped here in my cavern, eating the treasure I stayed to guard rather than evacuate. Ages pass, and the screams of my brethren strike at my heart. Until, finally I am the last dragon.

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  50. Ack! I'm horrible at commenting, so please bear with me. I hope I make sense, as I tend to get easily confused. Know that I enjoyed every one of these stories. I started to comment individually but it hurt my head.

    David - For The Package 2 Once again you thrill with dialogue. The end made me laugh, but at least the character learns from mistakes made. Can't wait until next week. For Bum Burner you just had to go there huh? Funnily enough this exchange reminds me of some of my friends at their bullshit sessions.

    Aidan - Such imagery here. Tension between Oskar and Johnny hint at a larger issue. Sounding like a broken record, but I want more.

    Antonia - I shuddered at the end. Kind of crazed desperation trying to find that jewel.

    Absolutely*Kate - I love your alliteration and the fast pace of this story. I could envision the world of Ruby Blade, well done.

    Liam - The Mule dark with a bit of humor at the end. Mr. Sherman must be in a hurry or just heartless. Crisis at the DMV I love Ruby's chipperness with a customer even though she's disgruntled. Very funny.

    Nick - No need to apologize I enjoyed your story. Prank gone wrong, or just right?

    AJ Humpage - Your stories always touch me. You take the most desperate situations and turn them beautiful with your words. Tragic and wonderful story with Dead Weight

    Anthony - I'm probably totally wrong, but I feel that Ruby died during the evacuation and when she sees her mother's smile, her mother has died too and they're finally together again. And The Secret Serpent is beautifully written.

    Daz - I would just be repeating what everyone else said. Your story has left me stunned.

    Dion - Liked this very much, would love to read something longer.

    Rosalind - You peeled back the curtain inch by inch, until the full brutality was shown. Well done.

    Phantasmagoric - I'm trying to figure Kayla out - does she enjoy her job or feel the weight of it? I want more.

    Craig - I liked this, the word that comes to mind is crisp. Did Mum accidently suffocate the sister when she tried to keep her quiet? No time for mourning with the sibling.

    RR Kovar - I agree with John. I love how you layered this story.

    Michael - Sharp writing, I can feel the tension. Good job.

    philambler - I loved this when I saw it on your blog. Mind bending story.

    Kim - Beautiful and innocent, I very much enjoyed your story.

    John Xero - Great story. Wonder how Harrison got her power - grisly way to have to use it though.

    Nathaniel - Your story is left with me wanting to know more. Last line is so cold.

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  51. get well first and foremost, Lily, all else can wait. No need to apologise, we all get struck down from time to time and you are not invincible, much as you would like to be! Sending healing thoughts from the Isle of Wight flying in your direction. Feel the warm hugs from all the Predictineers.

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  52. OK, a third and final entry. The Two Blokes turned up and wouldn't go away.

    The Two Blokes

    “You see Dr Who last night?”

    “Oh, I love Dr Who. Stavros and the Daleks. Evacuate, evacuate!

    “It’s exterminate, you knob. And Stavros runs the kebab shop on the top road. Davros runs the Daleks.”

    “...”

    “Well?”

    “What?”

    “Did you see it?”

    “Oh. No, I watched that movie, Blade.”

    “Any good?”

    “It was OK. I went for a curry after it.”

    “Ah, a good old ruby.”

    “Eh?”

    “Ruby Murray.”

    “Don’t know her. I went on my own.”

    “No! It’s slang for a curry. Ruby Murray...curry. Get it?”

    “...”

    “Holy shit! You really do kill me. Two more beers please, mate.”

    ~End~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David - Very funny, and aptly named too. Nice to see some lightheartedness. Enjoyed it, and I admit I'm jealous - my dialogue isn't the greatest.

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    2. Thanks, MD. I do enjoy writing dialogue. It comes quite easily, which I read into in 2 ways. Either I'm good at it or I'm just good at waffling and talking shite! I'll let the reader decide. Haha!

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    3. Maybe the answer is "both" DB -- kidding -- I LOVED the TWO BLOKES -- I could see it, watch it and tune in to next week's program for more. Your tongue in cheek is really one of your best a'sides. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  53. What's this, some time to comment, wow, how did that happen?!?! Here goes for a few and will try to add more later.

    SK - cold! No time to wait for a bowel movement so cutting straight to the chase. Nice one.

    Anonymous - good story. Did Ruby want her suicide to be witnessed or was it a tragic accident?

    David - teasing us yet again with The Package II. We know a bit more now but still I'm gagging for a full length piece!

    Aidan - Really enjoyed this piece. Like the mythos being evoked here.

    Antonia - another jewel in the guts. Squeamishly told and liked the piece about it being in amongst his last meal.

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    Replies
    1. Phil - I'm sorry for being extremely dirty minded, but your comment for David had me laughing so hard.

      Delete
  54. Finally closing this Prediction now. I'm commenting as I can but will resume and finish off tomorrow. Thanks for understanding.

    In the meantime, here's my entry. I cheated.

    French Letters

    Ghislaine sighed. The Rub[ái]yát of Omar Khayyám bored her. Maman thought it more important to be able to recite poetry at one’s friends’ soirées than know how to file a tax return or understand Euro-politics. She pushed the book aside.

    Give me Rimbaud or Brel if I must choose, she thought.

    The classroom evacuated slowly. Students shuffled out, thinking themselves the first to have ever questioned the stanzas of the Persian poet. So up themselves.

    Alone, Ghislaine pulled a blade from her bra and started to cut. Words dripped as blood from the pages. She reformed the letters.

    F.R.E.E. M.E.

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    Replies
    1. This was gorgeous. A day in the life of a brilliant minded student so bored with the mundane. Gosh you make me wish I were cooler. Words dripped as blood from the pages. Loved it.

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  55. No cutting classes with cutting edge statements making the grade. Superb spiel Ms Lily. Smiled large at "Give me Rimbaud or Brel if I must choose,". You swing intellect with charm to horror as light as a bag of feathers . . . and then ~ it hits you. Zap-ending brung it all home. Interesting though what underwires are holding up these days. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  56. Hi everyone!
    This is me non-entering because one: it´s Saturday, and two: I´m really not entering =) Just sneaking in, you see, because it´s so much fun! And Lily, get well soon!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Letters, scented with time, move slowly over the walls. They´re his weapons rather than the blades and bows of his ancestors.

    He wipes his glassed, a weary gesture and the stuffed bullfinch on his table chirps encouragingly.

    ”I have failed, love,” he states, stroking her mothy feathers. She was always gray, but her heart when he held it, was a ruby in his hand.

    He was to head north a long time ago, but her black eyes, so vivid when moonlight steals over their surface, have made him stay.

    ”Time to evacuate,” he whispers. The bird, for once, stays silent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Asuqi - What a shame you didn't enter in time. There is so much going on, I feel like a Border Collie in a field of sheep. As so many stories this week, I would love to see this expanded.

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    2. Asuqi, I will comment with eyes wide open tomorrow but welcome welcome welcome back; we've missed you and your beautiful prose.

      And I have to say - Asuqi, meet Absolutely*Kate; Absolutely*Kate, meet Asuqi...

      Delete
  57. And back to comment again having been woken at 6am by my little boy.

    Liam - good imagery in this piece and made all the more gruesome with the 'mule' screaming during the piece; no time to slit his throat - harsh.

    Nick - got lulled into comfort with this and then that harsh ending. Good work.

    David - burning bum indeed. Humourous stuff.

    AJ - tough decision to make to let the evacuees drop to save his own hide. Rescuer becomes bringer of destruction.

    Anthony - beautiful ending with both spirits united at the end. Hallucinating of freedom before the rats find her and kill her at the end. Chilling.

    Liam - DMV had me chuckling :-)

    GroovyDaz - so filled with emotion. Exceptional piece.

    That's it for now - see if I can get back for more later.

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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.