Friday, 3 February 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction

As we teeter on the edge of "will it snow, or won't it?" all I can think about it is locking myself into a cosy sitting-room in front of a roaring fire and writing, writing, writing. Alas - this isn't going to happen!

And so life goes on.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

We owe John Xero huge applause for taking the time to comment on the truly varied entries over the last two weeks. I offer my personal thanks to him for holding the fort while I wasn't quite myself (make of that what you will) - I'm on the mend now - but thank you John!

Over to our guest judge...

"Wow... this is not easy. And you do this every week? How? ;)

There were some really creepy characters, chilling moments, shudder-worthy descriptions. But my winner has to be the piece that had them all...

Some great descriptions, with little touches like the Tchaikovsky and her mind pirouetting on into the future that really round it out. A horror in itself and for its reflection of the real world. Brilliant.

My runner-up was a close contender for the top spot too, and much gnashing of teeth there was in deciding.

Revolution by Phil Ambler

For a depth of description you rarely see in under a hundred words, for capturing a scene and a moment so wholly. Impressive writing."

And there we have it. Congratulations Dion and Phil!

Words for 03 February 2012

Here we go...
  • Mangle
  • Penalty
  • Dice
What can you do with these naughty little'uns?


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 until 9pm UK time on Thursday 9th February 2012 to enter.

The winner will be announced on Friday 10th February. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Get those frozen fingers walking. Your pages are blank and begging for your words. And so am I...



  1. Congratulations to Dion Winton-Polak and Phil Ambler on your fine stories.

    Vincent's Mangle

    The mangle was for scaring kids into coughing up their pocket money, a threat, but that August day when we dragged Benny Golder to our camp it was something more.

    Vincent Mackenzie held the handle. A malevolent bully with fists like sledgehammers, he sweated evil.

    “Put the little snot’s hand on the plate boy’s its penalty time.”

    “Pleeease, I’ll give you double next week”

    “No dice, looser.” Vincent cranked the handle, he laughed as the wooden rollers swallowed Benny’s soft pink arm.

    Vincent’s tongue protruded like a window licking retard. Snapping bones and piercing screams filled our ears.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Dark, S.K., all the more so because it doesn't feel so far removed from reality.

    3. The threat is bad enough but the actual action of crushing poor Benny's arm is terrifying. Such vivid description here, really well-written.

    4. S.K., I have a little bit of sick in the back of my throat. Good job it's red wine flavoured. You hit me square in the face with that and like John Xero said, it's more hard hitting because it's pretty real. well done!

  2. Games of Chance

    "You know how this works."

    Barry rolled the dice. Four and five. Marci's grimace penetrated her muzzle.

    Barry smiled, lifted the knife and hesitated for just a moment before plunging it into Marci's thigh. The muzzle did little to muffle her screams.

    Barry pressed it firmly into her flesh for nine seconds and then excavated the tool. He ogled her mangle thigh and tasted her blood. She slapped his face.

    "That's a penalty," he told her without wincing.

    He took off her muzzle and handed her the knife.

    "You know what to do."

    Her shaking hands drove the knife in.

    1. It should read "mangled thigh." Darn it. Sorry for the typo.

    2. Nasty, nasty game, Nathaniel. I don't want to be intrigued... but she seems a willing participant, of sorts?

    3. What a wicked, vicious game. I'm fascinated at the mutual pain the characters are inflicting on one another; what would drive someone to share like that? I feel I need to rescue them.

    4. Extreme to be sure, reminded me of my great aunts playing snakes n ladders on boxing day. Very nasty.

      Seriously though, I would love to read more.

    5. Dark and disturbing. Well done, Nathaniel. I used to have a game at high school where me and a mate would see who could drop a protractor into their forearms from the highest point. I always won but we both went home with bloody holes in our arms. (True story - NO, I was never a self harmer--just a little crazy as a kid!!) LOL!

    6. Damn typos - and that should have said "our forearms"...!!!!!!! Red wine and low light don't mix well when you're typing!

    7. That's quite a story, David. Any scars?

  3. congratulations to Dion and Phil and John for judging! great entries here already, I had best get busy ... SK, blood and gore, horrible style, Nathaniel, even nastier blood and gore, great, bring it on!

  4. Well done Dion and Phil.

    Big Boys Don’t Cry

    The penalty of his ignorance writhed in his fear.

    He should have felt pain, but he didn’t. He should have had legs, but when he looked down, he saw a mangled heap of flesh stripped from splintered bone, twitching of its own accord and entwined around the steering wheel.

    Shredded metal glinted with his darkened ruddy hue.

    His mother’s words came to him, soft in the collective silence.

    Why dice with death, racing around in that car?

    Lungs depleted, pushed thickened blood up his throat. He spluttered. ‘Mom...I’m scared...’

    Heartbeat slowed. A bilious, detestable odour filled the wreck.

    He wept.

    1. Oh, man... this takes blood and gore to the next level, AJ. Humanising the victim with a few simple touches turns it into a tragedy.

    2. AJ, another perfectly crafted piece of writing which takes the breath away. Magic.

    3. AJ, this simply blows me away. Such absolute horror and suffering; the reader shares the driver's shock as he realises what has happened - and then you hit us with his emotional pain. Superb writing.

    4. Strange,after reading this I picture you as an artist standing before a canvas,but it isn't red paint on your brush

  5. Thanks for the congrats guys, I'm chuffed to bits.
    Sitting this next one out as I'm hard at work on a comedy noir poem with the form and rhyme scheme of Poe's The Raven. Half way through but finding it quite a challenge.
    Hilary should be back to take my place though and I'm aiming to return next week.
    Good luck all of you, and have fun. Look forward to reading them all.

  6. AJ, another death on the road offering, just as savage and cold as the other one in FFF! brilliant.

    OK, I want a break this week, having a rough time with cold, cough and migraines. So I went for something a bit different... I hope anyway ...

    Neighbour Dispute

    He dangled the dice before me, tempting me to try and grab them from his unwelcome grasp. They were MINE, I tell you; he should not have them! I was paying the penalty for having them.
    ‘I know.’ But the words came out mangled - even I didn’t understand them.
    If he had eased the noose I might have done better but there seemed no sign of that. He was stone cold, implacable, immovable and every other cliché there is.
    Odd, really, considering we were fighting – and I was obviously dying – over a cliché.
    The fluffy dice from my car.

    1. The fluffy dice that broke that camel's back, Antonia? These neighbourly feuds can get so out of hand...

    2. What a vision! A lovely jumble of clichés to accompany this terrible barney between neighbours. What had those fluffy dice ever done? Just exist? Fair enough.

    3. Should I be laughing when I picture that scene? Oh well. To late, great idea.

  7. Fallout

    The nameless woman sweeps her way across the floor. Charred echoes of the old world litter her path. Chips, dice, cards: all are trampled or brushed aside. She moves quickly, a silent shadow amongst the ash. The penalty for being caught does not bare thinking about.

    Slipping through the pre-war machines, she soon reaches her destination. A faceless figure crouches upon his workstation.

    “They can never be allowed to find me.” Her words echo around the steel vault.

    “Aye. But 'tis a shame to mangle...such a vision.”

    An overburdened coin purse lands at his feet.

    “Let's begin.”

    1. I love the scene you build, Jack. I want to know more! Who is she, why does she need to hide so much she must resort to such drastic lengths..?

    2. I agree with John , who is she, what does she have in her past, what's with all this and wow, what a piece anyway but what a story you could build from this!

    3. I love spooky tales written in the present tense. This is so eerie, so emotional. I feel I'm trailing along beside her. What has pushed her to this? Really intriguing - I liked this - a lot.

    4. I would love to know more as well. Fascinating glimpse.

  8. Apologies for missing last weeks Prediction. I've tried to carry on with The Package this week. Here goes...

    The Package, Part 3.

    “So, you’re telling me that she got away, even though you took Tony Spencer out of the picture?”

    Frankie ‘Howard’ Jones placed his gold dice on the table and looked up at the man standing in front of him.

    “Sorry boss, she just disappeared into the crowd...”

    Frankie slammed his fist onto the table, the dice bouncing into the air.

    “Very sloppy, John, and you know the penalty for sloppy work?”

    “Boss, it won’t happen again.”

    The mangle press that Frankie kept in the basement was no stranger to killing.

    “Find her!”

    “Yes, boss.”


    1. Another great instalment, David. =) I'm guessing that's no idle threat, and certainly no easy way to die...

    2. missed the instalment last week! An ongoing saga of nastiness, love it!

    3. No apologies needed David; you just made us want it more! And as always, you really delivered. With each of these 'episodes' I feel as though I've picked up a best-selling novel to read my next instalment. I'm not just saying that - it's because of the quality of writing together with the twisting theme that necessarily changes because of each week's new words but which comes skilfully over as a natural development of the story. When will it be out in hardback? ;-)

    4. There could be a whole book in this. The cliffhangers are torture though.

    5. Thanks guys! The only problem is, I have no idea where the story is going until I see the Prediction words. The story is writing itself each week. BUT, now you've mentioned it, I may start writing some "fillers" and make it into something bigger. Thanks for all the kind words!

  9. Dice

    “Roll the dice, James.”

    “I... I don’t want to.”

    “But you’re going to.”

    “This isn’t fair.”

    “Life isn’t.”


    “No buts, James. You mangled our scheme, now you pay the penalty.”

    “I didn’t know. How could I?”

    “You couldn’t. But hey, roll a double one, they all live.”

    “And a double six?”

    “They all die. It’s a sliding scale. Pray for snake eyes, James.”

    “OK. OK. Just give me a minute, alright?”

    “Of course... That’s it, and... oh, twelve. Now don’t struggle, James. Calm down. Of course they were weighted. Life isn’t fair, I said that, I think.”

    1. ha! what a nasty ending! Another one, more please, where, why, how and who? what idiot got himself into that predicament? Great natural dialogue.

    2. Hints a bad story I'd very much like to read!

    3. Oof. Not fair AT ALL!! I really like the pace of this dialogue; you had my heart racing by the inevitable end to the conversation. I'd love to know what led to this situation, if 'they' live or die, and whether James gets away. Exciting.

    4. Great dialogue and possibly a no win situation,very tense.

  10. (A bit of a rush job from me this week sorry!)

    Red Card

    The referee gave Don a red card and a penalty to the opposing team. Without bothering to get changed Don stormed off the football pitch and straight to his Porsche in the car park.
    He threw his boots to a bemused hot dog vendor and sped off in anger.

    He cranked up the stereo and loud techno thundered from the speakers like an approaching storm. In his rage he savagely twisted the wheel and took a corner doing seventy.
    When the ambulance arrived the paramedics found his mangled, lifeless body twisted amid the wreckage. The furry dice were still swinging.

    1. What a strop! No-one deserves an end like that but Don had a serious anger management problem. This almost made me recoil from the screen! Powerful.

    2. Those furry dice again, I am beginning to suspect they are less than benign.

      "techno thundered from the speakers like an approaching storm." Love that line. As Lily said, powerful.

  11. FOrgive me but I could not resist.

    Dyson with Death

    He did bugger all round the house, even the little jobs he managed to mangle beyond recognition so that Cathy felt obliged to take over.
    She had to admit the penalty; that for the last thirty years she’d been married to a useless cock.
    Even when he tried to buy her affections with a gift he got it wrong. Preferring to say I love you with a home appliance. The Faulty Wiring on the Dyson was to be his finale. At least with his last gift of a food processor, she could turn the useless cock into a fine dice.

    1. Ha ha ha. So many women will associate with this! I'm trying really hard not to visualise the dicing of his front bottom but the more I put up the barriers the more vivid it becomes. Great fun.

    2. Salami anyone? Faulty wiring on the Dyson? Maybe his motives were not entirely innocent. Great story

  12. A late one from me!


    “Can you see it?”

    Fergus studied every face.

    “Nope.” He threw the dice to his wife. “What’s the Polish penalty for failure – a Baltic bath? Head shoved through a mangle?”

    Irena grabbed a magnifying glass.

    “Shut up. I don’t want to think about that. I nearly got killed bringing this from Gdansk as it is”. She began digging at the dots with a pin. “It’s got to be here somewhere.”

    “Hun? Do you think it might have fallen off, you know... when you shat it out?”

    Fortunately for Fergus, Irena found the microchip in the middle of number five.

    1. Wow,Smuggling dice imprinted with microchips.I like it.

  13. Very late entry for me - have been soooo busy. Chuffed with the runner-up but if I had to be second why, oh, why did I have to come second to Dion!!!! Seriously though, quality writing D. :-)

    Here goes:

    Why not!

    "One for the road?"

    His breath plumed in the icy air as he stood staring at the wreckage. Hot steam vented from the Corvette's mangled grill melting the snow around it.

    "Go on, just one more."

    Her bloodied forehead rested against the spider webbed windscreen, novelty dice dangling from the mirror danced in her hair.

    "Oh go on then."

    He looked away from her as she stirred in her seat and instead stared at the battered front bumper, at his mutilated body crushed beneath the wheels of the car.

    She had taken the risk and he had paid the penalty.

    1. Phil, I'm sure you and Dion really enjoyed discussing the result last week! Glad it was all John's fault, not mine. You hear that Mr Xero?!

      The most chilling line in Why not! is "Oh go on then". How many people have been talked into one for the road to please someone that isn't driving and had an accident? Heartbreaking - you always touch a nerve with your writing, Phil.

  14. All done! No more. Back tomorrow with winners and new words.

    Now I'm off to watch the finalé of Mad Dogs...


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.