Friday, 24 February 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction

Thank you for understanding that I was unable to comment on entries this week (see my final comment last night if you missed it). You're a wonderful, talented group and I am always so proud that this growing community takes the time to not only enter the weekly Prediction challenge but to read, give feedback and support to each other.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Despite not being able to comment, I did read everyone's entries and my, were they varied with a particularly grizzly feel. Nothing wrong with that!

My winner this week is S. K. Adams with Whips .N.Chains. The first of many tales of revenge, but that final line - "...what was that damned safe word?" has chilled me all week. Consistently good writing over the weeks, it's always a wicked pleasure to read Shaun's short snaps of horror. Congratulations Shaun!

I have two runners-up - and they are both new to the Prediction!

Phantasmogoric's untitled entry was 'riddled' with deliciously disturbing description and I loved the gore, detritus and deity invoked. Perfect.

Tina's work-a-day tale Riddle shows promise with a full-scale novel-bound murderer. I really enjoy stories where reality becomes warped by terrifying events, and this is a great example of that.

Well done Phantasmogoric and Tina. More please!

Words for 24 February 2012

Quick fingers, do your walking...

  • Mandarin
  • Assemble
  • Spume
Blimey - toughies there. But I know you'll rise to the challenge.

Rules

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 1st March 2012 to enter.

The winner will be announced on Friday 2nd March. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it. Do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - we all appreciate it.

I learned a lesson this week, that I thought I already knew: never judge a book by its cover. Can you trick me with the words from your book...?
___________________________________

70 comments:

  1. What a lovely surprise to brighten this grey February morning.

    Thank you.

    Congratulations to Phantasmogoric and Tina

    ReplyDelete
  2. congratulations, Shaun! a worthy winner! and congrats too to Phanta and Tina - so good to see talented newcomers like you! More and more and more, please!
    ooooh, tough words, Lily ... have to see what my resident horror writer comes up with...

    ReplyDelete
  3. If I was not aware of your meaning Antonia I might assume that you have Stephen King locked up in your house. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. no such luck ... but I do have the assistance of Richard Laymon ...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congratulations to SK and to the runners up. ^__^

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cheers everyone on your excellent stories. I am about to throw my flash in the ring. Got to be cruel to be kind in the right measure. Hands up for Nick Lowe.



    The Little One


    Class was not set to assemble. Professor Mann knew this. Evangeline did not. He fell upon her. A chance entrance was rescue. Mann smelled of the girl's dorm. The cheap spume covered him.

    Mann had studied her. She was alone and broken. Evangeline was tender. He molded her psyche and began to play his game.

    In the park he found her again. She sensed him. She held a bursting mandarin. She had sliced the skin gently. It was fleshy and vulnerable.

    He squeaked. The acid scorched his eyes.

    "So you won't see what is coming." Evangaline smiled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Superb punchline following large story

      Delete
    2. Go Evangeline! These monsters need putting in their place. You've described a horrifying yet sadly not uncommon scenario - a true life horror story. I am so pleased Mann's victim scorched his evil eyes. Great writing Marietta.

      Delete
    3. Oh yeah one for girl power!

      Delete
    4. A victim is a victim. Until they find the strength to fight back. That old Pike got to confident, tried to swallow a stickleback and choked. :-)

      A thought provoking story.

      Delete
    5. Nice switcheroo - and the word 'squeaked' adds a real element to his character, revealing the mouse beneath the monster.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for your great welcome! Congratulations to S.K. and Phantasmagoric. Here's a short experiment for this week...

    They assembled to watch as the body was thrown onto the rocks and dirty yellow spume rushed in on the tide to swarm over his broken limbs. The speaker of Mandarin, voice of the lost; silenced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well done, Tina. And in so few words. Excellent.

      Delete
    2. Two sentences - so powerful. A very skilful execution Tina.

      Delete
    3. Powerful imagery but I feel robbed. I want more, dammit!

      Delete
  8. Marietta, good one!
    Tina, how did you do that? cram so much into so few words?????

    ReplyDelete
  9. Domesticity

    She had assembled a picnic basket, sandwiches, rolls, salad, cakes and cookies. She added a tin mandarins at the last moment, thinking their sharp orangy taste would offset the rest of the food.
    He was not pleased, though, despite all her efforts.
    The site on the clifftop was wrong, windy, rocky, no comfort.
    The coffee was not hot enough in the Thermos.
    The sandwiches did not contain enough butter.
    Losing it, she threw the tin of mandarins at him. He overbalanced, fell. She looked down at the waves, spume laden, washing away the last of her marriage.
    She smiled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Brilliant - served him right :)

      Delete
    2. Chilling - I live very near a similar, well-known clifftop. This tale brilliantly described a brow-beaten wife and a very happy accident. Really enjoyed it.

      Delete
    3. OMG death by fruit! Ha ha

      Delete
    4. I detect a certain lack of sympathy for the male of the species in these comments, I shall tread carefully.
      Good story, no complaints, not to hot, not to cold, :-)

      Delete
    5. Nice capture of the shock and warm realisation there. Should feel bad but... everything's all right now. Love it.

      Delete
  10. Ending Forbearance

    “Mandarin? You stupid cow, I asked for oranges.”

    Amy flinched as the grizzled husk of her father flung the offending fruit with surprising strength.

    “Piss off an get me my medicine, useless bitch.”

    She turned away from the malevolent jaundiced glare, silently retreating from his fetid presence, she closed the bedroom door. Bitter tears fell as she descended the stairs.

    On the kitchen worktop, she added extra ingredients in two glasses, watched with tired eyes as the liquid spumed.

    Assembling the means to end both their miserable existences had been the work of moments and of a lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An incredibly tragic state of affairs that will be familiar to many. "...the grizzled husk of her father" is a superb and accurate description; I was perfectly able to visualise the old man. A highly evocative write, Shaun.

      Delete
    2. So sad, such a lot said without saying it.

      Delete
    3. The true horror of a tunnel existence with no light at the end. Powerful and uncomfortably understandable. [shudder]

      Delete
  11. Shaun, good one, loads of back story in a few words.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Short of time these days but found this one in my head:
    Red magic
    The anticipatory chatter of the assembled audience ceased as the curtains swished open to reveal her, sat at the centre of an otherwise empty stage, the stiff Mandarin collar of her blue and gold embroidered jacket raising her chin and holding her head high, her expression the epitome of haughtiness. The degree to which this was illusory only became apparent when, coincidental with an erupting fountain of blood, her head rose four feet into the air before falling and rumbling slowly through the resulting scarlet spume to the front edge, from where it dropped into the orchestra pit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooooh yes Sandra! I clapped my hands in dark joy at this wicked vision. Such a spectacle. For me this was being 'performed' in a chintzy Victorian show-hall, smoky with cheroots. Magic indeed - I loved it.

      Delete
    2. Now that's what you call a real illusion! Nice and visual.

      Delete
    3. Good grief, that would certainly be a show stopper.
      How would you follow that.

      Delete
    4. just found the story ... find some more! this is good!

      Delete
    5. Ah, Grand Guignol - darkly chucklesome. How long before they realise it actually Has gone wrong? Or has it?
      Either way, you wouldn't want to be in the front rows!

      Delete
  13. Apologies for my lack of commenting. Have a lot on at the moment. Should be back to normal soon. Here's my next instalment, although the words weren't exactly easy this week. Hope you like.

    The Package, Part 6.

    “What’s happened?” he asked, chewing on a segment of mandarin.

    “She got away. Spencer beat...”

    “NO!” he screamed, spume and pith spilling over his lips. “I want my stones back.”

    “I’ll assemble my best men. We’ll get your stones. What are we to do with Venus?” Frankie Jones asked.

    “Kill her.”

    “Sir, she’s your dau...”

    “No, she’s nothing to me. She’s a bastard child to an affair my bitch wife had.

    Ralph Henderson ended the call. He looked at the photo on his desk and smashed it, glass cutting into his fist.

    Blood dripped onto the smiling face of Venus.

    ...to be continued.

    ~End~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Package is surely one of the best things to have ever come out of The Prediction. Whilst I apologise, David, for the mean choice of words (deliberate, of course) I adore what you're developing with this terrifying and pacey tale. Poor Venus - can she make it?

      Delete
    2. Lots of tension going on in this piece.

      Delete
    3. I'm hanging in there, very impressed.

      Delete
    4. Damn, I've missed a couple of these! Will go back and catch up then give proper comments on the next one.
      Effective tension ratchetting though.

      Delete
  14. Alicia had practiced by injecting mandarins from her mother’s fruit bowl until the woman stopped buying them because they went off too quick. Only Alicia saw the peppering of tiny pinpricks that sucked air inside, making them rot. She wondered what had punctured HER, triggering her own decay, causing her uncontrollable hatred of life to spume through her veins. Alicia walked out onto the stage; the trolley was already assembled. She grinned at the hopeless crowd and they cheered as she picked up the needle. “So…” she said, “who’s going to be the first lucky one to glimpse their future?”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A curious tale. I am desperate to know what is being injected into the fruit, and later into members of Alicia's audience. What will it do to them? Very nicely written, leaving us with an intriguing mystery

      Delete
    2. Yes I too want to know what's being injected in order for them to see their future.

      Delete
    3. Well I am guessing here a little bit but...My guess is the audience do not have much of a future if the fruit was anything to go by.

      Is this an angel of death scenario? The audience being, residents of a Don't-care-home.

      That is how I picture it. Nurse Ratched in the cuckoos nest.

      Delete
    4. there's a solid back story here which we could all speculate on, clever.

      Delete
    5. Definitely want to see more. Good bubble of hysteria here, skewed and disturbing.

      Delete
    6. Ooh, just saw all these lovely comments - so sorry I didn't have time last week to do much commenting of my own, but I did read most of the stories and loved them - congrats to the winner and runner up! As for mine, I think there is a bit of a Nurse Ratched thing going on but in my mind the audience were a bunch of gullible people watching a charlatan clairvoyant who was probably going to start killing them all... Maybe I'll do more with this tale :)

      Delete
  15. Darwin's Mirror

    Long fingers thrust into his mouth, piercing his cheeks

    Maud's stomach coiled as she slipped through the plastic curtain into the chilly glass-walled corridor. Part of her pitied the beasts, so far from home. Most of her wanted to run.

    His jaw... peeled off

    She tried to slow her breathing, rein in the panic. The male orang-utan emerged before her and she reeled.
    So quiet! Sorrowful eyes held her with mandarin calm. She'd seen the footage, but couldn't make the connection.

    Her son, disassembled in a screaming scarlet spume

    Lips a-snarl, hands hammering glass, she shrieked and shrieked and shrieked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, this made my spine shiver.

      Delete
    2. blood and guts, horror and horror, loved it.

      Delete
    3. Apologies Dion - not sure how I missed Darwin's Mirror. This is absolutely terrifying, and desperately sad at the same time. "disassembled in a screaming scarlet spume" is a fantastic line. Beautifully written, it screams of classic horror fiction.

      Delete
  16. SCAR

    Red flesh burst forth; crescent moons, bubbling like sharp mandarin segments ready to be sucked dry with a grimace.

    Porlutti did it, labouring over the task with ripe lips as his fingers played with the steel instruments assembled on Mother’s plastic table-cloth. He didn’t look at Mother, but felt her approval as she gazed down from her seat, high up in the larder.

    “Zab...” she slurred.

    ‘I know Mama. We can do that. I just need to... ggnnrrr! There.”

    Saliva poured from his late girlfriend’s windpipe. He whisked it into a spume with a squeeze of zitron.

    “Here, Mama... Zabaglione.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL cocktails anyone? I think this is my favourite of all the pieces this week! I do like psychological horror more than I do plain gore, but this piece has a nice mixture of both. ^_^

      Delete
    2. Oops that should have been dessert anyone? LOL

      Delete
    3. Very disturbing, another food based horror, Dessert for the grey mince? I feel a bit queasy now. Dread to think what the 'After Eights' are made out of.

      Delete
    4. food is always good for a story ... it's poison to me, I have to be so careful what I eat and after reading this, I need to be even more careful, it would seem.

      Delete
    5. You had to go there, didn't you? You had to make us eat brains! You are a sick lady, madame. I salute you (with fingers down my throat)

      Delete
    6. Dion, you pay the best compliments (flutters eyelashes).

      Delete
  17. My effort for this week is thrown into the ring: ^_^

    Slice

    “You know it’s for the best,” she whispered.

    Her fingers deftly peeled the skin from the pungent fruit, which she then placed beside her assembled tools.

    He tried to focus on her face; beads of sweat rolled from his brow into his eyes. The straps that bound him tight, cut deep into his flesh. His stomach lurch and vomit spumed from his lips, and back down his throat to choke him.

    She placed the peeled Mandarin in his mouth as he struggled for breath and picking up the scalpel made the first cut of many.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A truly terrifying scenario,a real chiller.

      Delete
    2. cold - very cold and very precise, too. Loved this.

      Delete
    3. What has he done to deserve this? Why is it for the best? Mania runs so cold throughout your tale Helen, in parallel with the victim's fear. Chilling? Absolutely.

      Delete
    4. Not nice, not nice, NOT nice. The helplessness is just terrifying.

      Delete
  18. SK - well done on the win. Really liked your piece last week.

    A quickly assembled piece this week as the time thief seems to have returned. A slight homage to one of the greatest Christmas movies ever.

    Three simple rules

    The congregation stood on the beach; dark veils concealing tear filled eyes. A shoebox sized wooden coffin, etched with mandarin characters, was carried forward as the minister commenced his sermon.

    "We are assemble here today…"

    The box was lowered into the sea, spume crested waves lapping eagerly at its sides.

    "..to remember Gizmo…"

    A man screamed in terror as hundreds of green zombiesque demons emerged from the waters; talons glistening. The screaming stopped as his throat was wrenched from him.

    Billy watched dispassionately from the cliff top. He'd told them the rules but no-one had listened. Well fuck them all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, people NEVER listen - what do they expect? I love the vision of the "green zombiesque demons" emerging from the waters; in my mind they are made of the waters. Highly atmospheric, and a brilliant last line.

      Delete
    2. A fun scene Phil, though not in strict accordance with the three rules. Go watch the movie again ��

      Delete
  19. Oops - nearly forgot to lock the door! I was busy watching Raymond Blanc in Provence, and getting ideas for the next course in my gastronomic menu.

    Alors mes amis. La porte est fermée. Allez! Au lit. Resultats demain matin.

    ReplyDelete

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.