Friday, 13 April 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction - and an Announcement

My dear Prediction friends, it is with regret that I must announce the imminent demise of Lily's Friday Prediction. It is only fair to give you some notice - the final challenge will be posted on Friday 11th May.

Since I started the Prediction Challenge back in May 2010, the Feardom's corridors have throbbed with horror, crime and beauty. An entire community has grown up around the weekly fiction and poetry fest, and I'm so proud that a regular dangle of three little words has been enough to prompt and inspire writers to develop their drabbles and poems into much longer, successful pieces.

My decision has been a long time coming, and my reasons are as follows:

  • I love supporting writers here and on other platforms but I've barely written a word myself since early February. I need to write. I want to write. And I am serious in the desire to complete my first two novels as soon as possible.
  • I am Horror Editor at Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers. I haven't been able to dedicate the time I need to do this to my own satisfaction.
  • Ebook promotion is incredibly hard-work and time consuming. Although I intend seeking an agent in the hope of going down the traditional publishing route for my novels, I will still be releasing short story collections as ebooks and need to be able to do this properly.
I am sorry if anyone feels let down or disappointed by my decision, but I hope you respect my reasons.

If anyone would like to take the Prediction on as a project on their own blog or elsewhere, please email me or fill in my contact form.

It has always been my intention to collect Prediction entries and publish them in a series of ebooks, as long as the authors are willing. I'll be in touch as soon as this becomes a possibility.

Thank you, one and all for your incredible words over the last two years. It's been an honour.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

The Easter fortnight has been busy for us all and the number of entries dropped accordingly - but the quality didn't.

My winner is Aidan Fritz AGAIN with the incredible flip from the domestic to the horrific in the botanical terror that is  Seeds. Congratulations Aidan, this blew my mind.

Runner-up is AJ Humpage with Last Hiding Place. A heart-breaking glimpse at Anne Franks' final hope that had me holding my breath. Well done Ally.

Words for FRIDAY 13TH, 2012

My old book is falling apart, with some pages stuck together but it still lets me perform a little bibliomancy. Let's see which words it will allow us to (ab)use:
  • Commit
  • Barrel
  • Courage
Good luck with these three!

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 19th April 2012 to enter.

The winner will be announced on Friday 20th April. 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.

If you are afraid of Friday 13th, twist that fear and put it into words. We want to read them...
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139 comments:

  1. Lily, what a shame for me that you are to cease the Friday challenge as you have built such a great community here. I don't think you realise quite what you have achieved.

    For me personally my writing has come on in the time spent playing in your parlour and I have been able to get work into print because of that. I am sure I am not the only one.

    Totally understand and respect your reasons and have always been amazed at the time you have dedicated to this which is greatly appreciated by all. I know that the end result of your decision will be more wonderful Lily Childs works out there for us to devour hungrily which can only be a good thing!!!

    Just leaves me to add a huge word of THANKS to you for running this wonderful 'competition' for so long!

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  2. Lily, hugely disappointed for me and just as supportive of your decision to make writing time for yourself, for which I send you my very best wishes.
    And I calculate that I have five weeks in which to bring my tale to an end, after which I shall aim for publication.
    As Phil says, thank you for your dedication.

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  3. Before the fiddlers have fled
    Before they ask us to pay the bill
    And while we still
    Have the chance
    Let's face the music and dance

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  4. Not been here for a while and it's sad to hear you are drawing the challenge to a close (in it's present form!?)

    However, I can understand how time-consuming it has become, along with all your other literary obligations - I, too, seem to spend more time reading everyone else's stuff to the detriment of creating my own pieces!

    I wish you well, Lily,in your future pursuits.

    Now - let's see if I can come up with something inspired by this last set of words! Here's hoping you get a bumper crop of entries - even though it would eat even more onto your precious writing time !

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    Replies
    1. .....and now I've gone back and re-read the post I realise I have a little wait before 'The End' ! ;-p

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  5. It's been a pleasure taking part Lily. I wish you well in your choice for the future. Happy writing and good luck with the novels. ^___^

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  6. My first entry since .......too far back to remember! So, I thought I'd resurrect a character I've written about before - forensic scientist, Paul Hollis.

    What's he up to now.......?


    DEAD DRUNK

    What a way to go! As a heavy drinker he’d always said he would leave his body to medical science, ready pickled.

    Well, it might have cost me an arm and a leg getting him legless enough to ease him into this barrel but it’ll be worth it!

    As a child, he accused me of never having the courage of my convictions, but then this is one conviction that won’t stick. All my years of work in forensics has frequently helped me commit the ‘perfect crime’.

    Right, that’s the last few bubbles.

    Goodbye, Mr Hollis, from your loving son, Paul.

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    Replies
    1. Very clever, Sue... I love the subtle humour! :)

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    2. Clever indeed, and entertaining

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    3. HOW DO YOU DO, SUE?

      What a pickled pleasure to peruse how you packed Paul's prior papa! ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    4. A subtle mix of resentment, humour and sinister implications shakes up a light crime cocktail with a dark kick. =)

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    5. Great story. Enjoyed the personal point between father and son. Intriguing note on past murders. Want to hear more I do.

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    6. What a chilling final line, Sue - so casually stated. You can't trust anyone. A fine write.

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    7. Sue - you've got all the drama of a Cornwell novel crammed into 100 lines - from the killers' angle, no less!

      Loved it.

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  7. I was waiting for this to happen to be honest. I can't believe somebody can be as busy as you and keep it all going. Something had to give and if that something gives us more of your brilliant writing then I support it 100% Lily. It has been a blast and it will be missed, but you need to concentration on your own work now. Good luck with the novels and thanks for the great times at the Prediction.

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  8. Oh no! Sad news, Lily but I understand why you are doing it.

    Fangs for the memories of the Friday Challenge! I'm really chuffed I can say I won the challenge once

    Now get cracking with all that work!

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    Replies
    1. ((( 'Fangs for the memories' was a 20-pointer at least, Mr Chapman. ~ A*K )))

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  9. This seems to be the year that folks are putting the emphasis on what is most important to them in their writing career, and doing what needs to be done to achieve their goals. I do know how difficult this decision must have been, but you will surely reap the benefits in the future.

    You were a lovely and gracious host.

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  10. Such lovely messages of support from you all; I am overwhelmed.

    Thank you.

    xx

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  11. My heart is not really in it, but thought I would share this.
    It is where the words took me after all.

    The Morning After

    What choice but to commit to this foolish act and if it were for naught then what care I.

    Chill the dawn bites upon my face. The proffered sherry warms the blood. Calms the jangled nerve, but that it could improve the aim, alas, in this business, I stand accused and doubt I shall get a turn in this alternating duel.

    The hero’s eye is in the barrel of his flintlock. I see the belch of flame and acrid smoke dispersing. I feel no pain yet stagger I, and fall, upon the dew soaked lawn. My blood and courage run.

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    1. Lordy, lordy, this is vivid - I feel the dampness of the surrounding fog and smell the smoke, and doubt he fully deserves what he received. And pick up on the sadness too,

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    2. Grim, dark imagery... gives me a proper shiver!

      The melancholy here is very apropos...

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    3. SURE SHOT SK ~

      What those insightful dames up there muttered so swell, but hell -- I was head over heels lost in the lovely cadence. I swear I read this thrice and a cool damp fog rolled in. Bravo. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    4. "but that it could improve the aim..."

      Ha! Ne'er were truer words spoken... ;)

      You say your heart wasn't in it, S.K., but I enjoyed the play with past dialect and I think this works really well. Great final line. =)

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    5. Now I need to know more about tis fella. Lovely words convey such a jaded attitude for this character. I want to know more...why is he dueling...a lady perhaps, or a man...he he he

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    6. Shaun I think your heart belies a deeper truth. I love the narration here, its sinister delivery is so powerful. And when you refer to the opposing duellist as the hero I was struck with immense sadness, and loss. Excellent.

      I hope the foaling went well?

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    8. Shaun - nailed the last line in a week full of killer last lines!

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  12. Lil,

    You should be proud of how your little acorn grew into a mighty oak. Alas, the oak may wilt, but it will never die and all those little acorns will one day become oaks too.

    Be proud of yourself.

    Regards,
    Col
    x

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    Replies
    1. Very well said, Col... very well said, sir.

      But for Lily, this 'little acorn' might never have found her horror 'voice'...

      You have much to be proud of, Lily.

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  13. Lily –
    I am bereft of words to express my sadness to hear of the closing of Lily’s Friday Prediction. It is here that I found my horror ‘voice’; I’d not written a word of horror before my first entry, Zombie Sunday.

    Your encouragement and support has been amazing, nurturing and appreciated beyond words.

    You have given me the confidence to reach out beyond what I thought I was capable of… to spread my wings. You have been my mentor on this fledgling writer’s journey into the dark, dripping and deliciously macabre world of horror. You have inspired me, and others, to be sure, beyond measure, dear girl.

    Somehow, a simple “Thank You’ seems rather inadequate. Your dedication to this site and all who trod its creaking planks and dark, yet somehow inviting rooms has been incredible. I am certain that I speak for all who’ve walked these dark halls… you will be missed!

    Having said that… I completely understand and respect your decision and the reasons behind it. You have my whole-hearted support and encouragement… ‘you go, girl!” I so want to give you a great big hug right now!

    It is a bit early in the day over here on my side of the world, but I shall be raising a glass to you this evening. A deep red merlot, I should think…

    I am honored to have ‘walked alongside’ you on this part of your journey and I wish you every success, Lily, with everything that lies before you (careful stepping over that root-like thing just there – I thought I saw it twitch.)

    Please don’t mind the smudged ink as I close here… my eyes seem to be leaking just a bit.

    xox,
    Veronica Marie

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    1. ((( way past an echo ... I asked this very fine scribe of exalted emotion for a glass of that blood red merlot -- fortunately, she had a case of it -- We're still saluting you Ms Lily ... and we're still standing on our feet.

      An ovation convocation? )))

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  14. (wiping eyes)... Oooh... what lovely words have we here?

    I hope I can find some time for these... I do know what you mean about having too many pots on the burners and not enough hands to stir them all...

    If I don't, be assured... I will be here for the 'curtain call'... <3

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  15. this is a year of endings and beginnings, it is only April and already I have lost count of the amount of relationships/projects/whatever that are ending, and the amount of new things springing up to take their place. It's that kind of 'turning of the wheel of fate' year. I am not surprised by the decision, Lily, it had to come, you need to concentrate on your writing career. It is enough that we have had two years of incredible writing and challenges which has inspired all of us to write better and get selling. For that I offer my heartfelt thanks, for allowing me to take part and for featuring my work on the FFF as well. It has been an honour.

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  16. Congratulations to Aidan and AJ, and my offering for the prompt is as follows:

    The blacksmith’s wife [part 7]

    More spelt-out words required the heating of a dozen more cold irons, more coal, bellows-reddled to provide the searing heat.
    ‘I doubt not your courage but question your commitment, as you should ponder consequence of ill-directed lust. You believe you’ll not scream but I doubt you understand how it will pain. Even wood complains when fire’s applied.’
    And removing one that had stayed longest in the heat, he momentarily applied it to a barrel-stave, which sharp-glowed vermilion before turning ashen-scabbed.
    ‘The charring will be similar, the smoke less black – and the smell will be, in your case, as roast lamb.’

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    1. "Even wood complains when fire’s applied.'"

      Dark and ominous... brilliantly said, Sandra!

      Again... it is the last line that brings it home for me... "the smell will be, in your case, as roast lamb."

      (small curtsey) Very well done!

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    3. Apologies, I wanted to post a link to the illustration for this episode which can be seen at http://sandra-linesofcommunication.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/blacksmiths-wife-part-7.html, but I failed miserably in the application of the technology.

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    4. SAVE THE STAVE, SANDRA ~

      Veronica would chip out my fave "wood" line, but pondering the consequences of ill-directed lust, one feels the heat of your tales taunts. Well told, the yarn you weave. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    5. I think you've taken it up a notch this week, Sandra, so vivid. Veronica and Kate both picked up on the same line I was going to mention, and following that up with the demonstration and description... youch! Great stuff. =)

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    6. Yes, so many gorgeous line. "roast lamb" puuuurfect. You are wicked indeed. I wonder what our girl will fight back with....knock him out

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    7. A lamb to the slaughter? You so vividly describe the smelting and smouldering that I can see the glow, feel the heat, smell the searing metal. Everyone, I urge you to follow Sandra's link to her artwork - stunning.

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    8. I have to simply echo and clap along with the others here, Sandra. Phenomenal language in this, and all to wonderfully dark effect.

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  17. Replies
    1. AWESOME, THOSE AIDAN AND AJ AUTHORS ~

      Been an fresh pair of my faves since I stumbled in Feardom's splintered door where the lights are dim and the words cut deep. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  18. OK, back to normal, congratulations Aidan and AJ, once again worthy winners. No competition is it when you guys get going!
    Sue, nice piece of writing!
    SK, lovely last line to cap a very emotive piece.
    Sandra, this has to be written, doesn't it? It is demanding its release.
    No inspiration here yet...

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    1. ACTUALLY, ANTONIA,

      Your gracious gleanings of fellow Feardom free-reign players has always been a 'fave part of the show' for me here. We must seek ways to stay in the touch of cheering one another onwards. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  19. As a reader and lover of wicked stories i am lucky for I have your books and writings on the horizon. As an aspiring writer I am at a loss. Feardom has been a comfy place to visit. You have such a warm and sparkly way about you and it made the process of writing a joy. I am somewhat new here but never once did I feel that way. It has been an inspiration. All the best and thank you for everything.

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    Replies
    1. ((( such testimony to all the touches our Grande Dame has tentacled to fellow authors' playing fields )))

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  20. Weepy, teary, thankful, guilty... I'll get myself together and answer everyone very soon. (((((Hugs))))))

    Unbelievably, I've written an entry - early - for this week's Prediction:

    ABSINTHE

    She’s like a dolly. Emily cuts her hair off because girls shouldn’t have hair. Emily doesn’t have hair; Daddy says it belongs to the Devil. If she can’t have it then neither should her school friends.

    Daddy distils a strange kind of liquor in the back room. He only keeps it in the barrel for a short time before the oak affects the green, and “you can’t let the green go brown”.

    Daddy likes to drink the green. Emily wishes she had the courage to like it too. In the meantime she’s committed to helping her dead friends fight the Devil.

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    1. Brrrr.... such a chill I just got! If I see Emily coming, I am going run like hell!

      Oh, damn... did my night light just flicker? Be right back!

      What a wonderfully atmospheric piece, Lily, in such a small handful of words.

      And, I am trying really, really hard not to imagine what Daddy does when he's 'in the green'!

      Brava, Lily... Brava!

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    2. There's all manner of insidious nastiness in this ... I'm keeping my mind away.

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    3. ABSINTHE DOESN'T MAKE THE DEAD GLOW FARTHER, LILY

      You had me immersed in desperation as reality from "She's like a dolly." Daddy's distillation was hellfire-water, deftly deemed. You bring prose to the morose. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    4. Dark, dark, dark, Lily! You kind of want to feel compassion for the girl, with a father like that, but then she's become a bit of a monster herself, hasn't she...?

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    5. Grand Dame Lily,
      What you do with words and images absolutely floors me. I see colors when I read your writing...chartreuse. I hear creepy parlor music on an old victrola. Your writing is a wonder.

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    6. I love the twisted logic on display here. The insidious nature of the father's sickness starting to manifest in the daughter. Just wow.

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  21. Terrible shame you are giving up Lily as the Prediction has helped so many budding authors. However yuo have to put your own interests first and you should be proud of what you have achieved.

    Perhaps on of your regular contributors will be inspired enough by you to carry on your baton.

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    1. GOSH GRAHAM,

      I know what you meant in your well-meaning, characteristic of your kind-hearted author-share soul, but our Lily couldn't even pronounce 'giving up'. She's the fire-breathing, sooth-saying, chants and charms maven new dominions get carved for. Feardom's Prediction shall find ways to live on within all of us who have risen to dance under foreign moons just tasted as this grande dame cast her spells. 3 words each week have given massive birth to authors finding new voices, wings ... and other tentacles time shall tell. Whew, pour me another scotch, will ya, Graham. Let's raise our cups to Lily in the wilds she's next to conquer in publishing's fray.' Hip Hip Hurray!' ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  22. lovely piece, Lily, full of hidden menace.
    Which reminds me to tell Predictioneers our very own Marietta has had a story accepted for a Static Movement anthology, Urban Nightmares II, which is also brooding and full of menace and I loved it.
    If anyone is looking for a (non paying but highly prestigious) outlet for their stories, take a look at Static Movement's site. There, under my writing name of Dorothy Davies,I have a stack of anthologies running, and so have other talented Static writers/editors. Exposure is good!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Antonia... I shall have to check out Static Movement. I've a story I am trying get published... and I do love anthologies!

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  23. Sorry to see the Prediction go, Lily but, like everyone else, I can 150% appreciate how that writing that isn't getting done will wait only so long, and how it hurts to know what you want to say and not have a moment to say it.

    Thank you, thank you for hosting this for as long as you have. Without the Prediction, I wouldn't have Milton, Blackwood or my pretty, dangerous little 'homunculus.

    I'm going to try and get back this week and put in a proper attempt on this week's words - as well as commenting on the other awesome entries.

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  24. Niagara
    “It’s not courage,” he said.
    “It’s stupidity.”
    I smiled. “I didn’t say it was courage.”

    “Why, do this then?” he screamed.
    He got a question in return.
    “Haven’t you ever wanted to commit to something? Really commit? No turning back?”

    Grasping at straws, he tried another tack – “It’s cliché. It’s been done. It’s fucking tacky.
    I laughed at that. “Nobody has done it in decades.”

    “Not done it and lived.”
    “Fair enough.”

    Before he could object, I closed the barrel and tipped back into the current.

    It’s not really suicide, if you really don’t care.

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    Replies
    1. Oh. Wow. This, the power of the dialogue, took my breath away. Phew.

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    2. Wow! That dialogue... give me a moment to catch my breath...

      Powerful words and that last line is a gut punch to one's sensibilities...

      Nicely done, Chris.

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    3. Oh, Chris, that last line makes me want to rage and shout... which probably means the writing's done it's job. =)

      Apathy is a rubbish motivator. ;)

      Great dialogue work. =)

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    4. These two characters had a great relationship...adventurous. Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid.where have they been and where are they going?

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    5. Chris, who's saving who from whom? This desperate struggle is actually so calm when one realises what is really going on. The final line almost had me keening. Superb writing - I've missed it.

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    6. For the record, I sort of thought he might make it...

      It's the apathy vs committing where this one lives, Mr. X.

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  25. Sad to read that news, Lily, but I completely understand. I'm amazed you've kept it up just about every week for so long, amazed and grateful.

    I found the Feardom, and the Prediction, through Aidan, following a link back from his blog, and I've loved every moment. I've read some fantastic fiction, grown as a writer, met and befriended some other great writers...

    Most of my entries have been polished up and published on my site 101 Fiction.

    I'd like to mention to the other predictioneers that 101 Fiction will be opening for submissions very soon and I'd really love to see submissions from you guys over there. =)

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  26. I'll be back to comment on everyone's entries later, but for now, here's mine. =)


    Deliverance

    The Mercy of the Gods shook as it rode the space-time distortions. Gravity clutched at the ship from all sides. Alarms shrieked and metal moaned.

    Captain Shilo gripped the arms of his chair hard and shouted at Helmsman Krya.

    “We’re committed now, captain,” Krya yelled back over the screaming starship, “This trillion dollar ship is now the most expensive barrel ride in history.”

    They spiralled down inside a tornado of angry physics.

    “Courage, Krya,” Shilo replied.

    Somewhere down there was Earth, and the Apocalypse Bomb. Shilo had never before had to disarm a bomb while it was actually exploding.

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    1. Superb final punch, and the 'tornado of angry physics' magic.

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    2. small part of a bigger piece ... it needs more, go write it!

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    3. A quick punch to the senses, John... 'tornado of angry physics' conjures images of destruction and its horror...

      Clever writing!

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    4. Man your stories pounce and rock. I love this. Wherever this rag tag group (Lily's Minions) ends up I do hope this story becomes a serial. Excellent.

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    5. I feel as though I am spiralling downwards in the eye of this "tornado of angry physics" so remarked upon by fellow Predictioneers. There's a violent glory here, John and an exhilaration that drowned me in guilt for enjoying the speed. Amazing.

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    6. For some reason I picture this taking place inside a black hole. "The most expensive barrel ride in history" great line.

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  27. Congrats Aiden.

    Just want to say, Lily, that you have my support in your decision, however much we love the Prediction, but it's very hard sometimes to juggle writing, family life, social life and a full time job. I am sooo with you on that.

    Anyway, my offering this week...

    Broken Things

    Courage only slithered in when the darkness came, a silent conspirator and guardian, concealing intent with ease.

    Silky, slime-laden viscera glided between her fingers. She scooped out the endless intestines and dropped them into the plastic barrel with the rest of the offal, but she kept the liver; full, bloody and nutritious.

    She could roast the rest of him.

    She gazed up at the Amazonian canopy, then the wreck of the twin-engine plane, the pilot still trapped in his seat, seething with maggots.

    Insects fizzed.

    She’d committed a terrible taboo.

    But at least her husband would feed her. For now.

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    1. This one has me scratching at my neck, overheating in the jungle ... I'll wait 'til night to do the roasting.

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    2. your usual insightful writing which tantalises and then sticks in the mind, permanently...

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    3. Oh, this is going to give me nightmares... I just know it!

      Dark, visceral images... yes, I'll remember this for some time... great, dripping horror... a plea for understanding, there at the end?

      Brilliantly done, AJ!

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    4. Great scene, AJ, delving into the darker corners of the human psyche, again. =)

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    5. "Silky, slime-laden viscera", slithering, silent... a snake of a tale, writhing with menace. I feel her insanity, borne of eating human flesh. Hubby won't be enough for her now... Yum, very enjoyable indeed, AJ.

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    6. This is what "Lost" should have been. That's all I'm saying.

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  28. Just a quick whistle stop... wanted to post my wee 'slice' before the mistress of the castle raises the drawbridge. I'll be back though, to comment on everyone's stories.... dark and delicious, I have no doubt.

    I think I have Tina more than a little worried when it comes time to tell our child bedtime stories... hahahaha! Anyway, without further ado...


    BEDTIME STORY
    By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

    ~~**~~

    Dark, morbid thoughts… coursing through her brain… a thick slurry of emotions.

    But… always… the fear… this time… would courage come?

    Their scritchling voices… “clean this… mend this… cook this… you ugly girl!”

    Midnight hour… up from the basement she crept… silent as smoke.

    Gliding between the beds… glint of steel in hand… faint ‘pop’ of flesh pierced.

    Turning to the other bed… dagger poised… dripping blood… a last good-bye?

    She leant down to the sleeping form… her mouth close to ear… whispering…

    “Commit me? I think not, dear step-sister!”

    Dagger’s plunge into beating heart…

    The barrel in basement awaits.


    ~finis~

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    1. 'faint ‘pop’ of flesh pierced' - so vivid, and an excellent re-telling of the tale. And 'scritchling' good too.

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    2. oh nasty one, Veronica! just what I like!

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    3. Thank you, Sandra. "Faint pop of flesh pierced" seemed the right sound for an over-fed step-sister.

      Scritch[ling]- an obsolete form of screech - is my new favorite word... it tastes so good on the tongue!

      (curtseys to Antonia) Thank you, Antonia! I don't want Hollywood to have all the fun with these old tales... lol!

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    4. Ha ha! Nice one, Veronica. =)

      If only her fairy godmother had taken the back streets, she would never have got snarled up in all that traffic and things might have turned out differently... ;)

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    5. Oh! Veronica Marie this is a piece of bliss. "scritchling" is now my new favourite word too! I adore the twist that our pseudo-Cinders was to have been committed - that's just fabulous. Love it!

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    6. Thank you, John... I'm glad you liked it. Yes... the bloody traffic... isn't that always the way. :)

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    7. Thank you so much, Lily... your words mean so much to me.

      I thought you'd like 'scritchling', Lily... it just sounds so perfect in this genre.

      Alas, poor Cinders, yes... the poor girl had no choice... you agree, yes? :)

      And to think this had started as a tale of 'Desperate Housewives' looking for some fun... not sure how it morphed into a fairy tale. Blame it on the night! Or, I should say... the wee small hours of the morning when normal folk are fast asleep. :)

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    8. I was already loving the sinister tone that you set here, but the ending just ratchets it up a thousand-fold. Well done.

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  29. Well, I come back from holiday all refreshed and this slaps me right in the chops. I totally understand, Lily. You've run a top show here but all great things must come to an end.

    I think I've been a member from the very 1st challenge and prided myself on never missing a week for the first 12 months or so. Only when I took over at TFFO did I start missing the odd one. I think I've actually written one for most of the challenges, though, but never got round to posting them. I thank you for that, Lily, as I have loads of 100 word stories that are crying out to be "expanded" and will be.

    My series, Th Package, will now be totally re-written as it has a lot of life left in it and your deadline is too close for it to be brought to an end. I also have a few more serials that I started and never finished...they will be.

    I honestly don't think you realise how much you have done for the writing community. I now know that writing a 100 word story is something of an easier task...and that's down to your constant hard work, week in and week out. Your Prediction will be missed.

    Good luck with everything, Lily. You know you will always have my backing 100% and you know where I am. We ever meet up and the beer/wine/food are on me!!!

    Love and best wishes, Lily! xx

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  30. I totally understand your decision lily, there are only so many hours in the day. You've done a brilliant job in tempting those of us that used to skirt around the walls onto the dancefloor for the first time.

    As you know my grand plans and visions often get replaced by new ones. When You first introduced me to the joys of Flash fiction, I discovered the joy of producing a complete product. I have learnt some key skills during my time here and I thank you for the opportunity to warm my fledgling wings.

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  31. I think inspiration returned. Not sure. I will return later to comment. Here is my attempt. Hope all things are well for you writers and readers.

    Beauchamp Plantation

    To commit courage before the whip or weep and beg mercy was to court death in equal measure. For these reasons and more fear was natural for slaves of Beauchamp plantation. Fortune smiled if you were chosen to assist master in dark doings. A bloodier end awaited those strapped to a barrel.

    This night Master's intricate cruelties were put forth to seal past agreements. His tools offered sorrow. Outside the big house, among the myrtle trees a being drew breath from tears. Wind whispered satisfaction. Contracts were set and continuance granted. Beauchamp's bounty would grow. His debt would wait.
    Marietta Miles

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    Replies
    1. Dark days, Marietta. I love "a being drew breath from tears."

      Instant gratification has ever been the downfall of greedy, short-sighted men...

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    2. Such an atmosphere here Marietta. I'm swaying in those myrtle branches, watching proceedings - as a spirit of the air dissatisfied with the misdoings of men. But unlike the beast granting continuance... I'll stay. Beautiful, and an exquisite voice.

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    3. There are ghastly cruelties at play here - but you tell them so sweetly.

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  32. "His tools offered sorrow'... oh my god! My heart just skipped, I swear!

    I should say, yes... inspiration has returned, Marietta!

    Dark, melancholy horrors await those poor souls unfortunate enough to have crossed the path of Beauchamp Plantation's masters.

    Very well written, dear... brava!

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  33. This is truly soak-in, atmospheric, hauntingly nasty - inspiration returned with a vengeance, in more ways than one!

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  34. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Super Duper Gary Cooper
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Cooper?"

    "Yes. I'm inquiring the whereabouts of the barrel-maker for the town of Shireshire."

    "And who are you of high faluting airs? Fancy yourself Sherriff Nottingham or some such flimsy whimsy?"

    "Actually, it's Gothamham, M'aam, and I must warn you to show respect for the long arm of the law. Its reach? Tenacious. Gary, the cooper, was seen fleeing harlot Lily's Chateau du Joie de Vivre -- "

    "Bah. What crime committed? Pleasure?"

    "No. Lily's dead."

    "Lily? La Rose en Vie? Jamais!"

    "We found hoop nails and galvanized spiles -- "

    "What courage then, our cooper!"

    "Ma'am?"

    "Lily's a vampiresse. Eternal ones rise again."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ~ avec d'admiration beaucoup
    ~ Absolutemente*Collette

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    Replies
    1. It'll take a committed cooper to contain this barrel of laughs. ;) Plenty of panache, tasty and topical, typical for our clever, courageous Kate. =)

      Delete
    2. This poor Lily of your tale, Kate - I recognise her. How could that be? Ain't no Garys or Coopers up my alley, though my old man was a distiller of finest Cognac, I'll have you know - and did rub shoulders with those barrelmakers of Shireshire and environs.

      Where's the storyboard for this? It should be the new Shrek. :-) And it's a dream of a read.

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    3. Fabulousity in the finest femmes-fatales fashion, and a fitting ... something "f" - that's why you're an original Kate!

      You always bring the substance with the style - which is why you're a blast to read!

      Delete
  35. Ooooh! I hope this (and you) will at least continue for the duration ...

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    Replies
    1. Always loved your expressings, Sandra -- always will. Duration ... like our Lily's next successes stirring the swirl of words shall always be the stuff of good ethers. - And grace o'my thanks Lady Davies. Does my heart good to see how far Your scribings have found their stride.

      ~ Absolutely*Kate

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    2. A*K - you and Lily both have had a most welcome and effective hand in my progress as a writer - just last night I re-read the very piece of fiction I did at a prompt from you and am somewhat gobsmacked to see how far I've since come. Lily too has tugged me into another once-was-alien genre for which I am both grateful and delighted.

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    3. What a delightful tale, Kate... you do know what tickles this girl's fancy...

      Yes, you must write more of this Lily, the vampiresse!

      Your dialogue... a pure pleasure!

      I'm usually - started to say normally, but that didn't sound right for me - a vodka or merlot girl, but I had occasion to try some very excellent cognac a while back... what a delicious nectar!

      Delete
  36. Alright everyone...here is the plan...
    We slip Ms. Lily a few million dollars and "encourage" her to keep prediction going. Nah, if I had a million dollars I would be better fed and well dressed. Hmmmmm....I would like to see hands of anyone who can hypnotize folks. Anyone? This may be a horror spot but I am not sure any of us would actually commit violence. Ooohhhh, say...does anybody remember Stephen King's MISERY. Yay. Without the foot breaking perhaps.

    We have to keep up this weekly challenge! Let us commit to each other and another challenge spot. Scary thing is Ms. Lily would be proper for the competition. Oh the fun.

    Where do we go??

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    Replies
    1. I'll commit ... but it's too far from my genre to co-ordinate, so I'm crossing fingers in hope.

      Delete
    2. We;ll see. There has been "an expression of interest"! ;)

      Delete
    3. I don't think I can stop now... Lily's got me started and - don't think me too weird - but it has been a LOT of fun, writing horror... even more than writing noir, which I really enjoy.

      So, yes... we can't let this all fade into the sunset... or, maybe more apropos... slink off into the darkness....

      Delete
  37. All week I have been thinking, I will have to miss entering the Prediction Challenge this time round, no inspiration, tried 3-4 times, nothing worked. Then, in the middle of doing something else, this arrived...

    Suspense

    The barrel is poised on the very lip of the falls. No need to worry about commitment, there is no place to go but down. Courage? Forget it. Mentally fine, physically – let’s say the body reacted as bodies do when they are scared. You know what I mean.
    The question of the moment is, how long I will remain suspended here, trapped between rocks, buffeted by water, tormented by terrors, before nature has its way and I go over – and if I do, will I survive.
    The other question is; do I want to…
    Considering what I left behind.

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    Replies
    1. Antonia, this one was evidently sitting patiently in the wings waiting for glory. I LOVE it! I am riddled,... frenzied by fear at the thought of this 'situation' - and then the end - hell, what went before? Superb.

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    2. To have the guts to launch the barrel, only to be stuck and left to contemplate the act for an interminable amount of time... awesome.

      Delete
    3. Oooohh... this is lovely... raging with suspense... I love the tease at the end...

      "Considering what I left behind..."

      Perfect ending, Antonia! :)

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  38. Worth waiting for ... and OF COURSE now wondering whether, and if and what? But the truly terrifying bit is the waiting, buffeted.

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  39. Oh well best laid plans :-) My apologies to everyone, I don't have time to comment on all your stories. I have just finished work and planned to do it now, but Ive had a phone call from my wife. Her horse is in the final stages of labour, I am off there now, looks like a late night for me.

    Shaun.

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  40. Shaun, hope all goes well with the horse and foal, sending thoughts.
    Best laid plans indeed!

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  41. A rushed last minute entry just to keep my hand in!

    Love

    Gun oil has a particular taste, slightly acrid with a subtle metallic undertone which hits the back of your throat. It makes you want to gag, especially when the shot warmed barrel is tickling your tonsils.

    We'd commited to be together forever; faithful until the bitter end. I'd kept my end of the bargain. Now I just needed the courage to follow her into eternity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See Phil, you always do that. You blast us with terror then sing to our emotions. What greater commitment is there than love? Not only could I taste the gun oil as I started reading (having never smelled the stuff in my life) but I totally, TOTALLY understood. An exquisite, bitter tragedy, beautifully told.

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    2. Describing the taste of a gun like describing a fine wine is genius. Chilling... but genius.

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    3. Took the words right out of my mouth, did Chris...

      Pure genius, Phil... bravo!! You had my throat clenching a bit there... acrid tang of the gun oil as the weight of the blued steel scrapes over a suddenly dry tongue...

      Yes... genius!

      Delete
  42. Yikes ... what a superbly tactile opening sentence! And the second.

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  43. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. I've slammed 'em.

    Big lovely thanks coming up from me, followed by my comments - all before midnight.

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  44. Firstly, my thanks to everyone for your support (comments on entries to follow):

    Phil, I have so enjoyed your work on here; you have a unique talent for touching what makes us human, and drawing on that fear. I've seen some extraordinary concepts from you and know these will be your future. Hope to meet you in person this year! FantasyCon tickets not on sale yet ;-)

    Sandra, it's been great to 'make your acquaintance' after crossing paths these last few years. You have created something awesome and addictive with The Blacksmith's Wife that cries out to be expanded, filmed even. The artwork that accompanies this passionate and wicked tale is just perfect.

    Shaun, a little tear was shed at your choice of farewell lyrics. Your writing has soared in quality and depth over the months; it's been such a pleasure to host your work on The Feardom. Every tale is rounded, grim and thoroughly laced in pure horror - just as they should be - and more. Don't stop, Mr. Adams.

    Sue, your support has meant so much to me. Your hardboiled crime helped me dip in and out of that genre - thank you - and your poetry touched very real nerves. I hope you are finding the time to write and research to your heart's desire.

    Helen, thank you for taking part and for being a new February Femme Fatales this year. I loved your audio too - you have such a great reading voice. Perhaps I'll visit you virtually for a reading of a different kind sometime?

    Tony, we've come a long way together, you and I. You've been wonderfully supportive, and so kind in proofreading Magenta Shaman for me. I adore the skewed versions and vision of life depicted in your horror stories, so original. I'm hungry for more - please don't make me wait.

    Steven, such a hard task-master. Your whips have zombie slime all over them and that still FREAKS ME OUT!!! I love what you do with words, and equally admire your dedication and, goddamit - your tenacity. How do I have the time? How do YOU have the time? Inspirational.

    Rebecca, there is no-one in the world like Rebecca Bohn. It's been a privilege to dally in the darkness together with you, corset-clad and advocating the inappropriate. Long may your stunning writing continue.

    Col, you've been there from the start. If hadn't been for you giving me a chance with Fashion Victim over at TK'n'C I might never have had the confidence to write, let alone blog, start the Prediction and go on to publish my work. You are such a great friend, writer and editor - and your support means the world to me.

    Veronica Marie, is it wicked of me to be so glad to have brought you into the darkness? Your zombie tales have bloomed into an orangerie of fragrant tales of death and beauty. Your continual support, promotion and reviews are appreciated beyond the words I have to hand. Hugs.

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    Replies
    1. Lily - thank you for those kind words! I was, latterly at least, not often present for the predictions, and horror genre is not my forte, but you and so many of your other 'predictioneers' were very gracious in response to my small offerings!
      Alas, family health issues are once again a stumbling block to carving out time to write - (and a sudden issue with a family member needing hospital treatment this week has sapped time and energy to respond to the stories of other writers her this week - I do apologise!) but thanks to the discipline instilled here for keeping to a 100 word limit I have learned to make every word count and I value that as a skill gained here at the good ol' prediction!
      Will try to be 'present & correct' for the remainder of the challenges and I wish all here the very best

      Delete
  45. Antonia, the honour is all mine. For such a prolific writer and editor to dedicate their rare spare time to reading and commenting on the work of others is so generous. Your encouraging words are heartfelt, and you've always known just the right thing to say. And your/Dorothy Davies's own writing is such a dark and dangerous joy to read too.

    Marietta, you talk of sparkle - I don't think you have any idea how unusually fascinating your words are. You tread dark places with glitter and observe with a unique viewpoint. Please don't be disheartened by the demise of The Prediction; you have so much to be proud of - you'll never lose that - and it will never let you go. Up. Up. Up...

    Graham, he who lives on the veil where rebellion stalks the night and lovers steal away to be bound in matrimony; a crime writer with more grit than a mollusc's gut. Thank you! Yes I am proud that writers have taken something so positive away from the Prediction - and my baton is free to grab.

    Chris, dear friend and wicked tale-maker. Milton and Blackwood are as real to me as you are, and they're a TV series waiting to happen. As for le petit homunculus - such gorgeousness is to die for. May 'the Madness' long continue, and when I finally make it over the land of my grandfather - I'll come in search of cider and Chris.

    John, you have introduced me to worlds I never believed existed, and taken us all on such wild journeys. I said the other day you should be writing for TOR or similar, and I mean it. Your 'voice' is strong yet tender, bizarre but wise. It is the voice of a best-selling author, and it must be heard.

    Friends, please do visit and submit to John's 101 Fiction - John, let me know when you're ready for submissions and I'll pimp it into the ground.

    AJ, no-one 'says it' like you do. You walk all over our emotions, teasing our most dread fears, indulging us then throwing reality on our plates like the dead meat it is. You are a stunning writer whom the world should be reading. I am forever grateful to you for helping me find the skills I needed to take the first steps.

    David, can't help but feel we 'landed' at the same time. As well as being an incredible writer and editor your support, good grace and humour means the world to me. We've become great friends and I've loved following your journey. The Package and The Two Blokes now have their own lives to lead - I wish them every success. It's only a matter of time before that novel of yours gets out there and the publishers come running. May I have a first edition, signed copy please?

    William, guess what - I've found a half-decent Chardonnay to write this to ;-) I am so glad you have joined me... us - at The Feardom, and thankful for the characters and beguiling tales you have brought with you. Whether through fiction or poetry you always lead us into uncomfortable places - how can we appreciate the light if we are not familar with the dark? May we see more of Kook, and may the Plague transcend buboids.

    Kate - who is always Absolutely, what did I ever do without you? We languish in your linguistics, flourish in your friendship and parade down promotional playgrounds - thanks to you. You've allowed me to explore a part of my psyche I'd only ever hidden or blushed behind and I love you for that, Absolutely Kate. And your own writing - whether your trademark noir or a tickle of horror - is the most unique, the most unusual scribing; it should be etched in gold.

    Once again, THANK YOU ALL. xx

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  46. I feel a bit of a gawking intruder sticking my head around the LFP door like this since I've never had the courage to enter the Friday challenge myself (given the extreme proficiency of those that regularly do.)
    But I just want to say I've really enjoyed reading the stories each week and it's been a delight getting to hear the voices of so many talented authors. I wish everyone well and know we'll be hearing lots more exciting things from you all in the future.

    Most of all - and especially - I would love to thank you, Lily, for providing a public platform from which to promote and encourage the Predictioneers' works. It's given a try-hard like me something to savour over my cup of hot chocolate and bleeding keyboard each week. I look eagerly forward to seeing your fabulous writing move out from the dark cobwebby shadows and into the sunlight like a flourishing creepy creeper vine now that you might finally have a chance to more fully concentrate on your own talented self.
    Good luck, Lily, and thanks for the Friday thrills.

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  47. Anna, oh February Femme Fatale, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I look forward to 'creeping'! xx

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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.