Friday, 4 May 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction

Thank you to everyone that sent best wishes for my wedding anniversary - bubbly and dinner at a tiny French restaurant did the job!

In case you didn't realise (our) John Xero's 101 Fiction is now open to submissions. Please take a visit and support John in this excellent endeavour. I'm really looking forward to submitting a tiny tale or ten myself.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Well, it's been a long week of tears and gnashing of teeth for one reason or another so perhaps this has influenced my decision. Every entry was so-well written, and I really enjoyed the diverse themes - especially with Tartan dancing in for the kill. But the entry that had me grinning with visceral joy, and is my winner is Under A Killing Moon by Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw. Zombies freak the hell out of me, and Veronica Marie captures the essence of whatever it is that terrifies me every time. Back at ya, VM - my turn to sleep with the light on! And congratulations.

Runner-up is Nick Roberts with the multi-layered Grief. Such an emotional journey - I haven't been able to get it out of my mind yet I confess I still don't quite understand it - and I really like that. Beautiful and tragic. Well done Nick.

Words for 04 May 2012

And so we hit the penultimate Friday Prediction Challenge at The Feardom. Don't forget - it's a minibus over to Phil Ambler's place from 18th May for a Prediction rebirth party. But in the meantime, what do we have here...

  • Psycho... (use it on its own or as a prefix. Freedom!)
  • Belt
  • Purgatory

Ha! Made for us. Let rip - I intend to.

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 10th May 2012 to enter.

The winner will be announced on Friday 11th May. 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.

So strap up your imagination until it's ready to burst. I'm hungry...
___________________________________

108 comments:

  1. Congratulations to Veronica and to Nick, both excellent entries.

    I am sorry I didn't get an entry in last week. I am back now though. Feeling a little deviant. No, I don't mean a kinky dwarf. ;)

    Red Wigglers

    My anodyne Psycho filly sits sipping her Green Vesper and pouts. Her hourglass bounty responds invitingly to my close attention.

    “Tell me what excites you Billy.”

    She points the toe of her laced stiletto boot, gauging my response.

    “Maybe that belt you’re wearing might serve a purpose?”

    A shadow passes behind my eye, I turn away, place my hand upon the box of nightcrawlers.

    Something slides out of my nose. I stick out my tongue and suck it in like spaghetti.

    My eye is haemorrhaging, exquisite purgatory.

    “Tell me, dear, have you ever heard of a worm fetish?

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    Replies
    1. Hands over ears, eyes tight shut, screaming "No-o-o-o" but too late. And it started out so nicely, too.

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    2. Shaun, deliciously dirty horror - on so many levels. Man, this needs an artist to give it a permanent canvas (Sandra? or have you already run screaming?). Just loved it Shaun. Yes siree. An excellent read.

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    3. So much for fettuccine for dinner... I think we'' go with Thai.

      This is brilliant, Shaun! I love the word play and the subtle eroticism!

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    4. Oh Shaun, this is a multilayered piece told exquisitely within 100 words. First the dominatrix, then the belt flicking past the head to make us flinch before we encounter the final pay off. Superb.

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    5. "Something slides out of my nose" -- ewww! For some reason I see a scene from a horror circus. This is terrible, but in a good way!

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    6. What can I say? Such delightful comments. Something tells me I am on the right track. Thanks. ;)

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    7. Auargh! That is... vile, disgusting, horrible, and, and... brilliant. I want to read it again, but, I don't think I can...

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  2. (coffee cup slips from hand...)

    Oh my! What an honour! Thank you so much, Lily! Your words 'oozed' zombie to me... I really wanted to do this one for you. I am so thrilled to be chosen for this week's winner... sorry about the night light, sweetie! Well... a little... hehe!

    Thank you so much... I am honoured by your words.

    Congratulations, Nick... Grief is brilliant.

    I am just off now, but will be back later to comment on everyone's dark and delicious entries!

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  3. Well done Veronica and Nick - such variety to be had in this place - and here's my contribution this week:

    The blacksmith's wife [part 11]

    Blood or anger spooked the stallion, who reared up before (shears necessarily abandoned) he was controlled then let his head, speed and darkness saving my embarrassment through the village. But I had slid and rested tight to Gabriel’s groin, becoming full aware of the potential for diversion (though thus far reverse psychology had proved unreliable.) But motion and the length of ride had their effect, placing us in semi-pleasurable purgatory.

    A belt of trees, a river. He halted there, dismounted, pulled me down. ‘Water cleanses as does fire – this is perhaps the more effective discipline.’

    We entered the river, clinging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, how telling is it that he has entered the water with her? This is too exciting to bear.

      And the possibilities of a "semi-pleasurable purgatory" are endless!

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    2. Is it just me or there a thread of eroticism flowing through this week's entries?

      Excellent imagery here, Sandra... my head spins a bit at the possibilities.

      That phrase... 'semi pleasurable purgatory'... can't seem to get that out of my head... not sure I want to!

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    3. Part 11 - so almost three months we have been following the doings of this twosome with delight. Now out on the open road we are dragged thrashing into the cold waters of the river. I await the next installment with baited breath!

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    4. Nice imagery in this piece.

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    5. Oooo, exciting! I really like the ending.

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    6. Yes, fascinating and disturbing imagery. A complicated weave.

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    7. First fire, now water... will we see some form of earth and air before her punishment is through? Good work. =)

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  4. Congratulations, Veronica and Nick! worthy winners!!!
    Shaun, gore oozing all over this one...
    Sandra, the saga continues in great style and a cliff hanger, no less!

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  5. Congratulations Veronica and Nick! And Lily, the end of an era is drawing closer! I know it´s not the end (thanks Phil!)but still!

    This week, this:


    Digital Primal Cry

    ”Put on the belt, you´ll need it.”

    The familiar smell of baked electricity and toxic dust comforts her as he adjusts her headset. His hands tremble slightly.

    She touches her scar, tries to imagine the implant beneath; still asleep.

    ”You´ll probably feel something like a kick… when I connect you…”

    She nods, bites down on the acrylic splint. Waits.

    But there´s no kick as she falls over the edge. There´s just everything, instantly. Just too much.

    A private purgatory, unfathomably extended through cyberspace. And she loses herself in a psychological meltdown as an ancient acclamation rises from the machinery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. asuqi - welcome back! We've missed you.

      You've plunged us straight into a terrifying cyber-world with such well-crafted words. My own head filled with the enormity of this place, and my soul howled with the rising of the primal scream. Wonder-ful.

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    2. Wow, this made my head spin at the end. Visions of her mind lost wandering cyberspace, detached forever from reality, will haunt my dreams tonight. Top notch.

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    3. Oh lost in cyberspace, frightening!

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    4. magical, so much going on in such a short space of words. Want to know more.

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    5. Dark, techno-horror... this made my teeth ache a bit in anticipation. The free-fall into the limitless cyberspace... chilling to think of getting lost in there.

      Very nicely done!

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    6. But there´s no kick as she falls over the edge.

      Wow, just that line alone sends splendid images flooding through my mind. Great read.

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    7. Oh, as Lily said, I've missed your words here, Asuqi. =)

      Gorgeous, controlled and yet wild, too.

      "The familiar smell of baked electricity and toxic dust comforts her..."
      Particularly love that line, and the last. =)

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  6. Oh yes! I DO like this - wholly believable and so well written, detailed and so smooth.

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  7. FALLEN

    Gracious, ever-regal – the designer belt at her arm came from Milan, the silver-headed syringe lodged in her skin - the only heirloom she had left.

    “Princess. You’re a Princess,” she slurred, slipping sideways into palatial purgatory.

    They waited. Bill had blended half his prescription meds into the morning’s mix. Fuck his psychosis, he had other needs. BeastBoy crawled towards the girl.

    “Lost your crown, ‘ave ya?” He poked her eyelids, the eyes beneath had rolled up into her head. BeastBoy ripped the needle from her noble flesh. He spat on the corpse. “You ain’t no different to us, your highness.”

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    Replies
    1. There's a sort of dirty Jarvis Cocker singing in the background to this, and that 'Princess. You're a Princess' line is the perfect comment.

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    2. Drugs just don't discriminate no matter what class you are. This had a downright dirty feel to it which worked perfectly.

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    3. Raw and poetic at the same time, I really like it! "Palatial purgatory" brings unexpected images =)

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    4. Definitely, Asuqi said it! Nastiness romps all over this, loved it.

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    5. Nasty and gritty... there's a poetry here, in the down-falling of royalty.

      I love 'palatial purgatory'... a delicious darkness in those two words, Lily.

      Excellent tale here... more? :)

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    6. I got an overwhelming sense of sadness from this Lily. Surely every girl who pumps that poison began life as somebody's princess.

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    7. Wow, you've outdone yourself this week, Lily. The transition of the story, its depths, its sadness and its contempt.

      The second line is a triumph.

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    8. Thanks for the feedback on Fallen everyone. Sandra - a bit of dirty Jarvis Cocker will please me every time.

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  8. Well done Veronica and Nick.

    Supinus

    Modern psycho. Drowning in notoriety, swimming in perverse adulation, a demon created by the very people he deceived.

    A swollen cloud of purgatory muffled any sense of guilt, not that Hackett cared. He swayed from compunction and sought death wherever he could.

    He tightened the leather belt around exposed pink flesh.

    Supine – as they always were – the girl struggled from her drug-induced blur, felt the gag slither further down her throat.

    He sliced across the abdomen, hip to hip, then chin to pubis, ignored her strained screams.

    Innards bulged, desperate for his attention.

    Hackett was happy. Addicted.

    A modern psycho.

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    Replies
    1. I'm clearly late making Hackett's acquaintance, and that 'drowning in notoriety' does not reassure.

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    2. Good to see Hackett making a return. For me the darkest piece about this was the phrase 'addiction'; knowing that he can't stop even if he wanted to.

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    3. Eww nasty habit he's addicted to!

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    4. Hackett is something else, isn't he? Great piece here, AJ!

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    5. Okay... Hackett scares the **** out me!

      "Drowning in notoriety, swimming in perverse adulation..." conjures dark, horrific images of coroner turned psychopath; turning turning the autopsy room into an abattoir.

      Brilliant, AJ!

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    6. AJ, such dark cruelty so well described is terrifying.
      Hackett fascinates me.

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    7. That penultimate paragraph is so chilling, AJ.

      "Hackett was happy. Addicted."

      Definitely a psycho to rank up there with the great psychos of modern literature, Hannibal Lecter, Patrick Bateman et al.

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    8. AJ, a delicious title and a wickedly vicious treat for Hackett in this beautifully-written tale of terror. "Modern Psycho" has to be the name of the novel within which he will star, surely?

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  9. Guess who's writing in the wee dark hours of the night again? I can't call this one 3 A.M. though... already used that title, so... I give you........


    EATING JANE
    By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

    ~~**~~


    “Psycho?

    You dare call me psychopath?

    I am not some crazy person with but the thinnest belt of sanity wrapped around them!

    The world will know my story… they shall see!

    My purgatory... this dripping cell… pen and paper to capture the overflow of words from my brain.

    I write as fast as I can… but I fear my words must soon end.

    No food or water... my toes but a distant memory…

    The hunger pangs become unbearable… I have all but finished my right hand.

    I pray I can finish my story before… ahhh… my stomach growls once more…”


    ~finis~

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    Replies
    1. Flippantly, I deduce you are (another) left-handed genius, but fingers and toes too bony to satisfy - try a thigh!

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    2. This has overtures of Stephen King's short story Survivor Type (check it out in Skeleton Crew) and cries out for development. What is her back story and just why is she driven so drastically to gorge on her own flesh? Do tell!

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    3. God I hope they don't get indigestion! ^__^

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    4. there is so much more here to be told, go tell it!

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    5. Thank you all very much! I am so pleased my little tale titillated the imagination!

      Guilty as charged, Sandra! The nuns tried to teach me to use my right hand... they said my handwriting slanted the wrong way because I was left-handed. Lol!!

      Thank you very much, Phil! Your comments made my day! Skeleton Crew was the third of Mr. King's works I read... there are some truly spooky stories in that collection.

      Since penning Eating Jane the other night, I have written several more journal pages. I am toying with either 'serialising' Jane - rather like I have been doing with my zombie pieces - or writing a much longer story. I appreciate your encouragement.

      Helen... I hope so too! With only one hand, the bottle of antacids are going to be hell to open!

      Thank you, Antonia! Yes... there is more to tell... but, no hints... for now anyway! :)

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    6. Really liked the title, but didn't realise that Jane was the narrator until...

      "No food or water... my toes but a distant memory..."

      Gah, nasty. Great piece. =)

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    7. Great stuff Veronica,

      Nom nom nom, Yes, yes, Survivor Type, delicious. Wait..there's bones in this...Ack!

      I mean, who hasn't contemplated eating bits of themselves...Seriously. Guy's?...comeback...

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    8. Eating Jane is a 'gorge'ous descent into morbid hunger and self-cannibalisation, Veronica. Loved "the thinnest belt of sanity" and "my toes but a distant memory". I really look forward to reading the series or combined story.

      Shaun, eating bits of myself? That would be a 'no' from me. :-)

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  10. Congrats to Veronica and Nick. I'm now getting nervous of how I'm going to pick winners in the coming weeks with such high standards to judge from!

    This week I've gone to the classics:

    All in the writing

    The Divine Comedy, a psychosis inducing work of fiction, if you believed the Church, but I knew better. My fingers had travelled its 14,233 lines of prose a million times, the crisp pages rustling as I memorised the journey to Paradise. In my mind's eye I had dragged myself through the insanity inducing belts of Mount Purgatory, through Gluttony, Sloth and Greed, past Lust, Wrath, Envy and Pride to stand in Eden's heavenly glow.

    I struggled to focus my mind, as the pills took effect, life slowly ebbing from me as I prepared to battle. Deicide is never undertaken lightly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Deicide is never undertaken lightly."

      So much weight in those five little words. Brilliantly written, Phil!

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    2. Oh, awesome stuff. Loved the first paragraph, and the twist is... heavenly... ;)

      (sorry, couldn't resist.)

      Have you ever read Garth Ennis' Preacher? Reminded me of a similar moment towards the end. (Preacher's a great read btw, before Ennis lost it (imo).)

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    3. Hello Phil,

      Liking this very much. I really hope there is more.

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    4. Phil, it certainly is All in the writing - and you've proved that here. I love the reference to Dante's masterpiece as a "a psychosis inducing work of fiction" tsk - what do the churches know? And Deicide is always such a dangerous, thrilling draw. Brilliant.

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    5. Thanks for the comments all. John - never read any Garth Ennis. Worth picking up I guess from your comments. Might check that bad boy out ;-)

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  11. 'Erudite' sounds like the word for this ... I think

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    1. That's quite some journey he's on!

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    2. definitely classic, Phil, really nice piece.

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  12. Forgot to note that it is exactly a year to the day since I first entered a piece into the Prediction when Lily introduced us to the word Pimento as part of the three chosen that week (which I had to look up). Thanks to all for the comments and support over the year and for the great writing I've had the pleasure to read! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations on your Prediction Anniversary Phil! The pleasure has been all ours :-)

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  13. Jerusalem; sun, stone, dust.
    I see him, carrying ropes and belts, thick and thin. Why ropes thick and thin? I must know, follow, can’t catch up. Run psycho! Bump into a cripple, push a child, scatter a beggar’s cup, run.
    He turns a corner, I’m after him. He enters a dark alley, I’m on his heels. He penetrates a doorway, I’m there. Breathless:
    - Why ropes, thick and thin?
    - To catch sinners’ souls, thin suffices, to lure the righteous, thick is needed.
    - For me? Thick? Thin?
    - For you no rope, you came willingly.
    The door slams. Purgatory.

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    Replies
    1. Trapped! You know what they say curiosity killed the cat ^_^

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    2. The mystery and unknowingness of this is palpable - a huge amount conveyed in so few words. Like it a lot.

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    3. I agree, a huge story brought down to a few words. Really good.

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    4. Damn! Now that is chilling!!

      "The door slams. Purgatory."

      As last lines go... beautiful!

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    5. That's pretty clever, I like it. Great scene building, set up and execution for such a tiny piece. Excellent.

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    6. Marc, a breathless, staccato chase where we learn what the choice of thick or thin rope truly means. I really like the narrator's casual intrigue even as he asks what his own fate will be, then throws it back at us. Demonic - and very enjoyable indeed.

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    7. What a deep piece of writing. Neither sinner, nor saint - trapped in purgatory forever. For me I found myself caught up in the chase to then stand open mouthed waiting for the final verdict. Top notch.

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  14. I've been short of time this week, so forgive me if I don't comment on everyone's - I will try however.

    Here's my offering
    Taken
    This was purgatory, worse than anything she had faced before. The belt around her wrists bit into her flesh. He looked down at her, crouched against the cold wet walls of the cellar and smiled. Her naked body shivered in the cool air, her nipples quivered like small rose buds in a soft breeze.

    He leaned towards her and ran his tongue across her cheek. Her eyes narrowed and she spat into his face.
    “You’re a psycho.”
    “You’re about to find out how much of one I am,” he laughed.
    It was then she saw the glint of the blade.

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    Replies
    1. I somehow doubt she'll get out of this ... neat.

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    2. I love the eroticism in this piece, Helen... it really sharpens the horror.

      Very well done!

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    3. Nasty... just when she thought it couldn't get any worse...

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    4. Helen, the tease here is in the first sentence "worse than anything she had faced before" as though she was used to the abuse - I presume she is a prostitute or a girl with very low self-esteem that puts out. I too, like the rose bud reference and find that makes this into a very chilling tale.

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    5. You play with the erotic tease at the start, pondering if she is there as a willing participant in a power play gone wrong, and then we're drawn into the reality of the piece. The end made me wince as we saw the blade.

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  15. creepy with a touch of kinky... it'll take a moment for the hair on the back of my neck to settle... brrr.
    marc.

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  16. I am not playing this week, having spent all my time editing not writing, the muse has gone walkabout. Then you read good entries like this and think, well, I had no chance anyway...

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  17. So glad you had a nice anniversary, Lily! Bubbly and a cosy French restaurant... it doesn't get a whole lot better than that!

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  18. Really pushed for time this week but managed to get a couple of things written. Surprisingly, belt was the hardest word for me to fit, I guess psycho and purgatory play well off each other... ;)


    Redemption

    Purgatory ain’t a place, it’s a job description.

    It don’t pay too great neither. All wages go to the ledger, 'cause, by definition, the ledger runs deep into the red.

    Me, I got more red to wipe clean than most, and now I got a gun belt and a badge, go figure.

    Consider us the bounty hunters of the afterlife. You die and do a runner, you got us psychos to deal with.

    Folks run when they see where they’re going, when they realise heaven and hell ain’t so different.

    Only us purged get to go free, in time.

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    Replies
    1. This has a sort of gritty feel to it with ominous undertones.

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    2. "the ledger runs deep into the red" - I know what you mean, but the impact is ditch-wide vivid.

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    3. liked this, reminded me of some of the jobs I have had... good one.

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    4. Redemption John, is a super concept - a kind of gunslinging/noir never-never land where the naive don't stop running and the psychos keep order. I have to say if anyone really believes there's any difference between heaven and hell then they really have got another thing coming - and Redemption is it.

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    5. Agree with Lily, lovely noir feel to this piece and the character's voice is so strong here. This whole concept could easily escalate into a full blown novel/screenplay. Go write it!

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    6. I liked this a great deal John, hope you take it further.

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    7. I love the gritty noir feel to this twist on the bounty hunter.

      Brilliant bit of horror, John! My favorite line -

      "Consider us the bounty hunters of the afterlife. You die and do a runner, you got us psychos to deal with."

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  19. A Short History of Hell

    In 2033 they built Purgatory in the asteroid belt, a prison for the criminally insane.

    After the uprising of 2090 Purgatory was sold off and renovated into a casino and pleasure hub; among its patrons, many of its former, still psychotic, inmates.

    In 2234 it saw the last stand of the Abaddon syndicate against the Holy State.

    In 2699, long-deserted, it is the launch site for the Apocalypse Missile. The station’s artificial intelligence, S’Tan, now six hundred and sixty six years old, watches, alone, as the unquenchable flames of the expanding sun consume the Earth.

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    Replies
    1. As a diversion, your opening line reminded me that in the latter half of the 1990s we went to look at, with a view to possibly buying, a couple of derelict cottages in Orkney, called by the wonderful names of 'Hell' and 'Purgatory'(image at http://www.orkneycommunities.co.uk/imagelibrary/picture/number23420.asp)
      Otherwise, yeah, nice piece John ;-)

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    2. I may not get the chance to enter this week. I will comment though for it is such a wonderful duty. I wish I could write like Poe so Lily might know how agreeable prediction has been. After tomorrow onto Ambler and Xero if I am Bradburyesque. That is if the new keepers will accept my entrance.
      Say goodnight Gracie

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    3. And on a very different theme A Short History of Hell steals us into the future - a future perhaps just as dysfunctional as the present, with casinos and criminals - a Las Vegas of a Holy State. A dying death. Very clever.
      ***
      Sandra, those cottages are beautiful!
      ***
      Marietta, Bradburyesque will be divine.

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    4. John - I love to catching some sci-fi horror (Event Horizon anyone?) and this mixes the genres effortlessly. The malevolent intellect of the mechanical S'Tan is plain, old creepy!

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    5. Marietta - you will be welcomed with open arms at Phlambler's World. The only tithe that will be asked is some of your delicious writing!

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    6. All the more horrific, this futuristic glimpse of one man's afterlife (I do believe in hell, just not that it is my next stop after departing this fragile shell)is the delivery, John... a cold and matter-of-fact 'recitation'.

      I must say, you have a truly excellent narrative voice.

      Well done!

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  20. I apologise for entering at the last 5 minutes, and for the less interesting and crappy written story. I'm a bit injured but still wanted to enter a submission! Hope you forgive me!


    Delirium

    The mighty body of battlestar “Purgatory” exited the mist surrounding Zakaton’s belt and merged with the blackness of the universe. The ship speeded soundlessly, hurrying to deliver the special cargo kept within the walls of its dark and cold belly.

    After months of performing this dance macabre under the suspicious watch of million stars, only a few knew the content of the hidden. One captain had cursed it, calling it entertainment for rich psychos.

    Then the question fell.

    What forbidden pleasure did humans pay for? A memory removed and stored, a nightmare extracted from a dream, preserved to haunt again…?

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    Replies
    1. Ok, I'm intrigued now! I have visions of Pandora's Box being transported through space to unleash evil amongst the stars. And just who are the rich psychos footing the bill? Lovely way to fuel the imagination and anything but a crappy story!!!

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    2. I agree Phil,this is intriguing Cindy.

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    3. Great thanks to the both of you! Glad you find it intriguing.
      And congratulations for the win Shaun!
      Brilliant story!

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    4. Like Phil, this gives me visions of a Pandora's Box... I want to know... and at the same time... I DON'T want to know.

      I love how you mix suspense, sci-fi and horror in here, Cindy... this is a quite nice little tale.

      Don't sell yourself short, sweetie! Good job!

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  21. Thank you for being a perfect rose Mrs. Lily.

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  22. Hello Cindy. No apology necessary! I hope your injuries aren't too debilitating or serious?

    Delirium is a dark and terrifying concept. That our worst experiences could be erased and stored in space in a massive belly of a 'cloud' hard-drive feels almost welcome. But that it would also contain memories of wicked actions such as murder, rape and worse - emotions potentially mingling together with those of victims - it all makes for an explosive cocktail. Really enjoyed this idea, and the writing Cindy.

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    1. Thank you Lily your words mean a great deal to me! Really glad you enjoyed :)

      Oh hah I will be properly functioning and writing with all my power soon enough.

      Have a nice day and take care!

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  23. Well, a little late (blame BT - the main UK phone-service provider - for yet another epic fail, and their inability to get an engineer to even look at my issues until Monday - a joke).

    But my doors are creaking shut, as are my eyes - I think they both need a massive squirt of oil. But here we go... my key is out, slotting it in and kkkk... All locked up tight.

    See you in the morning, announcement of winners - and the very last Prediction Challenge at The Feardom.

    Goodnight.

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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.