Friday, 28 January 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

We have a cold January sun lighting up the roofs in Sussex this morning. I have the day off so may even get something written for the Prediction the same day it goes out, for once.

Congratulations to Aidan Fritz for winning last week's challenge with his amazing Mount Tamalpais. Loved it.

I am reaching for the book from which to pluck today's words... Grunt and groan - jeez it's heavy. Now, let's see. OK. No, really? Alright then.

This week's words are:

  • Temper
  • Gouge
  • Milk
Should be interesting.


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 all week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 3rd February to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday or Friday. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Don't believe it! Got something nasty formulating already! Good luck all.


  1. The following probably ought to come with a public-health warning. Let's just say I didn't hold back...

    Black Milk

    Twenty days after sewing nipples to Perkins’ flesh, pus began to flow. Jacobus watched with interest, the timing had to be perfect.

    He squeezed the swollen mounds, made breasts by infection and collected the spurting black milk into a glass vial, placing it with care onto a table where the light from the pregnant moon could lick at the liquid. Leaving the alchemy to begin Jacobus gouged the remaining discharge from Perkins’ chest before slitting the man’s throat.

    He turned to the corner of the room.

    “You boy.”

    To temper steaming blood with coy mercury, he would need some help.

  2. Pus is sooo much fun..oozingly delightful Lily!

  3. No Fury

    She was inconsolable. Far from being an obedient, servant spouse of a powerful man, she had a temper like an unending fury and she unleashed it upon him.

    With fiery eyes and trident in hand, he tried to fend off her vicious attack.

    She gouged at him with her slender, yet deadly talon shaped fingers, revealing a milky layer of dermis well below his flame scarred outer layers.

    He knew better than to strike back, retreat was his only option.

    Lucifer knew all too well one thing about his wife; Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

  4. Spilled Milk

    It wasn't her LOSS of temper that frightened me; it was the barest bit of control that she had over it.

    I had spilt a little milk while getting my breakfast and had neglected to wipe it up. She stared at the small puddle as she got her own cereal. Then, taking the chef's knife from the rack, she proceeded to suddenly and repeatedly gouge the milk carton, spurting milk everywhere. She didn't say a word, just glared balefully at me as she left the room.

    I moved out that very day.

  5. Why, thank you Michael.

    No Fury says is like it is. Not even Lucifer can tame a woman once she's really miffed. What I want to know though, is what did he do?

    Mimi. Ooh. Very scary. Trouble is, I recognised a tiny weeny bit of myself in her which is rather worrying. A very well written piece.

  6. Lily, no holding back indeed! very nasty!
    Michael, a new slant on the Devil with all the class you bring to your writing.
    Mimi, superb. I think we can all identify with that!

  7. Lily -- Ack! A stomach-churner! This is one of those, "Where in the hell did that come from???" fics.

    Michael -- Hehe. Tru dat. :-) This: revealing a milky layer of dermis well below his flame scarred outer layers is wonderful imagery. Love it.

    Mimi -- Um... That was scary! Maybe because, like Lily, I recognized a weeeeee bit of myself in that. Oh dear.

  8. Lily - eeeuuw! Just catching me stomach...! What a way with words you have!

    Miachael - I'm glad Lucifer knew his place, is all I can say! ;-p

    mimi - WOW!!! Great psycho-drama - I've worked with a few people like that!

  9. The Price of Treachery

    The acrid smell brought him to senses, returning him to a terror no longer confined to delirium.

    His tormentor advanced with his weapon of torture.

    “ Now, Master Smeaton, you shall confess your crime.”

    His eyes darted to the tempered white-hot metal, cooling to red, heat dissipating up its shank, and felt the goudge burn into his flesh.

    Beyond his own screams Smeaton heard the crackling hiss of his skin cooking, tearing away in shreds as the implement was withdrawn.

    “Sweet Jesus!” he cried, mewling as a babe for his mother’s milk, wishing he had never met the Lady Ann.

  10. Wow, Sue! What a belter! I felt Smeaton's pain and never guessed the torturer was a woman. Loved "a terror no longer confined to delirium." A fantastic read.

  11. Lily - actually, this little piece was inspired by the fact that I'd just been reading about Ann Boleyn and her supposed affair with Mark Smeaton, a musician of the Royal household........but I like your interpretation better! ;-)

  12. Ooh-er, Sue. I'm related to Ann Boleyn through her aunt! Won't bore everyone with the details here but will email you...

  13. Oooooo! Please do! (I'm a genealogy fiend!)

  14. oh such a tale of torment, Sue, so vividly described!
    I feel sympathy for Mark Smeaton, very much the scapegoat, I think, for what his Mistress got up to.

  15. OK, after three false starts, this is THE definitive entry for this week.

    Solitary Confinement

    In temper he threw the milk at the wall. Rivulets began their downward journey, some following the gouges he had made, some creating new pathways. He stared at the pattern, wondering what he could read into the lines – then decided there was nothing to read. It was truly random, as his life was.
    Waste of milk, he said in his head. Waste of energy, too.
    What would they say when they came for him? Berate him for his actions, as usual?
    It didn’t matter. One day the lunatics would take over the asylum.
    Then they had best watch out.

  16. Antonia - well, it was certainly worth waiting for!

    I loved this insight into insanity - fascinating how lucid his thoughts were; it does make you wonder how you'd know if you were insane..... or not!

  17. The Flower Eaters

    The day orb banishes the others, but not the visions gouged into Billy's eyes. Abandoned in the mall's playarea, he remembers the twisted shapes milking the dandelions. Sap stains their chins in the moonlight while fires temper toothpick-sized spears.

    "Mommy, mommy." Billy points at others-sized petstore kittens.

    Harried, he suspects she'll say no. Her voice drops to her fighting tones. "One of us should be happy."

    Later, Billy cracks the door to let the kitten hunt the others. Screeches tear the air.

    The next morning, spikes pin the kitten's flayed skin to the door. Billy's the only one to cry.

  18. Lily: Wicked, with cringe-inducing visuals. The infection induced breasts and spurting black liquid crown the dark visuals for me.

    Michael: cute twist on the mythology here with the final line; I liked the "milky layer of dermis" here.

    Mimi: you've created an amazing image of the milk carton being stabbed and streams of milk squirting through the room. I'd move out too.

    SueH: I like how rich and full this story comes, I sense pinpricks of the backstory and want to know more. You capture the ugliness of his torture well.

    Antonia: I love the image of the milk running down the wall (liked rivulets and the way you used gouge). I see this in a dark room with stone walls. The lucidity ties nicely with the madness of solitary.

  19. Lily I think, after reading this weeks entry, I can safely say you are the darkest person I know. This is so gruesome, so over the top, so Lily Please keep it up!

    Michael Loved it. Lucifer may be the prince of evil, but he's certainly not stupid! Loved the "human" details that make this real.

    Mimi You've captured the "woman on the edge" perfectly. It really is the little things that can push the whole scenario into the red.

    Sue H I must admit that I got a glimpse of the additional details before I had gone through yours completely - and now that I have the reference - well done. It's always amazing when you see the stuff of history brought to bleeding life.

    Antonia I like the fact that the narrator speaks like they still have control. The futility of acting out by throwing milk, of all things. It's a fascinating slice of life.

    Aidan loved the visuals in this. Reminded me of an art collection I saw a while back: Wonderful, beguiling stuff as always.

  20. I fear not my best this week - but it's what suggested itself. (Well, this or something vaguely about skull f*cking) I may be back with a second throw later in the week.

    Sheila fingered a gouge on the armchair. She couldn't wait to get home. The shower was a terrible idea.

    Sheila grunted, and edged forward and picked up the glass of milk. The third trimester was the worst for heartburn.

    "I'm surprised you drink that stuff," said Phyllis. Her icy blue eyes glittered with ill temper. "I've haven't touched milk since I gave my first blowjob."

    "You cow," said Sheila. Her sister's jealousy was like acid on her heart.

    Sheila flung the contents into Phyllis' face, coating it with white.

    "I see your point," she said, smirking.

  21. Aidan, real nasty stuff going on there, love it!
    Chris, another goodie, sibling rivalry is always a good topic and this was defined in very few words.
    Thanks to everyone for their kind words on the entry this week. Something went wrong toward the end of this week, a short story took three days instead of one (they're channelled, they should be fast) and then three goes at this one! Won't do, won't do...

    for all you dark writers, check out this market.
    it's a paying one.

  22. A Bad Colour

    Amber slices projected through the trees, the haze of the fire began to swell. The hint of burnt sienna wafted close, scorched a path beneath their noses.

    Rope fibres moaned as they became taut, to temper the weight.

    Shadows appeared through the smoke, circled him. Milk coloured robes flapped in the breeze, bathed by the fire glow, their faces hidden by hoods.

    Red over black; the colour of life slinked down his skin, snaked down the channels they had gouged through his flesh. Open viscera gleamed.

    He swung from the tree as the cross burned; the price for being different.

  23. Antonia, Solitary Confinement left me with a feeling of immense sadness. Chris mentioned futility, and I see this too. At the moment I believe the lunatics have already taken over the asylum. Thanks for the Blood Bound Books link...

    Aidan, a frightening vision here combing innocence and malice. Loved the line "...twisted shapes milking the dandelions." Highly disturbing.

    Chris, I really enjoyed this. Phyllis deserved the milk assault and the parallels between her first blow-job and being covered with white stuff made me laugh out loud.

    AJ, the fear that rises with the fluctuating shades of flame is so distressing. You have described the most inhumane and abhorrent forms of 'justice' so graphically yet with such a poetic voice. Pure AJ Humpage.

  24. Missed the deadline last week, so I'll get in earlier this time.


    “Master wants your confession.” He shuffled the spike in the hot embers of the forge.
    “Can’t wait no longer.” He spat on the cherry-red point. It boiled and hissed on iron tempered to perfection.
    “Says you seen too much.” He faced the whimpering form manacled to the bench.
    “Gouge ‘em out, he says.” The searing point burned its way through the screwed shut eyelid and boiled the soft matter within.
    “Shush, now.” He shuffled the spike in the hot embers of the forge. “We’ll save the other one ‘til later. Ain’t I the milk of human kindness, eh?”

  25. Scratchypen, this gleams with lovely gory horror. I see the torturer as a dribbling, dwarf-like creature - cruel and mildly insane. Wonderfully enjoyable.

  26. Thanks Lily, you see the same monster I do! He enjoys his work.

  27. Sue H -- OWEEEE!!! I felt that! I was actually cringing while reading. Excellent descriptions!

    Antonia -- Love it! Yes, one day, one day, we will take over and... Ahem. Very good read. :-)

    Aidan -- That was a terrifying read, fast and brutal. Yikes.

    Chris -- I could only laugh. What a scene. Now, please do return with something about skull fucking. Pretty please. :)

    AJ -- Heartbreaking and miserably sad. The line about the ropes moaning as they became taut is beautiful, and added dimension, so that it became more than just an image. Well done.

    Scratchypen -- Third for the "dribbling, dwarf-like creature," which says something for your power to convey character with mostly just dialogue and action tags. This is horrifying stuff, especially the description of sinking that poker in the eye. EWWWWWW.

    Okay, everyone. After this week's offerings, I'm going to need some Tums and a puppy. A live one.

  28. AJ - the colour imagery dominating the evil perpetrated because of colour is powerful and haunting

    Scratchypen - this is so twisted and fun - I'll go one level more specific and say that he sounds like one of the Orcs of the guard tower from The Two Towers.

  29. Alright - one more. (Sorry Rebecca, couldn't make good on the skull-love, the alternative was too much fun.)

    Someone get that cat a violin

    Diddles the Clown was a thrill junkie, having joined "Big Turkish Rodeo" strictly for the rush that came with dodging ill-tempered bovines.

    Eventually though, he'd become obsessed with the poor, captive beasts and their funless lives.

    Tonight, Diddles snuck onto a nearby farm; returning with a big brown heifer. Leading her across the giant crescent Rodeo Logo to Thunderbolt's pen, he stared at the heavily gouged wood.

    "Easy fella," he stammered, "Wanna get laid?" He undid the bolt, and ran.

    Thunderbolt was indeed... horny.

    The terrified cow jumped clear over the moon, spraying milk everywhere.

    Somewhere, a little dog laughed.

  30. AJ, another blot on the story of man. Beautifully done.
    Scratchypen, nasty nasty - loved it.
    Chris, love the humour in this one!

  31. want to jump in here with a plug for AJ's writing, which I love. I have accepted a story from her for my Static Movement anthology, One Hour. Very deep and dark it is too, looking into the minds of those at war.

  32. Chris: Skull f*cking alternative, you do a wonderful job of getting across the disfunction between the two sisters, enjoyed the metaphor of acid on the heart... in combination with heartburn. Cat Violin, fun -- liked the spilled milk everywhere and the way you capture Diddles character.

    AJ: touching; I like the way you mix the colors throughout this piece and the channels they had gouged in his skin creates a haunting site.

    Scratchypen: enjoyed the "milk of human kindness" phrase, it captures his gleeful personality well. Well drawn gruesomeness of this torture.

    Chris, you posted a great link, an interesting read. That is the image I was trying to express.

    Congrats AJ, on getting your story in Static Movement. Antonia, when does the anthology come out?

  33. Chris, I laughed far more than must be normal at Someone get that cat a violin. Fabulous bizarro imagery; clowns, bulls and a nursery-rhyme cow squirting in fear. Brilliant!

  34. Thanks Aidan - glad you enjoyed. I certainly thought it was unique, and grotesquely beautiful. Your story had a lot of the same qualities!

    Lily - Thanks for commenting - when you've got your hands full of blogfest goodness. :) Glad I got you to crack a smile.

  35. In Close to the bell, Sorry I've not had much time of late, planet work has got a firm grasp on me.


    Dorian peered at the huge vine growing out of the drainage pipe of the kitchen sink. She felt her temper flare as she decided one of the kids must have thrown some seeds down the plughole.

    She became mesmerised at the pointed foliage at its tip that waved before her eyes. Thwack the plant began to gouge threw her eye and deep into the socket. She would have fallen back as she shrieked with the searing agony, but other tendrils had encircled her, and held her in place as the plant began to milk her vital nutrients.

  36. Right, at this present moment in time, I am not feeling very well. However...I might try and produce something...if I'm not sick in the meantime...

  37. William, I so wish I hadn't read Tendrils! when I was eating my dinner. Tonight the dishwasher is doing the washing up - just in case. Gruesome, and yukky - lovely!

    Pix, you are excused. Go get well.

  38. Wow! Some fantastic entries as usual.
    Looks like I'm just going to squeeze my entry in on time! (Story of my life lately, I'm afraid! Ah well, never mind.) Actually I added 3 Word Wednesday prompt to the mix...just because all 6 words were begging me to do it! So I used temper, gouge, milk, abrasive, handful, loss.

    Early Morning Fray

    Skin as white as milk she applies rouge and eyeliner, her hand steady, defiant against the swaying train. A dearth of seats and the odd nudge cause a huff while trodden toes erupt fits of temper. A single push, a loss of balance, a handful of hair does not prevent the abrasive offender’s fall. Caught in their flare, elbow jostled, one fair eyeball takes a gouge.

  39. Ouch, Susan. I really felt the motion of the train and the mounting irritation. Great descriptions here. Glad you made it!

  40. No more please; I can't take any more! No - really. Judging starts now...

  41. I missed the cut off this week, but only due to spending a couple of days in the grips of a blizzard. I am astounded by this week's entries, so dark and wonderful.

    Lily - that was delightfully gross, and I have a particular fondness for stories involving alchemy.

    Michael - this may sound odd, but I adore Lucifer. I'm irreligious, but as a character, he's too fabulous, and you're take on his marital strife is wonderful.

    Mimi - I may have lived with that woman. Hence, the actual chills from reading your piece.

    Sue - Poor Mark Smeaton! Another cog in the wheel to take down the most powerful woman in England. I could almost smell the burning flesh.

    Antonia - I got the sense that the narrator was actually sane, which made it creepier for me.

    Aidan - I dreaded the end of the story from the first line, and you bore out my fears. The worst part was imagining Billy opening the door.

    Chris - you make me glad I like my sisters. There was so much going on before and after that vignette.

    AJ - That made me a little ill. Which is to say, it was perfect and awful and real.

    Scratchypen - I concur with those who saw the misshapen torturer. And waiting to do the second eye was so amazingly cruel.

    Chris (again) - Thank you for the imagery, and the laugh.

    William - You have given me the perfect reason to make my sons do the dishes from now on. I liked "milking her vital nutrients" - so clinical!

    Susan - I think I started swaying as I read your piece. Totally visual, and the last line made me flinch.


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.