Friday, 6 May 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Someone has come into my bedroom, opened my skull and scoured my brain of any articulate thought overnight.  My eyes are blank as they stare at the screen and all I can think about is... nah; nothing.

TFI the weekend tomorrow.

Big congratulations to both Rebecca Bohn and Aidan Fritz for coming together as joint winners of last week's Prediction Challenge with Girls Club and Encyclopædia Universsica: On the Origins of the Wyrm Cult. Completely contrasting in style, each piece was equally as brilliant as the other. Well done.

This week's words are... intriguing.

  • Jigsaw
  • Capture
  • Pimento


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 12th May 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.

I hope your brains are already fizzing and frothing with inspiration. Lend me some juice, would'ya...?


  1. Pimento? Pimento????

    I... What...

    I'll be back. (she says with grim determination)

  2. Sorry to have missed so many 'predictions' Lily - sometimes the 'muse' strikes in different directions!

    Still, those certainly are interesting prompts! Here ya go!


    His life was like a jigsaw puzzle and Jackson Petrie knew that if he could only fit the pieces together it would surely make sense.

    He ruminated on the possibilities as he busied himself picking pimento seeds out of his teeth; the pizza was a bad choice, he figured.

    Still, it gave him something to do as he waited for Marie to get home. Boy was she in for a surprise – serve her right for changing the locks while he was in prison.

    He smiled soporifically, planning her punishment, trying to capture the look on her face.

  3. Sue - like I'm Home theme so much, gonna riff on it too. Hope to do a s well as you.

  4. LOOCY! I’m Hooome!!

    The scene was the most bizarre jigsaw puzzle I’d seen in thirty years on the force. My mind couldn’t capture it in one viewing. I left, then came back to absorb it all.

    Half-eaten pimento-cheese sandwiches strewn about, victims one and two sitting on the couch, bullet holes in each eye, otherwise undisturbed as they continued to “watch” I Love Lucy reruns, victims three and four in the kitchen, sans hands, slumped at a sink full of dishes and the final victim, a skinny little thing, trapped half in/ half out the doggy door.

    Someone had some ‘splaining to do.

  5. Michael - I can hear Dezi Arnaz's voice in my head all through that!
    ;-) (and I'd like to hear how Lucy would " 'splain" it, too!)

  6. Crust

    Geraldo started the game with his own herbal scrubs, cutting the flesh into parts. Fat haunches lavished with spinach and basil jelly lay splayed on trays across the pro-kitchen.

    Fingers from the gastronomical world dipped into Gerry’s marinades; the juices - sucked, tasted and compared to the other contestants’ efforts.

    “This – ahhh, Geraldo – I’ve never tasted anything like it before. You’ve captured heaven. What is it?”

    The chef smiled with an easy grace.

    “Long Pig,” he said, handing the judge crisp pimento-rubbed crackling.

    Applause rang off stainless steel as Geraldo re-assembled the jigsaw of human meat.

    “Delicious,” they all agreed.

  7. Lily--Long Pig! But where o where did he get it? Is it too much to ask for a pre-Crust, where we see the chef in preparation for this night? I want to know who. My mouth is watering, I'm dying to know.

    Michael--Your hard-boiled detective is intriguing. For some reason, I'm linking this with Lily's in my mind; is there a missing victim amidst all the gore? Perhaps the most succulent of all is now on the table, sharing an intimacy with Lily's Geraldo that he had never before imagined?

    Sue--I wanted a backstory with Lily's, and now I want to know what comes next with yours! Please don't let the wife be unsuspecting. If she changed the locks, perhaps she did more than that? Here's hoping that his daydreams all come to naught.

  8. Sue - Loved this one. The brooding baddy is not entirely unsympathetic, and there's a certain guilty pleasure in watching him plot.

    Michael - Gruesome goodness, with a heart of black humour.

    Lily - "Long pig" - wonderful. For some reason, and don't ask me why - I got a mental flash as this story being the episode of "Iron Chef" ... that takes place in hell. Secret ingredients abound!

  9. My Game, My Rules

    Bobby moved his piece forward.


    "Is the pimento a bishop or a knight?" asked Irwin.

    "Bishop. That's what you said anyway," mumbled Bobby. "It's your stupid game."

    "Right... bishop" replied Irwin, deep in thought. He moved a gherkin and captured Bobby's pimento bishop.

    "Check, and mate," said Irwin, beaming smugly across the vinyl checkerboard.

    "Great." said Bobby. "Can I have my puzzle piece back now, please?"

    "Sure," Irwin replied, handing it over.

    Bobby went to the dining room table and placed the final piece into the oddly disquieting jigsaw photo.

    In it, Irwin stood behind him.

    With a knife.


    Note: the ending of this is inspired by an Urban Legend (which may be patently obvious.) Read a version of the original here:

  10. would you just look at this lot already ... out classed, out written and out thought and it's only Saturday afternoon. No thoughts right now, trying to finish an article, trying to find the draft of the gunslinger story I wanted to write, using my Prediction entry from a week or so back, wanting the vision to stop flashing so I can see what it is I am supposedly looking for. None of that is happening, so for now ...
    Sue, Honey I'm Home needs finishing, it has all the makings (forgive the pun) of a true horror story.
    Michael, oh my ... perfection in 100 words.
    Lily, Long pig stories are always good and this is good.
    Chris, another intriguing one.
    Nope, can't compete, certainly not at the moment anyway! Maybe later...

  11. Picasso

    He jammed the pliers into her eye socket, grinding them into the meaty flesh like he was stuffing a pimento into an olive.

    With a twist he pulled a lump of gore from her skull and slopped it onto his workbench.

    He used a handsaw to remove her ear, a jigsaw piece in need of a new home.

    Swapping the saw for a needle and thread, he reattached the ear to her cheek.

    After an hour or so of adjustments he stood back, admiring his work.

    He had really managed to capture the inner beauty of his subject this time.

    Steven Chapman (writer)

  12. Loving the other entries.

    Here's my effort:

    Steve was fascinated by leprechauns. Not their gold or promise of wishes mind. No, it was their teeny tiny physiology which obsessed this amateur taxidermist.

    Every time it rained he fruitlessly followed the rainbow to capture one of the wee folk.

    Today was different. Today was a success.

    Strapped with silver chains to his workbench was a tiny man staring in fear at the mounted faeries, dwarfs and dryads around him.

    As the jigsaw sprayed emerald tinged blood into Steve’s face he knew that he would finally discover whether the heart looked more like a pimento or a kumquat.

    Phil (@phlambler)

  13. And now - if I've confused subscribers - I'll add this comment to the Prediction thread, not the Spider-ID one.

    Lily Childs said...
    Wow, such sizzling entries. (Ouch). I have to go out dancing, don't ya know - but will comment tomorrow :)

  14. I'm not sure I'll be posting as frequently for the next few weeks as my AS exams slowly edge closer (9 days and counting until my first one!) but for now I give you...


    There you were, captured in a glass prison, buzzing around like some kind of fly.

    I tutted, moved over to the jar and shook it. I smiled as your nimble frame rattled.

    You stopped moving.

    I returned back to the jigsaw – an affectionate name for my master plan. All I needed was some fairy dust.

    I turned; smiled.

    I picked up the glass jar, glanced into your tiny brown eyes and could see the fear.

    I turned the jar over, shook it, specks of pimento dust fluttered down onto the paper.

    ‘Finally,’ I whispered. ‘The secret of the prophecy…’

  15. Seduction

    “All of Brașov laughs.”

    Carmilla soothes me, capturing my hand, leading through Biserica Neagră's doors, the church dispelling the rumors clouding her. I flinch away, yet remember her touch, more gentle than Vlad's, tempting, flushing my skin.

    “You deserve better than the Count.”

    She doesn't understand, a force unto herself, a pimento brightening the sour gray-green of Brașov's olives. “His words ruin me. No one will have me.”

    “Wrong.” Carmilla's sharp, sharp teeth trace my nape. I turn, fitting against her like a jigsaw piece. Damn the rumors of waifs sucked of blood. My kiss consumes her. She tastes good.

  16. SueH: I'm going to change the locks as soon as I get home. I enjoyed how the true horror of all this comes from the inevitability with which I expect what will happen next.

    Michael: perfect details, the kid trying to escape through the dog-door, handless dishwashers, blinded Lucy watchers.

    Lily: at first I was hungry for lunch, now I'm not so sure. The first paragraph dripped with great description. My Dad tells a story about being a Boy Scout and getting his cooking badge. While chopping onions for the meatloaf he cut his finger and it bled throughout the loaf when he mushed the meat together. The scout leader judged my dad's meatloaf the juiciest and best he'd ever had.

    Chris: I liked the concept of making chess pieces out of any-little-thing. This gives the drabble a nice freshness and then I like the way it works together to capture the urban legend.

    Steven: beautiful ending that ties the piece together well. You made me cringe with these descriptions.

    Phil: I really really like this concoction of a taxidermist that seems slightly sociopathic (although Leprechauns can be somewhat tricksters, dwarfs & dryads seem more innocent). Nice ending with pimento & kumquat.

    Pixie: good luck on the exams. Another piece with a fascinating world and fresh feel to it. I really like the way the protagonist creates unusual associations for the things around him.

  17. Sorry about that last comment, I saw I was a few words over and took it off so I could quickly work on it. Here is my finished piece...

    The Case

    Sorry about that comment folks, I entered my story then saw I was a few words over. Here is my finished piece...

    The Case

    Martin dropped the suitcase on the front desk scattering the women’s pimento seeds from her pizza.
    “I’ll like to give this in.”
    “What is it?” The stunned police officer asked.
    “A piece of the jigsaw.”
    “For the Martin Night case.” Before she could react he ran. When he was several streets away he removed his mask. He remembered every moment he spent stalking his victim before her capture. Few killers gave the police evidence against themselves, that was why Martin had worn gloves when putting her decapitated head into the suitcase. He looked forward to the news that night.

  18. Witness

    Putting the pieces together. Trying to capture the crime. Recapture.

    Spilt vodka, broken bottles, Smirnoff, shot, shot, have another shot, shattered. Sharp shards stroking soft, shuddering skin.

    The machine stutters, staccato bursts of frenzied freeze-frames.

    Green olives, red pimento pips, cocktail sticks, stuck, pricked. Rows of red pips on flinching flesh. Blood beading, bleeding.

    The doc adjusts the dials, drips adrenalin into the brain bowl.

    A murder victim’s mind is a jagged jigsaw.

    The screen shows scenes...

    Flickers... Flashes... Finally, a face.

    Fucker. Found you.

  19. Sue- Something abut him picking those seeds from his teeth made me shiver. You left that story at the perfect moment. Good skill.

    Michael- Well crafter vignette of a horrific crime scene. The voice of the protagonist hits right from the start adding to the texture of the piece. Witty reference too.

    Lily- Why does the title 'Crust' make me feel slightly ill before I even start reading. The story is crackling (yes I did just say that) with grotesque images that place us like the uninvited guest at the table. Took me back to the Hammer Horror, 'The Thirteenth Reunion'. Though your story had more Hellfire than that episode.

  20. Sue - Dark and intriguing. Evocative of a much larger story. Good job. =)

    Michael - A puzzle indeed... I wonder if they were already watching, or if that's part of the puzzle. =)

    Lily - nice one! They do keep looking for new ways to 'spice up' reality TV... ;D

    Back to work... =( More comments later... =)

  21. Dirty Fingernails.

    Rosalind stroked the dog as she stared through the two-way mirror of the psychiatrist’s office. Her mother shivered on the other side and left.

    “Your mother says you’ve no friends?”

    “People are too easy. I like puzzles.”

    “Would you like to do some now?” She nodded. Finally, a breakthrough.

    Her mother returned as Rosalind finger-painted the walls pimento red.

    “Look mummy I did a jigsaw, but there’s a piece missing.”
    The doctor was crudely reconstructed; a dark pool seeped between his legs.

    “I painted it” She’d captured the Rottweiler tearing away the missing piece in perfect smears of Kruel’s blood.

  22. Chris- That’s one of my favourite urban legends. I love the way you threaded it into you story. I think we’ve all had games of chess with assorted pieces found around the house when they go missing too, so that added a nice realistic touch. What I like is that if you were not familiar with the legend it was a great twist, if you are then it’s a great surprise.

    Stephen- I often wondered where Picasso found his models from. Maybe this is what he had to do before a sitting. Gory and chillingly calm. I wonder if he has a studio full of these works.

    Phil-What a strange mind you must have. I love the way you think. You should write the reboot of the slasher ‘Leprechaun’. I’d pay to go and see it. The image of him on that workbench with the jutting blade approaching will stay with me.

  23. Chris - Humour horror, or should that be horror humour? Either way, it works! =) I haven't come across that urban legend before, it's a good one.

    Steven - A cautionary tale for life models? Sometimes the extra cash just isn't worth it...

    Phil - So which is it? Or do I have to go find my own leprechaun now...? ;)

    Pixie - what's the secret!? Poor fairy, I thought for a moment it was going to get ground up...

    Aidan - So much local flavour in there, and hints of more, those words are working so hard. =) I'm left wondering who is seducing who, and I like it that way... =)

    StForce - they do say all serial killers secretly want to be caught... I'd hate to be the one checking the box... =6

    Anthony - disturbing stuff, I'd say the psychiatrist wasn't up to the job if he didn't see it coming... I'm glad you mentioned she was finger painting, otherwise I would have been wondering what she'd been using as a brush...

  24. Pixie- Intriguing tale that sounds like the start of something bigger.Makes the reader ask a lot of questions. Will the prophecy be fulfilled?

    StForce- A clever little piece. The serial killer playing cat and mouse with the police. Toying with capture and escape. He certainly loves the game and the analysis of his moves as seen on TV.

    John Xero- A machine gun piece that rattles off rounds towards the reader who has little room or time to dodge the bullets. Sharply written. It felt like I was reading it through a strobe light. Very effective indeed.

  25. My offering... :0)


    He waits under the harsh glare of the Mediterranean sun, a bowl sits before him and he hunches forward, intent on his task. A kind of jigsaw puzzle to help pass the time, he uses a toothpick to spear and extract pieces of pimento from the middle of each olive, arranging them on a paper napkin.
    Finally, he looks up to see her approaching. Her freshly dyed hair is swept up off her neck and although her face is flushed she smiles.
    Relief washes over him; they’ve managed to dodge capture again.

  26. These are just brilliant - I mean it. I'm going to hold back and do all my commenting on Thursday night at the summary.

    Keep 'em coming - these are truly inspired!!

  27. I am struggling to keep up with life this week, being involved in a mass of things, not the least of which is preparing items to go on kindle (inspired by Lily's success...)
    so forgive lack of individual comments this time, you have all given me a lot of pleasure and interest already with these entries - not sure I am going to be able to compete. So far every idea I had has fallen at the 50 word count, sometimes less!

  28. Here is my first ever piece for your Friday Prediction. Hope you like it.

    Beauty in the Eye of The Beholder

    He wanted to capture beauty for ever - or at least as long as he lived. But his collection was not perfect.
    It was difficult, deciding which pieces to use to form his jigsaw of beauty.
    Each of his collection had something special. For example, Chloe had a beautiful face, azure eyes, lips the colour of pimento peppers and Julie had the long, blonde hair he desired. Once he had experienced the ultimate pleasure of slicing the beautiful parts from his collection, that ‘something’ from each of them would make the ultimate beauty.

  29. Jigsaw

    Blush; pimento shades crept forward as tinselled vapours tinted the cloudy underbelly above them.

    Memories echoed; captured moments breezed in and out like air through bellows, but then so did his breath, short, erratic, stuttered. Afraid.

    He thought about them then. How they must have felt. The final moments, the pinnacle of fear; the abject terror he had inflicted on innocent, jigsaw faces - each one carved and sliced to perfection, each one fitting into place, each one a pretty, fleshy piece of the puzzle.

    He gazed up at the rope dangling before him. He wavered in the breeze.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Pimento Smile.

    Jigsaw, jigsaw under my bed
    Rattling in boxes, fills me with dread
    Jigsaw, jigsaw crying my name
    “Piece me together, let’s play a game.”

    Jigsaw, jigsaw hand reaches up
    Scratches my leg, grabs at my foot.
    I snap you together, corner to edge
    Point at my parents, “Let’s make ‘em dead.”

    Jigsaw, jigsaw capture your grin
    Picture box monster, 100 piece sin
    Jigsaw, jigsaw the final tile
    Slices my throat. The pimento smile.

  32. Something a bit mild from me this week. Apologies for not commenting last week but I will try my best get get some in before deadline.

    And You Wonder Why

    “What kind of present is that?”

    “It’s a jigsaw. The kid loves jigsaws.”

    “Of a pimento?”

    “See, that’s where you’re wrong. Pimento is American. We’re English. It’s a pepper!”

    “What? Pimento, pepper, it’s a picture of a vegetable. Why couldn’t you get a nice picture? Something he likes?”

    “Do you know how hard it is to capture light like that? Look at the beads of condensation on it. You think I just grabbed it off the shelf and wrapped it? I took that fucking photo and had it made into a jigsaw.”


    “And you wonder why our marriage ended.”


  33. Steven - funny - at first I read it as he was just doing a regular thing in clay - on second glance though ... not clay. Good one!

    Anon - I'm sick - I want this character to run amok in Eoin Colfer's world. Great fresh take, and the image of mounted pixies - brilliant.

    Pixie - nicely done - I like how the Pixie dust isn't trite, making it something different makes the rest of the tale more real

    Aidan - "a pimento brightening the sour gray-green of Brașov's olives" - unique, and he's lucky he's charming enough to pull that one off. Great ending too.

    St. Force - nice noir stylings. There's a hint of "Seven" here.

    John - that can't be all there is to this. Can't be. Get the rest of this one down soon!

    Anthony - quite the little artist, huh? I get really creeped out by "weird little kid" tales - this is a good one of those. // Loved this poem - loved it. An evil puzzle. COOL.

    Susan- I love how this one played out - wonderful atmosphere and pacing

    ttofee - what are we really, except a sum of our parts? ; ) Welcome into the Prediction! Nicely written.

    AJ - great detailing of the final moments of a monster - a drabble's the right length too- they don't let these bastards draw it out too long...

    David - not "too mild" at all. There's a reality in this that makes it vivid (like a bright red pepper maybe?) Wonderful dialogue.

  34. Ttofee- I’ve actually heard girls readjust themselves in this way. I’ve also heard men do it too. Make collages of their ‘perfect’ woman by visually dissecting and rearranging the body parts of others. You’ve taken that idea to a horrific new level. Somebody put down their copy of Hello and picked up a blade. Chilling.

    Aidan- Like a vampiric dance between two lovers told with such tension and dark atmosphere. We’re drawn to a thrilling conclusion as the church bells chime or maybe toll.

    SusanJM- A slick and sophisticated crime thriller. Read like the prologue to a sparkling adventure where high tension and sexual frissons are guaranteed.

    AJ- The final moments of a murderous mind captured in flashbacks of terror. The killer realises empathy too late as the same shocks and dread he inflicted come back to haunt him. Those memories drift away on the breeze as he swing from the hangman’s rope. So much in so few words.

    David- A great scene of miscommunication and unhealed wounds. He tries so hard to please the child with a thoughtful gift. While all she sees is a box and not the contents. Great tease of backstory and vivid characters.

  35. I really must get into the habit of posting comments as and when I read the entries – apologies for what looks like a shopping list, but here goes:

    Lily – Jack the Ripper meets Gordon Ramsey! (Suddenly I don’t fancy that new restaurant we’re booked into….)

    Chris A – Ah! So it’s a Bobby Fischer v Erwin Puto rematch – and Puto wins again!! (sorry, I’m a chess-widow….;-p)

    Steven – I was taught Picasso’s idea was to show the features of the portrait from all angles – so this is how he got that idea…..!

    Phil – oh! Poor wee man! BTW – what did you do with the pot of gold……pass it this way if you like!

    Pixie – how could you do that to one of your ‘own’? (Unless there’s a rider that states ‘no fairies, pixies or elfin-folk were killed in the fulfilling of this prophecy’!)

    Aidan – dark and smooth – like melted chocolate!

    St Force – sounds like Martin was revelling in his notoriety; I wonder what his next newsworthy instalment would be?

    John Xero – Wow! What a rich smörgåsbord of alliteration and onomatopoeia! A veritable feast ;-)

    Anthony – #1 – why do psychotic kids always seem scarier than the adult version, I wonder? #2 – well done for getting the story in rhyme! (I shall now go and hide all the jigsaw puzzles….!)

    Susan – I so want to hear more of the story suggested by this juicy tidbit – why are they on the run? Will they really get away with it? More, please!

    ttoffee - Welcome and well done with this first offering! A real ‘Frankenstein’ moment – particularly relevant in these days of total face transplants!

    AJ – Justice prevails, but I can’t make up my mind whether he’s about to pay for his crimes ‘voluntarily’ – or not?

    David – some people just don’t understand how much time and effort goes into ‘hand-crafted’ gifts - makes you wanna murder them…….!

    What a week, Lily – some real crackers in here!

  36. Sorry I've not been around to comment this week, but, I've been trying to get rid of a twitchy eye.

    This has been bothering me all week too.


    “You shou…ld c..ome sta…y” She said her syllables scattered like a jigsaw.
    Her scent filled the room, the sickly sweet unwashed sweat of a regular user.
    She showed her track marks from fresh pimento to grey brown, her soul drawing out and feeding on my sorrow.

    I blinked to refocus back in the room.

    “… the windows really capture the evening Sun. I can make a fresh start here” Gary Smiled

    I smiled faintly back, how could I tell him the spirit of his sons killer was attached to him, and was here in his new home.

  37. StForce: is Martin's last name Night? Seems he might be too clever. Perfect use of pimento in the opening to set a nice concrete image.

    John: sweet sounds you capture in this piece; I'm intrigued by this scifi world.

    Anthony: Fingernails, you've got a slow punch with the "doctor crudely reconstructed", but the image I've got in my mind makes me wince. Smile, this has a great rhythm and sound to it.

    Susan: there is a subtle tension that makes me suspect something darker. I want to know more about what they are running from.

    TTofee: Jigsaw of beauty is a great turn of phrase. Nice descriptions.

    AJ: great opening paragraph and I enjoyed the way this unfolded revealing his demise in the closing.

    David: great dialogue, it captures their dynamic well.

  38. William: chilling ending; makes me wonder how this will work out.

  39. 9 of the clock. Shuttin' up shop. The Prediction challenge is now closed so no more entries please.

    Judging has begun.

  40. Originally posted @ 7:15pm BST 13/05/2011 prior to the Blogger problem that wiped some content.

    “You shou…ld c..ome sta…y” She said her syllables scattered like a jigsaw.
    Her scent filled the room, the sickly sweet unwashed sweat of a regular user.
    She showed her track marks from fresh pimento to grey brown, her soul drawing out and feeding on my sorrow.

    I blinked to refocus back in the room.

    “… the windows really capture the evening Sun. I can make a fresh start here” Gary Smiled

    I smiled faintly back, how could I tell him the spirit of his sons killer was attached to him, and was here in his new home.


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.