Friday, 18 August 2017

Silver fish scales on a dirty plate

With a word like ‘maggots’ as one of the prompts it was hardly surprising a high proportion of the posts gave rise to feelings of nausea and squeamishness, and there was certainly some mental cowering if not actual, at least on my part.

Six of you passed the ‘squirm’ test: - Patricia (for ‘Lure’), Jeffrey (for Midnight Service), Scott, John, David and Antonia . The one that made my gorge rise highest was Scott’s 'After death, we went to the museum' which I declare the winner.

Words for next week: purse theatre travesty

Entries by midnight Thursday 24th August, words and winners  posted on Friday 25th


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Threading truth with fiction

My stand-alone tale last week began with ‘spearmint’ jogging my memory of a lolly and the silver three-penny bit I used to buy it. From this sprang a boring story which I refused to allow the light of day. Then I remembered Elsie. Was it she who assured me that in the woods across the road dwelt a man who ate children? That was back in the day  when, as five -year-old a two mile walk to school, unsupervised, was normal.

I thank you for all the nice things you said about it, and in many ways it would have been easiest to nominate myself, with such a very strong week of entries. I am, however, going to break a different rule, by nominating jk’s ‘Ellis; for somewhat selfish reasons. One, it is exactly the sort of story which appeals to me and two because she’s currently in a Dundee hospital awaiting an operation to fix a fractured ankle. (I’m hoping that will give her time to write the next episode)

Words for next week:  cower feature maggot

Entries by midnight Thursday 17th August, words and winners  posted on Friday 18th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 4 August 2017

And this morning the geese practising to leave

I don’t know how they know it’s time, and thanks to the height of the hedge I can no longer see the river from my window, but in the quiet of the early morning they are suddenly raucous. There’ll be weeks more before they go.

This is another week when I’m torn between the entertaining characters offered by several candidates for top place and cannot separate them: John’s cheeky itinerant, Zaiure’s Favour Man and David’s ugly Monday and because time is marching on and I know you all understand – and appreciate – my dilemma, it’s going to be a triple crown this week. Thank you all for offerings and comments.

Words for next week:  earring park spearmint

Entries by midnight Thursday 10th August, words and winners  posted on Friday 11th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Multiple impressions of a single man

I was at a funeral this week of a man I knew only slightly but whose conversation made a big impression. He was remembered by all with affection but the eulogy was a recital of others’ (surprisingly banal) memories from which I did not recognise him at all. Although I know I cannot choose the memories of those left after me I can certainly choose the music, and have begun a playlist..

Not that the music I could clearly hear when reading this week’s stand-out winner – Antonia’s ‘On the other side’ – would suit everybody: Marilyn Manson, ‘In the valley of the shadow of death’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4eh9NTzn7I

Words for next week:  favour Monday sceptic

Entries by midnight Thursday 3rd August, words and winners  posted on Friday 4th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Dawns darker already ...

... reminding me how panic-stricken I’d get at the idea that summer had passed even before the schools broke up for the summer holidays. Last week’s words weren’t intended to panic but having found an opening line or two I found coming up with the rest of it, for a stand-alone, quite hard. Goodness knows how this week’s will work out, but I know I’m guaranteed some bright entertainment.

Hence the simplicity and smoothness of Rosie’s Pirate Princess #86 – ‘Going Home’ struck an especial chord and  gave her the top spot this week. As ever, thank you all for your contributions and comments.

Words for next week:  acute drench hymn

Entries by midnight Thursday 27th July, words and winners  posted on Friday 28th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Ill-kept promises

I promised myself I’d try and stick to having only one winner per week, but in a week where every entry could have been  a winner that promise had to be broken. Truly, if each of  last week’s offerings had been a prediction, handed over via a crystal ball, quality-wise they offered nothing but good fortune (and I confess, I don’t know from whence came ‘Prediction’)  

But, as I did predict, Patricia’s ‘As Luck Would Have It’ qualified from the first, and although all the others severely threatened, ultimately only Antonia’s untitled standalone was unignorable and I’ve no choice but to declare honours even for them and honourable mentions for the rest of you, right down to Rosie’s 20 minutes before deadline entry.  Thank you all.

Words for next week:  cover olive pugnacious

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th July, words and winners  posted on Friday 21st


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Niddering and insordescent

Two words for nastiness picked from Philip Howard’s ‘Lost Words’, in contrast to Irish crime writer Adrian McKinty, who gave me the beautiful perse.  I pass it to you as small and insufficient thanks for your comments on my pieces, and on each others’ - so very important a part of this place.

This week’s entries took me to many nasty places, down alleyways I’m incapable of imagining, never mind writing  for which I thank you, and from which I hope to learn. From a shortlist of four, and by a doubtless bloodstained whisker, John’s ‘Canine Intervention; emerged the winner.

Words for next week:  hare premonition whist

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th July, words and winners  posted on Friday 14th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Uses and abuses

It seemed to me that last week’s words were used and abused with an inch of their blameless lives – an exceptionally entertaining crop of stories with the emphasis strongly on the horror. With the usual result that it was extremely difficult to pick a shortlist, never mind a winner. The one I eventually chose – Emily’s ‘Exorcism’ – was because there was much in it I felt uncomfortable with. So thank you for that,  Emily, and for taking the trouble to comment – a vital part of this site’s activity. I doubt I’m the only one who hopes you, like Scott and other recent new contributors, regularly visit.

Words for next week:  divorce mongrel Victoria

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th July, words and winners  posted on Friday 7th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Innocent of skulduggery ...

And in a week that, in the southern part of the UK at least, was hotter than it’s been for forty years, we’ve had some equally high temperature writing which produced three honorary mentions: Scott for an inventive use of incumbent in ‘Opaque’ (no need to be timid), Patricia for her ‘Without Recourse’ (after claiming not to do poetry)  and Jeffrey for the clever final line of ‘I wake in a dream’.

The  winner, for writing which seemed even more breathtaking than ever, is Zaiure, for  ‘Dragon Fire’.

Words for next week:  bat purge velvet

Entries by midnight Thursday 29th June, words and winners  posted on Friday 30th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Drink not the third glass ...

A hiccupping sort of week for me, writing-wise, attempting to follow advice given in a paid-for edit, and a slowish start here too, which only seems odd after several weeks of more frenetic activity. No rhyme nor reason, and I seek none.

I’d Patricia’s Grande Dame and her 100th episode of Cripplegate Junction in line for  this week’s winner, but it was pipped at the post by Bill’s ‘Going Down’, his ability to insert so much energy into 100 words never failing to impress.

Words for next week:  recumbent thumb whelp

Entries by midnight Thursday 22nd June, words and winners  posted on Friday 23rd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Arose to find a hanging ...

Sad to say, the rain was not a myth, so it was especially pleasurable to read all last week’s contributions even if time did not permit me commenting. Thank you all for your nominations of personal favourites; it is always reassuring to see how widely they differ, how narrowly they compare.

This week is no exception so I’m naming three which especially took my fancy; it goes without saying I could just as easily have picked a different three, but Patricia’s ‘Gift Horses’, John’s ‘Acrimonious measures’ and Rosie’s ‘Our bite’s worse’ made the current cut.

Words for next week:  elevate forensic stir

Entries by midnight Thursday 15th June, words and winners  posted on Friday 16th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Eschewing moon dune and balloon ...


... here are the words for the second of June:  huff  midnight  pulp

Entries by midnight Thursday 8th June, words and winners  posted on Friday 9th

Sorry - internet very intermittent here - did I miss everyone posting their winners  for last week or do you intend to do it next?

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 26 May 2017

The rain in Spain ...

... will, I hope, confine itself to the plain next week and avoid where I’ll be staying, so it will be another week where I ask each of you to name your favourite entry; the one you consider to be the week’s winner.

Goodness knows this week has been hard to judge – so many inventive uses of the prompt words plus some forgotten songs planted in my head – and as ever I appreciate the efforts made to comment.
‘Visual’ was an oft-repeated word, scene-setting something everyone excels in – Zaiure’s  a lesson in creating intimacy in tiny detail – but tops for me this week was Jk’s ‘Gostegodd 006’, closely followed by Antonia’s ‘Musing over lunch’.

Words for next week: contempt shoelace trivial

Entries by midnight Thursday 1st June, new words posted on Friday 2nd


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Natural homes for the unnatural

There has been some discussion, publicly and privately, in which discomfort about critique was expressed. For the record, Prediction exists, and has always existed, primarily for the mutual enjoyment of making natural homes for an unnatural selection of words. While appreciation of well-worked pieces is desirable – we all like to know we have been read – it is hoped that  those with sensitivity enough to know their limits will appreciate and learn by observing the skills of others.

And last week’s words were no exception – were, in fact, exceptionally good – providing a very strong shortlist of more than half a dozen. Reasoning that by choosing little pieces I can get away with naming three, I selected John for his ‘Blue Wisdom’, Patricia for ‘Lights Out’ and Ghostrunner for her untitled tale of calligraphic error, and I urge you all to go read Rosie’s most wonderfully-titled ‘Deadly, but Obviously Well Balanced’.

Thank you all for contributing to a thoroughly entertaining week.   

Words for next week: flaccid  lullaby  sack

Entries by midnight Thursday 25th May, words and winners posted on Friday 26th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Bandying the wicked words

Last week’s indecisive result -– two votes each for separate pieces for Patricia and Perry, and one for me – was an illustration of how hard it is to pick a single winner from the week’s invariably excellent selection. This week was no exception but I found myself attracted to the gritty urban, in particular that of Jk’s untitled Roadie piece  and Rie’s ‘The Proposition’ and declare these joint winners.

Additional thanks go to all of you who commented and also to Patricia who sent me searching for my Bob Seeger CD - now playing.

Words for next week: aphrodisiac chew gauze

Entries by midnight Thursday 18th May, words and winners posted on Friday 19th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.