Friday, 22 September 2017

Another thudding orange sunrise in Hamnavoe

An interesting selection of responses to last week’s prompt words, a variety of moods. Shortlisted were Theresa’s ‘Nights in Whitechapel’ and John’s ‘Monarchy Smonarchy’, but Patricia’s  Kursaal #88 – ‘The Amorous Adventures Of Arbuthnot Jester/Part Six’ – nudged them into joint second place. And for a tasty treat I urge those of you who might have missed it to read Rosie’s 95th episode of The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess. 

As ever, thank you all for contributing and for commenting - so much a valuable part of this site.

Words for next week: abnegate core whisky

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th September, words posted Friday 29th September


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, 15 September 2017

Wild, wet but wonderful. ...

Much travelling about this week and now in the rainy West Highlands, at Ullapool as I begin this; further north to the topmost coast on Friday. I had to rush my posts and also the judging, but have no hesitation in declaring Zaiure’s ‘Just another Friday’ this week’s outright winner.... 

Words for next week: ambiguous cane solitary

Entries by midnight Thursday 21st September, words posted Friday 22nd September

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, 8 September 2017

Anticipating Stirling service ...

... from a weekend at Bloody Scotland, and discovering again how wide your selection of a single winner from among this week's gut-churning entries. Unavoidable with a word like entrails, in the mix but I anticipate you'll manage just as well with the following

prompt words for next week: bland chime perpetual

Entries by midnight Thursday 14th September, words posted Friday 15th September


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, 1 September 2017

Exit stage left, with menace and a final kick

So many excellent entries this week that once again I tried an arbitrary rule to rate them. Final lines:, I thought, but how to choose between Antonia’s ‘long pig’, Patricia’s ‘cylindrical drum’, John’s ‘I wish he hadn’t said my name’ and David’s ‘Hell would be unleashed…’?
I couldn’t, so broke another, lightly-applied, rule and chose David for a second consecutive  week, on the strength of his opening sentence, broken-winged gargoyle and the so-very-effective “eyes above the waterline”.

Next week's decision will be simpler for me: Thursday I shall be in Stirling, attending the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival  and on Friday at a workshop, one of who’s tutors is Sophie Hannah.
 Therefore I am asking each of you to nominate, on Friday 8th September, your personal winner.
Thereafter, for a couple of weeks, my presence is likely to be a bit erratic, but rest assured, prompt words are already scheduled.

Words for next week: entrails kiss perfect

Entries by midnight Thursday 7th September, words posted Friday 8th September*

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, 25 August 2017

Sirens and a shiny lighthouse, flashing blue

Is what I hear and see from the windows of my daughter’s apartment. Invigorating in comparison to my usual hedge-bound golf course. Prediction entries this week were varied and interesting, incorporating  the prompt words amidst imaginative phrases. I had a short-list of four:  and it was as much a stabbed-pin struggle to select a winner as it is becoming every week. In the end, it was the matter-of-fact tone with which Jenkins and the professor discussed their dreadful predicament that won David’s ‘The Purse Anomaly' this week’s vote for the number one slot

Words for next week: barge elegant wing


Entries by midnight Thursday 31st August, words and winners posted Friday 1st September


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, 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.