Friday, 23 December 2016

Present perfect, future more challenging!

‘Present’ being the birthday gift from my husband – the Shorter OED – praises for which he had heard me extolling ever since July; you can be sure 2017 promises more interesting words.

Not that I’m complaining about the lack of interest this week, or even this year! And once again I have a triplet of winners in Kai for Hopeless, which made me laugh, Antonia for Reminiscences of  a serial killer, which made me squirm and William for the optimism of his A Fresh Beginning.

I thank you all for your participation in Prediction and wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017

Words for next week:  beast exacerbate form
and, for those who’d otherwise suffer withdrawal symptoms in the second week:
lode, obliterate, pass

Entries by midnight Thursday 5th January, new words posted on Friday 6th

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.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Late year, long nights, big moons

I’ve one of those unimaginable birthdays coming up next week, which perhaps explains why I’ve been on a Mary Wesley bender, re-reading one novel after another of hers which I so much enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s, revisiting in a small way, a section of my past.

Thank you for your understanding of my dilemma last week! I have tried harder this week to rank them in some order. Each week the criteria shift a little, by process more of osmosis than logic, and this week I found the delivery of initially everyday scenarios which suddenly snap sharp teeth hit the winning spot. Jeffrey’s ‘Two nights before Christmas’, Antonia’s ‘Clean-up Brigade’, and Kai’s ‘Breaking Point all came into this category, but for me Patricia’s ‘A rare breed’ took the top spot.

Words for next week:  miracle spoon still

Entries by midnight Thursday 22nd December, new words 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.

Friday, 9 December 2016

False position, too finely balanced

I don’t know how the live traffic feed at the RH side of this (inherited along with the site) works but it has me flitting between Coventry, Wolverhampton and Launceston, down in Cornwall, all 100 miles or more from my actual location. None of which, thank goodness, prevented a richness of entries this week from newcomer Jeffrey’s heavenly description to RR Kovar - the previous host of The Prediction. And we have had Patricia’s very successful first poem, despite having claimed for months she wouldn’t know where to start. (It’s my belief that good writers are naturally poetic), Zaiure’s suggestion of a new serial, Bill launching into the future, Antonia bamboozling us with pirate logic, complemented by Rosie’s alternative view, and Kai coming over nasty with a sliver of steel.

So, who to choose? Which of these do I like – admire, enjoy – enough of a fraction above the others to declare it winner? And the truth is, this week, I simply cannot say, therefore I have to declare you all winners, for your writing, but would give Antonia and Patricia extra praise for their consistency in commenting. Thank you all.

Words for next week:  paper queue yawn

Entries by midnight Thursday 15th December, new words 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.

Friday, 2 December 2016

December dawns dark

I spent much of this week dovetailing actions, lies and misdirections to fit around a murder. At one point I had murderer and body-to-be standing side by side, contemplating the [beautifully-described] view from a second-floor flat. Then I checked and found the sun would long have set and it would be pitch dark.

And what a week of dark offerings it has been here! Kai’s welcome  return plunged me straight into nightmare, closely followed by Patricia touching on amnesia and  Jeff’s  non-meeting of minds. I touched on the perils of prostitution and William the collapse of a good guy and Bill the aftermath of indoctrination. Only Rosie’s was imbued with innocence. But, as so often, Zaiure’s light touch of fantasy floated her piece to the top. Thank you all for your participation, both posts and comments.

Words for next week:  live inappropriate target

Entries by midnight Thursday 8th December, new words posted on Friday 9th

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.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Coming up trumps with the goods (sorry!).

That was Patricia this week, three superb pieces after claiming she couldn’t find a use for ‘chapter’. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many definitions there were for it, most of which were eventually used. (No Hell‘s Angels!) And Antonia managed a bit of recruiting for The Prediction too – a very warm welcome, Jeff.
I was somewhat startled to see that  next week we’ll be into December, but hope you’ll all have time to participate here.
As for this week’s winner ... (this gets harder each week) ... it’s a joint, family affair: Rosie for her 52nd episode of Rosebud and Bill as runner up for as good an exercise in subtle menace as you’ll ever see.

Words for next week:  lame mouth upper

Entries by midnight Thursday 1st December, 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.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Lessons not needing to be taught

A workshop at a writing weekend I’ll be going to next year, to be run by Paul Finch, will be on how to add horror to crime. On his blog this week he asks ‘Just how dark can detective fiction go?’

Reading Patricia’s ‘Broth of Oblivion’ had me thinking I’d maybe already gone as far as I wanted, thank you very much (and this despite such innocent prompt words!), which is one very good reason for nominating her this week’s winner. I’m also giving Antonia a mention for her magnificent stand-alone - the first I remember seeing from her, and would nominate you all for a week’s magnificent and rich reading.

Words for next week:  chapter fair jockey

Entries by midnight Thursday 24th November, new words 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.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Some praise at morning

It struck me this week that for words such as ‘nasty’, ‘gruesome’ and ‘eerie; to be used as praise something ... well, something dark is going on.  And what an excellent variety of darkness there is this week.

Much of it serialised, and I know I am guilty of failing to make each piece also stand alone, which must make it hard for newcomers to quickly feel at ease. But what a treat to see a long-ago fellow T10 participant MRMacrum here, leaping in with ‘A Cicatricial Reminder’, which is this week’s runner-up. Antonia’s ‘Infinity 172’ takes first place for its brilliant use of this week’s prompts (and I confess I found unquiet far harder to place than cicatrice).

Words for next week:  bake, feather tough

Entries by midnight Thursday 17th November, new words 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.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Dead Sharp, Ghosting and Lost Words

The titles of three books on the shelf above my monitor which just happen to be leaning side by side in conversation, awaiting the time when I refer to them again. There’s only one room in this house that is without books, and that because they’ll likely come to harm since water and paper aren’t always good together.

This week was less nerve-wracking as to whether anyone other than Patricia and I get round to posting: because there were plenty of early comments. and although, as ever it was difficult to pick a winner, I’ll declare Zaiure’s seventh episode of Consummation top of the tree this week. Thank you all for posting and your most welcome comments; it was good to catch up with a couple of time-interrupted serials..

Words for next week:  cicatrice drive unquiet

Entries by midnight Thursday 10th November, new words 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.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Toffee-coloured toadstools

Dozens appeared in our lawn this week. Never seen before but apparently harmless, for all their ‘alien invasion’ characteristics. And I’ve discovered a new writer too – Benjamin Myers – who beautifully and poetically writes tales of gruesome, stomach churning events within a rural landscape. None of the coming week’s words appear to offer the opportunities for bloodshed that ‘butcher’ did, yet I am sure  each of you will bring your own brand of poetic queasiness to bear. And thank you for it.

And despite my ever-present gratitude to Antonia and Patricia for their stalwart and ever-entertaining attendance here, I nominate Bill’s last-arriving ‘Dockside’ for the number one spot this week.

Words for next week:  elaborate mend zebra

Entries by midnight Thursday 3rd November, new words 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.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Writing and inhabiting new worlds

I’ve spent much of this week with my head in the seventeenth century, reading textbooks and novels of the period to enable me to pick up the voice of my narrator, and have been pleasantly surprised how easily I’ve invented likely-sounding phrases for her and her peers. It strikes me it’s somewhat akin to writing Fantasy, and also that I’m going to have to read something very different to re-enter the world of modern-day murder as required by my current works in progress.

And this week’s entries here well-demonstrate the practised writer’s facility for creation. I look forward to Patricia’s knitting together of her Kursaal world, to Antonia’s Captain a-sail on the high seas and add my plea for Bill to deliver a little more Emilio. This week’s winner, for her orphaned stockings and Princess Rosebud’s endlessly intriguing adventures, is Rosie, with William a brave runner-up for his paean to his absent muse.  

Words for next week:  corrugate, seventeen, butcher

Entries by midnight Thursday 27th October, new words 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.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Fine meat for one and numb poison for another

In truth, for me, Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prej’ is more comfort food than meat for me, a book I can pick up and read with enjoyment any time, despite having read it countless times before. Yet there are many, many writers who other folk rave about but whose style of writing leaves me cold. So it is very good to see that within this small but varied band of Prediction participants, each of us is well-entertained, week after week, by the others, despite our variety of voices.  And for her conjuring up a ‘shy shadow’ in this latest well-voiced instalment of her Captain’s tale, I declare Antonia this week’s winner.

Words for next week:  orphan, pen, traipse

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th October, new words 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.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Marmalade, monsters and man-eating flowers

Nice to have a week off and come back to so many differing choices of favourite. Finding I won by a whisker was very gratifying – thank you! – but it hasn’t made choosing this week’s winner any easier.
So good to learn a little more of Rosie via her comments, and by reading others' I don’t think there’ll be much dissent if I name Patricia’s ‘Felo-da-se’ as the best of a very good rest.

Words for next week:  conjure shadow shy

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th October, new words 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.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Necessary words to fire the imagination

Finally caught up - comments on last week and my two serials for this. Thank you for your voting.

Words for next week: articulate bud incident

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th October, new words 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.

Friday, 23 September 2016

You get to choose again

I’m off travelling again for the next ten days, from the North East to the South West, an area visited only a handful of times, and not for ten years. Since a second television series has just begun I anticipate seeing references to ‘Poldark country’. I re-read the first five of Winston Graham’s wonderful novel last year and found them just as enjoyable as when reading them in my teens. Couldn’t bear to watch the tv series as the characters are already so vivid in my head. As, of course, are the characters created here, week on week; I firmly believe it is more enjoyable to be able to exercise my own imagination, fired only by your words.

Yet, for me this week, the stand-out piece was Patricia’s haunting ‘Tempus Fugit’. Poignant and thought-provoking, it struck many chords, not least of which was awe at fabricating in from the prompts on offer.

Words for next week: fancy taunt visit

Entries by midnight Thursday 29th September, new words posted on Friday 30th

but I’ll ask each of you to nominate your personal winner because I’ll be staying with family in circumstances which might not allow time to do my usual summary.


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. Serialized 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.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Reward and challenges

Last week began with a mingling with four hundred fellow writers (and, for me, a lovely validation by one professional and a much-needed pointing out where I was going wrong by another) only to be upended by the vituperation surrounding Lionel Shriver’s speech in Melbourne warning of  the challenge to fiction writers posed by those brandishing the ‘cultural appropriation’ banner.
So good to come here and see the eagerness and skill with which we face the weekly challenge. Patricia managed to quell her doubts and produce three excellent pieces, Jk’s vengeance was a powerfully-written gut-kick and Antonia’s Captain awaits his new sails.
Rosie has yet to face the challenge of commenting, but I have no hesitation in declaring ‘A Poor Choice of Cargo’ this week’s winner.

Words for next week  are: chafe French voyage

Entries by midnight Thursday 22nd September, new words and winners posted 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.


Friday, 9 September 2016

Brave new worlds and final killings

Several of you commented this week on the power and glory of the worlds each of us was creating and populating. I tried using that as a measure of comparative merit, but every one a winner in its way.
In so few words the opening line is vital - you all know that too. And all are masters of the jolt at the end to complete the tale. So in terms of choosing this week’s number one I was back to where I started – where I usually am  – hoping that in selecting one you all appreciate the tight-packed rest of you were just a nose-length behind.

So, for the epic and other-worldly quality of ‘Sinners Anonymous’ I declare this week’s winner to be to be bdcharles I might even get to present the trophy in person this weekend as we’re both attending the Festival of Writing at York.
Thanks also to those of you who took time and effort to comment – always a vital part of this group.

Words for next week  are: fob, indigo, prevent

Entries by midnight Thursday 15th September, new 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. Serialized 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.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Passports and awkwardly-inspired tickets to ride

What an entertaining crop of entries we’ve had this week, especially given the somewhat uncomfortable-together prompt words. But wrestling them into something coherent and meaningful proved well within everyone’s capabilities.

And so many further insights into so many different worlds, from the piratical marine, of Rosie’s and Antonia, Jk’s galactic and Patricia’s multi-peopled Kursaal and railway station – visiting them, becoming familiar with each of them, is part of the joy. This week it is Zaiure’s gem of fantasy, Need [05] which tops the list.

Words for next week  are: channel, hike, petrichor

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

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. Serialized 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.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Dictionaries of different ages and sizes

Zaiure’s use of ‘sabulous’, and my search for its meaning reminded me of the dictionary game we played in Alabama last month – inventing plausible definitions of words such as ‘shypoo’, ‘megass’ and ’kipsie’. A two volume Oxford dictionary (supplied by Gita) had an abundance of unusual words to play with.

As with words (but even more so this week, so much the standard continues to rise) the choice of winner is a tricky one and I’ve had to declare a tie, between Gita’s ‘Cobalt Blue’ and Patricia’s ‘At a convent in Brittany’, but Antonia and Zaiure, William and Rosie posted almost equally wonderful pieces - all a joy to read. The other strength of this site is the comments, not so much for the praise as acknowledgement that we’ve been read – what every writer craves.

Words for next week  are: alpha, convulse, refulgent

Entries by midnight Thursday 1st September, new words and winners 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. Serialized 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.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Precisely

At the tiny village primary school I attended we occasionally did exercises in ‘prĂ©cis’.  I invariably finished mine in three minutes flat and sat for another seventeen watching others slog and mutter, red-faced and frantically rubbing out. I wished we did more of it because it was the one occasion I was able to shine but, unlike Antonia, I’ve never been offered a job on the strength of it.

As ever, there’s been plentiful demonstration of tight-worded strength in the telling of tales this week, one of which was, for me, a clear winner: Jk’s Gostegodd 03. Apart from my delight at the title and the tale, I am each time impressed with how much is conveyed in so few words; long may this serial continue.

Words for next week  are: amanuensis, bow, rattle

Entries by midnight Thursday 25th August, new 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. Serialized 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.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Strong spells and tricksy tales

And, as I was enchanted by, and rewarded, last week’s stand-alones, this week it is the turn of episode 59 of our second longest-running serial, Antonia’s ‘Infinity’ and the ever-fascinating Captain to occupy the high place on the podium. with our newest – William’s tenth episode of Little Martyn – one place below. In truth, each of Antonia’s episodes is worthy of winning almost every week, but for me, episode 159 has all the elements that make it such a staunch success. And I thank you all for participating and for commenting.

Words for next week  are: bramble, drift. sally

Entries by midnight Thursday 18th August, new 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. Serialized 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.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Tales of Tardis Quantity

As a serial serialiser myself, I have long appreciated the several others that run on this site, offering twists and turns for a regular cast of characters. This week, however, my especial admiration has been for two complete and very individual tales: Gita’s ‘Her contribution’ and Jk’s ‘The disgraceful widow', each of them seeming several times larger than the number of words it took to tell them. I declare them this week’s joint winners.
Thank you to all of you who take time to comment – such acknowledge of other’s posts is part of why this site is so successful.

Words for next week are: packet shore zodiac 

Entries by midnight Thursday 11th August, new words and winners posted on Friday 12th 

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, 29 July 2016

Just add water

Already enjoying  a week of  concentrated prompt writing I've found an equally rich harvest of them here. The downside of which is I'm truly spoilt for choice: choosing a favourite this week has been exceptionally difficult. But after much deliberation, I'm nominating Zaiure's Insult to injury #2 as winner, with  Gita and Rosie as delightful honourable mentions. And sincerely thank you all.

Words for next week  are: wake envelop hem

Entries by midnight Thursday 4th August, new words and winners posted on Friday 5th

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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 22 July 2016

The Joy of Writing

Later today I’m off to Alabama to spend a week with some of the very first on-line writing friends I made, whose encouragement and writing contributed enormously to the development of mine. I have scheduled next week’s words at the usual BST time and shall aim to post, comment and choose a Prediction winner as soon as I am able.

This week, two winners: Patricia’s ‘Attention to detail’ and Bill’s ‘The bigger they are...’  Both have a precision which totally delighted me. Tony’s ‘Softness came from Starlight’ would have been a third but try as I might I could only see the place where ‘minute’ had been edited out – far too easy to do!

Words for the coming week are: archer lid whinny

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th July, new words and winners posted on Friday 29th

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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Grand and inter-National

With less than eight hours to go before the deadline, this week threatened to be a two horse race, one of which is automatically disqualified, the other a triple delight from Patricia, who gave me a fright. Misreading in its title the ending of ‘Cripplegate Junction’ I re-read the whole of it and was astonished (and envious) of how smoothly it read and how well-plotted, even while knowing that it could not be so. From the joy which Patricia brings these out each week I sense she is as addicted as I  to the weekly ‘necessity’ of writing something. 
William and Rosie were last minute but very welcome and Antonia, the Prediction’s most stalwart supporter, did not let us down. For her grog-befuddled Captain in Infinity 155 I have a great deal of pleasure in naming her this week’s winner.

Words for the coming week are: carrier minute temporary

Entries by midnight Thursday 21st July, new words and winners posted on Friday 22nd

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Looking back

This past few weeks I’ve been more than usually aware of martial history, both the still-terrible impact of a century ago and the ill-judged one  this century so it’s not surprising that William’s ‘The Bitter Field’ had an immediate impact and was judged and this week’s outright winner. As ever, the delightful episodes from Antonia and Rosie, and phrases such as William’s 'poking your stodge' and Patricia’s 'dolorous dirges' to delight in, I consider us all winners. Thank you all for participating, both in posting and in you very generous comments.

Words for the coming week are: arid raise, prophet

Entries by midnight Thursday 14th July, new words and winners posted on Friday 15th


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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 1 July 2016

And now for a drop of the hard stuff ...

... and  no, not this week’s coming words but what’s in my drinks cabinet: – it’s single malt; Highland Park for preference, (Dubonnet indeed!!) and I raise a glass to each of you who contributed, commented and nominated so ably last week.

Hard too to choose a winner, but after some blind stabbing with a hat pin I’ve eventually plumped for two: Patricia’s ‘Kat Shelton’ and AR Martin’s ‘Marital bliss’ - hope to see more of this writing, and if you've friends of similar ilk please invite them .

Words for the coming week are: grant stodge volume

Entries by midnight Thursday 7th July, new words and winners posted on Friday 8th July

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Playing late

Another three words for you, which I hope I’ll get time to have a go at before the deadline - I’m looking forward to a lot of catch-up reading. Hopefully enough of you made something of last week’s words to be struggling to decide your own personal favourite.

Words for the coming week are: bliss south Tudor

Entries by midnight Thursday 30th June, new words and winners posted on Friday 1st July

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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Travelling light, in anticipation

 Luggage space (for two) on a 1969 BSA A65 is limited to what’s left in the panniers after necessary spares have been included, and anyway I don’t fancy submitting my Chromebook to the vibration, so writing for me this coming week will be strictly pen and paper. I’ve taken an early peek at the prompts, but this will be my sole contribution for the week, therefore I’m hoping each of you will comment with your usual enthusiasm and also nominate your personal winner. New words will be scheduled on the 24th and normal service will hopefully resume after the 28th.

As Antonia pointed out it was yet another very good week of writing; triple entries from William and Patricia  and especially good to read something of  Zaiure’s again; her ‘Fog’ a very close runner-up to Rosie’s ‘Another Society Ball’ which Patricia rightly described as a ‘perfect gem’.
As ever, thank you all.

Words for the coming week are: owl omission rose

Entries by midnight Thursday 23rd June, new words and winners posted on Friday 24th

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Six day deadline this week

I’ve a 5 a.m. departure for the airport on Friday 17th and because I’d have no time to post words and winners (never mind my own pieces!) the deadline will be midnight on Wednesday 15th June, words and winners posted Thursday. The following Friday, 24th, I shall still be incommunicado in Italy, so will schedule new words, but will have been unable to comments or nominate a winners. Perhaps each of you could name your favourite? Normal service will return after 28th.

So many excellent entries this week that it is, as so often the case, near impossible to choose a favourite, so in the spirit of encouragement I’ll place William’s first episode of “Little Martyn 1665” in the top spot, and would also thank him, Antonia and Patricia for faithfully commenting this week - almost as important as entering.  

Words for the coming week are: bun, imperfect, lemon

Entries by midnight Wednesday 15th June, new words and winners posted on Thursday 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 3 June 2016

From ketchup running down a just-dipped chip to a unicorn’s arse ...

... phrases from my first and my latest contribution to a year’s-worth of Prediction. This might not be the fifty-second Prediction post I’ve hosted, but this week’s words complete a twelvemonth.

I must raise my biggest glass to Antonia who has not missed a single week to pen an episode of 'Infinity' – the Captain’s absorbing tale, nor – which I see as an equally vital part of this site’s success – has she omitted to comment on everyone else’s post.

Similarly Patricia who, since returning to the challenge, has contributed comment and at least two and more often than not, three pieces each week, building equally absorbing but different in character serials. I thank you both, as I thank each and every other contributor who so enriches my weekly reading.

For this, and for Antonia’s ‘Infinity 149’ and Patricia’s ‘Cripplegate Junction 47’ I name both extra special joint winners this week.
And William, Rosie and Bill added their very individual voices to the week’s delight.

Words for the coming week are: canvas, feint, mate

Entries by midnight Thursday 9th June, new words and winners posted on Friday 10th

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Pale mauve tulips and an orange-flamed coal fire

The tulips a colour I've not seen before and the fire because although it has been dry and sunny in Orkney this week, the mostly north wind has ensured that away from shelter, it has also been very cold.
And fulsome praise for all who contributed what seemed an even richer than usual range of entries. JK offered episode 2 of Gotegodd, setting us all on alert for the next, each of Patricia’s hit high spots, Marmalade the undoubted star of Cripplegate Junction and a sly re-telling of a fairy tale, Antonia’s Captain succumbed to temptations of the flesh and William spoke of an’ intemperate tongue’, but I thought Rosie’s 26th episode of The Adventures of Rosebud, Princes Pirate, one of her strongest so award her the winner’s spot this week; the rest of you snapping at her heels.

Words for the coming week are: match, donate, nefarious

Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd June, new words and winners posted on Friday 3rd

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Bad spells of wine, good spills of words

Despite last week’s too-phonetic spelling there was still a wealth of good reading this week – do check out later minute entries by William and Rosie. Thank you all for contributing and those of you who took time to comment.

In order to persuade her to return with at leasr a second episode of Gostegodd, I’m awarding top place to Jk Davies, which also saves me having to choose between Antonia’s episode 147 of Infinity and Patricia’s  The Rook's Nookery, episode 45 of Cripplegate Junction.

Words for the coming week are:  awry, freelance, fulsome

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th May, new words and winners posted on Friday 27th

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Circle to Circle

This Friday I am in Stanton Drew, in Somerset, site of England’s little-known third largest stone circle. Next Friday I'll be on my way to Orkney, home of the ever-fascinating Ring of Brodgar - time for writing may be curtailed.

This necessarily brief, and last week's entries thinner on the ground than usual, but even had there been a dozen I suspect William's entry would have been a winner. Hopefully time and Real Life will be less of a restraint so as to make more use of the words for next week:

Words for the coming week are:  knave, Rioja, boot

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th May, new words and winners posted on Friday 20th

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 6 May 2016

May the force remain with you

From Chris’s cruel diagnosis, Patricia’s round peg suicide, William’s wonderfully-phrased ‘truancy of life’ and DI Pettinger’s latest murders, there’s been a lot of death around this week. At least Rosie’s Pirate Princess only suffered an accident. 

But the excellency of Antonia’s Captain was no accident and for this exceptionally strong episode of 'Infinity'  – the 145th – I name her this week’s winner. And, as she rightly says, despite the deaths, the standard of writing here is decidedly uplifting. Thank you one and all.

Words for the coming week are:  fleapit, sable, rapid

Entries by midnight Thursday 5th May, new words and winners posted on Friday 6th

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Maybe bold and tricky better than too bland

Antonia, Chris and William might concur with this.
I looked back at the prompts offered in 2012 by Lily Childs (Prediction’s originator - check out http://lilychildsfeardom.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/lilys-friday-prediction.html for a taste) and Phil Ambler. Rarely were they innocuous or multi-interpretable as have been offered here lately, and I’m wondering whether stronger, less compromising words might be better received. To which end I plan to separate and stir and occasionally re-offer some of these old ones for a bit and see what happens.

That said, this week’s planned words are challenging enough for me to have to look up the meaning of one of them! And, bland words or not, you all managed to make something entertaining. By the usual whisker, for the lightness of his rhymes and the weightiness of his message I declare  William’s  ‘Bitter Illusion’ this week’s winner.

Words for the coming week are: bracket, diagnose, ludic

Entries by midnight Thursday 5th May , new words and winners posted on Friday 6th

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. Serialized 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 so

Friday, 22 April 2016

DIY Illustration

It occurred to me that The Prediction has much in common with a weekly magazine – one with a central core of regular contributors plus guest writers whose contributions appear when time and inspiration permit. On second thoughts, so vivid is the writing that it is more a comic, each piece accompanied by a strip of illustrations, drawn by an equally varied core of artists.

In some ways the requirement to declare a weekly ‘winner’, as well being near impossible because each chimes with a different sort of pleasure, seems superfluous, but since it is expected I assign top place on the podium this week to Chris for his Ellis Island. As ever, the rest of you are jostling just half a step down. Antonia and Patricia were kind enough to nominate my watercolour inspired piece as a worthy winner which I much appreciate. As I’ve said before, we all write for the pleasure and approval of our peers, and the giving and receiving of comments is what gives this site its especial strengths.

Words for the coming week are: dock, register, settlement

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th April , new words and winners posted on Friday 29th


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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 15 April 2016

“And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff”

I’m not waving a banner for Shakespeare, after last week’s polarisation of opinion, but spotting the above, from Henry IV part 1, I though it might catch the eye on Facebook. Also, of course, we’ve had a deal of gloriously rich offerings, from which I declare ... well, really it is exceptionally hard this week, so I’ll say Patricia by the merest whisper, and ditto for the sixteenth episode of ‘Kursaal’, and each and every one of you runners up.

And thank you all for so diligently commenting - it is the life-blood of this site.

Words for the coming week are: bruise, benevolent, margin

Entries by midnight Thursday 21st April , new words and winners posted on Friday 22nd


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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 8 April 2016

And not a mention of a goat

Bill’s Black Widow – this week’s standout winner – was a fully complete and satisfying  story in 100 words. The joy of reading such perfection is much enhanced when, like me and Pettinger, William and his butter knife this week, you’ve tried umpteen times to arrange words which not only incorporate the prompts but contain a bit of a buzz. Now and again, words assemble themselves with ease and almost without input, and I’m tempted to put it down to luck, but in truth I see it as a small reward for the constant practice put in the rest of the time. And for not so much a buzz as a kick, Patricia’s ‘Tough love’earns‘ an honourable mention.

Words for the coming week are: Shakespeare, six, pattern

Entries by midnight Thursday 14th April , new words and winners posted on Friday 15th

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Litotes (or that Tom Jones song)

'Litotes' being a) one of those words I can never remember the definition of, and b) yet another of those writing processes I do without needing to know what it is called. Mark Forsyth’s ‘The Elements of Eloquence’ calls them ‘elements of rhetoric’ and devotes thirty-nine challengingly-titled chapters to describing them. I was readily familiar with only three of such terms, and found the book a fascinating read, but I’m still unable to name any more. I don’t anticipate using any of them as prompts!

This week’s winner is someone whose writing never fails in its eloquence, but it was for the impact of “Well, there be many a person with a different skin under the one we all see” that I declare Antonia’s one hundred and fortieth episode of ‘Infinity’ this week’s winner.
Thank you all for participating – even the late-arriving Rosie whose 18th episode of the Princess Pirate is hugely entertaining ­and for commenting – such a strong element of this blog.  

Words for the coming week are: absent exact, butter

Entries by midnight Thursday 7th April , new words and winners posted on Friday 8th

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Cryptic, quick or general knowledge

Crosswords of course, one of this week’s prompt words. In our house my husband does the quick crossword, I the cryptic; he gets first go at the general knowledge. All three provide a different type of workout for the brain and he and I have long admitted we have different types of brain. What type dictates the way each week’s prompt words are used, I do not know. Am just happy at what seems never-ending variety and dedication. And the generosity of those who so generously acknowledge it in others.
Another week where an outright winner was impossible to choose, so honours are divided between Patricia for her sharp-ended episode of ’Kursaal’ and William for the opening of ‘The Truth about Your Demise,’ but perhaps the biggest news is no news of Antonia’s Captain – I trust for no other reason than an unsaved entry!

Words for the coming week are: crossword crude itinerary

Entries by midnight Thursday 31st March, new words and winners posted on Friday 1st April

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Foxtrot writing

It’s been a rare week of easy-writing for me – a 450 words story coming to me in the space of half an hour, and posted before 6 a.m. – and a useful ‘sexing-up’ of several less than sparkling chapters of a novel now undergoing it’s eighth re-write. That I began this book in 2011 will tell you how infrequent such weeks are.
And welcome, of course, are all the definitely sparkling entries for this week’s mildly awkward words. I was cross with myself for failing to remember to use ‘uncle’ in the sense of pawn-shop, delighted to be introduced to Patricia’s ‘Dutch uncle’and Rosie’s ‘cry uncle’, and also with William’s rhyming ‘runkle’.  
Difficult as ever, thank you, but Patricia’s thirty-seventh episode of Cripplegate Junction puts her in second place, while I declare Zaiure this week’s winner. It was going to be for ‘Attack’, but then ‘Mama says’ trumped it.

Words for the coming week are: barge, forecast, project

Entries by midnight Thursday 24th March, new 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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Location lies awry

For reasons entirely beyond my ken, the Live Traffic Feed which I inherited when I took over The Prediction has gone totally bonkers in locating me. I live in Teesside, in the North East of England, but after having been relocated to Kent for several weeks, it has now placed me in Carmarthenshire, in Wales. But last weekend, when I was in Wales , it decided I was in London.
No doubts from me about where to place this week’s winners - I was so delighted with Antonia’s Captain’s good mood in ‘Infinity 137’ that he comes top. William’s poetry skills in ‘Political Viewpoint put him in second place.  As ever, I thank you all for contributing to the week’s enjoyment.

Words for the coming week are: calligraphy, suck, uncle

Entries by midnight Thursday 17th March new 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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Conjuring enchantment

One of this week’s books was ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ which I at least began when it was first published in 1969, and wish I’d known about when I was studying the Victorians a few years ago. An incredible amount of authorial input melded with an ability to seize voice and era and give the characters voice. And, talking of voice, I’d like to pay tribute to two stalwarts of this site, without whom I’d spend half the week talking, echoingly, to myself so a sincere thank you to Patricia and Antonia.

As to this week’s winners, they were chosen for the conjuring of a single image. Rosie’s ‘blue tree’ enchanted and David’s ‘Magpie Road’ a promise of much to come.

Words for the coming week are:  judder, pure, popinjay

Entries by midnight Thursday 10th March new 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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers


Friday, 26 February 2016

Leap of imagination

As Patricia commented, ‘hare’ is a word which carries much potential; one of the criteria I aim to use when seeking words. Crossword clues are a useful source, and the titles visible on spines of books and CDs shelved on the wall right before my eyes often furnish a word or two. Wherever they come from, I’ve no more knowledge of next week’s words when I write this week’s pieces than you have.
As ever the pieces posted have been impactful and a joy to read, but this week reference to real-life horrors set the standard for selecting winners, and William’s ‘Hiding from the world’ and Patricia’s ‘The  Final Solution’ take joint first.

Words for the coming week are:  stick, opportunity, credulous

Entries by midnight Thursday 3rd March new 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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Daisy fresh, but dastardly

One of the five books I read this week was Howard Spring’s ‘Shabby Tiger’, first published in 1934. Not read for some forty years I was delighted to find was just as beautiful, fresh and wonderful as ever.

Hundred word drabbles are a very different breed to novels, but no-one can doubt the freshness of what turns up on the Prediction each week, prime examples of which are Rosie and Zaiure for their party-themed pieces (late arriving, but worth waiting for). For the vividly-delivered kick of macabre, this week’s top spot goes to Patricia for her ‘Artistic licence’. Her use of ‘Christian’ as a first name is guaranteed to creep me out, after ‘Jane Eyre’. And thanks to Kai for his double helping of 'Immortal'

Words for the coming week are:  hare justify slurry

Entries by midnight Thursday 25th February new 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. Serialized 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 best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.