Friday, 27 January 2017

Cornish Clouds and walking words

Simple derivation of title this week - I’ll be spending the weekend in a penthouse in Cornwall in the company of 7 or 8 other writers from one of my on-line groups members of which refer to themselves as Cloudies.

As ever, I was struggling to chooses a winner from the oh-so-closely-matched in merit but have to say, firstly for the evocation of its title and secondly for the purple tigers , I unhesitatingly vote Rosie’s ‘The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #61, The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome, this week’s undoubted winner.

Words for next week:  appease crochet lodge
Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd February, new words 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. 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.

62 comments:

  1. Congratulations to Rosie. Not surprising that it took top spot. It really was an outstanding continuation. Penthouse, huh, Sandra? Sounds luxurious. Enjoy your little break and have some fun. Love the name "Cloudies."

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  2. Congratulations Rosie, I've some catching up reading to do.

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  3. Here is one entry for this week and I do apologize for my absence last week, but writing for a groups contest took my time.

    Torch Wood 3

    “My names' Warren, you two ready to order?”

    “You order, Jamie, I'm still deciding.”

    “Okay, Warren, does the meal include drinks?”

    “The meal includes everything except desert. When your ready to eat, ring this bell, when you want desert, ring it again.”

    “So, The Past is a spicier meal?”

    “You bet.”

    “I'll have the Alphonse Francois, a la the Past.”

    “An excellent choice. Mike, are you ready to order?”

    “Yea, I'll get the Margarita Cansino, the Past as well.”

    “It's so rewarding to see young men with great taste.”

    The two looked at each other, rang their bells and disappeared.

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    Replies
    1. So very interesting and intriguing. I wonder if Jamie and Warren will be back before their meals get cold, or maybe the dishes are actually waiting for them where they went. Guess we'll have to wait to find out.

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    2. Sorry, meant "Jamie and Mike." Warren is the server and presumably has not gone anywhere...or has he?

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    3. telling a story through dialogue does demand a level of writing and you did it, so why are you constantly doubting yourself?

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  4. My second offering.

    Uxbex 6

    Snat was leaning back in his chair napping, crocheting dreams of his now ancestral wife and their old hunting lodge, back on Velusia. The sudden crash startled Snat awake causing the chair and him to fall.
    Upon checking the closet out, he saw it floating. The black pendant with a red chain, there were small silver orbs moving inside it.
    I couldn’t have picked a better host, no matter how I appeased my ancestors!
    “Who are you?”
    “I'm Snat, my ancestors.”
    “Snat, would you help me?”
    “Yes.”
    “Call me Tyroc. It’s time to play a game.”

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    Replies
    1. And now we have to wait, breath bated, for the next instalment.

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    2. Reminded me a little of that quote from "WarGames." Somehow, I don't believe this invitation is as innocent as it might appear.

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    3. I think we've learned that all invitations carry deceit, they certainly seem to here. Good instalment.

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  5. Cripplegate Junction/Part 81-Much Ado About Marmalade

    Watchword of Marmalade's day: Mischief.

    He unraveled the crochet bonnet of Alice's doll, pilfered chicken livers from the Dining Car and shredded a tassel on Miss Constance's lavender parasol. Since none of the victims were appeased by Marmalade's charming (albeit disingenuous) contrition, he removed himself to the Canteen.

    Christopher sorted marbles while Clive Bailey and the Station Master sipped tea. Violet spooned currant and nutmeg mixture into puff pastry cases, unaware the door to Farthing's cage stood open.

    Marmalade hacked. Twice.

    "Lodged hairball?" asked Violet, before noticing her little canary was missing.

    "Oh dear," said the Station Master. "Possibly feathers!"

    --------------------------------------------------------
    To read the earlier installments (a suggestion only) which led to this point in the tale please visit:
    http://www.novareinna.com/cripplegate.html
    A link to return to "The Prediction" can be found on the site. Thank you.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

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    1. Jeffrey here;

      Mischief is Marmalades middle name, along with capo di tuti capi. a very enjoyable segment and you humanized him so well.

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    2. A feline coup I fear. Such beautifully-constructed sentences.

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    3. Marmalade is so like our furbabies, a word I learned this week on a cat site, that it isn't true and it makes the instalments even more vivid for me.

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  6. THIS IS PATRICIA'S ENTRY

    Kursaal (Episode Fifty Six) -- "Quinn Underwood"

    Quinn Underwood, the Kursaal's most competent customer service agent, took excellent care of those who wished to lodge complaints. In her spare time, she crocheted white lace placemats for the tables at Lottie's Larder.

    Irate patrons of the park, regardless of grievance validity, never left Quinn's kiosk unsatisfied. Appeasement, often in the form of free tickets for attractions, was paramount.

    She also oversaw the "Lost and Found" depository, which housed many and varied articles, some very unusual. The sizable cache included a supply of 2B pencils and a fake rubber nose (somewhat chewed).

    Unclaimed items were rarely discarded.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    To read the earlier installments (a suggestion only) which led to this point in the tale, please visit:
    http://www.novareinna.com/kursaal.html
    A link to return to "The Prediction" can be found on the site. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. This is an especially-accomplished incorporation of the prompt words. Well done Patricia.

      [I have now tidied up all comments on Blogger's failure to allow some earlier attempts)

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    2. Blogger can be a nightmare sometimes, when it takes it into its tin head to disrupt everyone. I liked this a lot, and am wondering what will happen to all those unclaimed items...

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  7. I so like that name! customer service is not easy, been there and done that, so the ability of appeasement is a gem, like this story.

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  8. The Man Upstairs

    The lodgings were hardly a suite at the Cavendish, but they were cheap and she could make them cheerful with a bunch or two of violets and crochet doilies for the windowsill.

    The rent was in arrears but she hoped the landlady would be appeased by a few extra coins, once she could drum up business. The gentleman living in rooms above might be a good place to start.

    Seemed unlikely dwellings for one who appeared so affluent with his silk top hat, ebony cane and leather medical bag, but she who dares...

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    Replies
    1. And this has the makings of a serial, unless I'm much mistaken ... lightly done.

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    2. Jeffrey here;

      Nicely done but a medical bad gives me shades of a potential Jack the Ripper.

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    3. we could do with another J the Ripper serial, bring it on!

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    4. Didn't really have any intention of this being the beginning of a serialization. To be honest, I'm not sure I could handle three. Might have to think about it though.

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  9. Change of focus [220]

    Sally Vicksen. Hardly surprising Aleks talked of her; his lodging with her, albeit briefly, must’ve been an interesting experience. Pettinger had still to appease her for his son’s escaping.
    ‘She’s a colleague. No threat. Valdeta, I beg you to reconsider. Life in England would be so much better, I promise.’
    ‘How do I know you are not making a crochet of lies?’
    ‘You’re the one who lied! What happened to the man you were forced to marry?’
    ‘He died –‘
    ‘He ever guess Aleks wasn’t –’ Her eyes confessed. ‘– He did. And you killed him.’
    ‘When Aleks was six.’

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    Replies
    1. Jeffrey here;

      Valdeta is a murderess? A nuce twist and perhaps why Pettinger loves her, she like him has a dark side.

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    2. As always, you lead us "gently" into the dark side. Love "crochet of lies." Such a unique use of the prompt.

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    3. yes, I'm going with the 'crochet of lies' as the line of the week, as far as I've read anyway... and I know there's more to come.

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  10. 'If music be the food of love -'

    He claimed not to know his crochets from his quavers. When I commented on the elegant length of his fingers, said he never played; had no instrument on which to do so.

    I believed him until the night I, having escaped from Peregrine’s roadster, camisole unbuttoned but virginity intact, passed by the Lodge and heard him playing.

    On a whim I knocked at the stout door. Music ceased, bolts were drawn. He was not pleased to see me. ‘Milady –‘

    I thought appeasing would be easy. But in praising length had failed to appreciate their strength. Or his sexual bent.

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    Replies
    1. This is Jeffrey;

      If music is the food of love, would both partners be the savage beast?
      This was, to me such a simple yet rather intriguing piece.

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    2. Your stand-alones just get better every time. And yet another inspired use of "crochet." That definition never even occurred to me. My secondary school music teacher would be devastated. How the imagination doth wonder over "his sexual bent."

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    3. clever piece with many undertones that would be good carried on into something longer, methinks.

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  11. A stand alone for this week


    A Veteran’s Lament

    My energy is spent
    My armor, fully torn
    Tears stain the dried blood of my wounds
    I hear their cries; such offerings appease them not!

    The pointed barb, now lodged in me; hit nothing vital-
    Just my heart
    MORE! They shout
    Disappointments fear, of those you need, love and hate

    I drag myself over and mount my destrier
    In my head a strategy forms
    Crocheted out of my memories depths
    Will it work- self-doubt seeps across my brain

    The challenge was bold-
    No thought of time
    Never worried about being tortured
    Because- I am an author

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    Replies
    1. 'Destrier' - such a powerful word, so glad you gave it rein here, and I like 'crocheted out of my memories' depths'

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    2. Nicely done and quite thought provoking. Some nice put together phrases here and Sandra has already cherry-picked the best.

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    3. yes, I like this and using destrier, when these animals are not widely known any more, was a smart move to add power to the piece.

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  12. Courtesan redundant [Threshold 149]

    Still naked, hesitating on the threshold of his room I watched as, stern-faced in concentration, Raven re-lodged logs of applewood and set them to burn. Poured crimson wine and set it to warm. Lit candles, flung back the bedding and smoothed the silken sheet.

    He then stripped off his clothes, turned to face me; eyes vulnerable, skin ebony as the wings of his namesake. As firelight made crochet the cicatrice scarring on his belly he stood proud, offering naught of appeasement but full-hearted promise of pleasing.
    As I watched his eyes slid from wariness to certainty. Scarce breathing I approached.

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    Replies
    1. Your delicate handling of these situations is amazing. This was sensitive and yet sensual. I admire those who can create these types of stories. Their composition is totally outside my comfort zone.

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    2. Thank you, Patricia. I confess my very first scene of this ilk took five or six, hot-flushed and sweaty days to get down on paper.

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    3. It is delicacy in these pieces and yet vivid in every way.

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  13. This is very well built, yet soft and firm. Very nicely done. Oh and I learned a new word: cicatrice.

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  14. Infinity 184
    No chance to recruit a new cook so to appease the crew I cooked for them all week. See whether they lodge any complaints about the quality of the food. It were good enough for them and a different meal every day, not like the shapeshifter I threw to the Creature who turned out the same stuff all the time. He’d have done better to crochet some ropes for the sails with his meat dishes.
    But – whether they like it or not, we docks at one of the southerly islands in two days’ time and I be seeking new crew.

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    Replies
    1. Oh! The crocheted meat dishes!! And so beautifully set us up, avid for the next episode.

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    2. Jeffrey checking in;

      Of course, who you call for a new cook in the middle of the ocean. A new crew, so the Dread Pirate Roberts lives on. Nice installment.

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    3. Blogger is messing with me again, so if this appears more than once...albeit expressed in different words...my apologies.

      So, the Captain has decided to recruit a new crew. I wonder if the old one is ready to depart or whether their arms are being twisted. Either way, the reactions promised much. As always, this serial is as entertaining as it is well-written.

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  15. Hi! This is my first attempt. (And, wow, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be.)

    Goodbye Fluffy

    There were fewer than fifty people on the inter-city flight. All but one wanted to murder the yapping dog in first class.

    A well-meaning but weak-willed attendant passed out complimentary drinks that did nothing to appease the angry flyers.

    An elderly woman nearby eventually took matters into her own hands. She set aside her crochet and leaned over to say, “What a cutie. May I see him?”

    “Of course!” His doting owner opened the travel case.

    The old woman smiled. “Thank you.”

    She reached across the aisle to lodge a metal hook in the dog’s throat.

    The other passengers cheered.

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    Replies
    1. Yikes, Wondra - you might have found it hard, but you have definitely got the hang of it. This is wonderfully vicious. Welcome - I hope you'll stay around.

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    2. Jeffrey here;

      Remind me not to be on the same plane as you. A nicely done rookie submission.

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    3. Poor puppy...!!! Hard to believe you haven't done this kind of thing before, Wondra. What a warped sense of humour you have. Great stuff. You're going to fit right in.

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    4. Wondra, that's terrific!
      For those who don't yet know, Wondra's one of my writers, I coaxed her over here to join us, knowing she'd fit in well with the Challenge members, and she has!

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  16. Contradictions

    "You can't appease him, there's only one thing you can say." The man slumped in the chair said nothing.

    I turned at a tiny sound, saw Big Lew pulling a ball of yarn out of his pocket. He ignored me and started... "Knitting?"

    "Crochet." The rumbling one word answer was typical. "You, ah, making something?"

    "Hats. For da babies at Saint Mary's." Well, then. I turned back to our temporary lodger.

    "Look, tell me where you hid it and we'll go easy on you." No answer. Lew paused, pulled out his knife and severed another finger. "Ask him again."

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    Replies
    1. My goodness. How matter-of-factly did that conclusion come down the pike! There I was, reading along and chuckling when....I was like, "What...?" Most impressive.

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    2. Jeffrey again;

      Hats for the babies. Well, all crimes lirds need a hobby. A very nice surprise ending.

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    3. Even with the warning of the title I did not see that coming - such a wonderful juxtaposition of 'Aah' and 'Ouch' and so skilfully told.

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    4. this is the kind of off beat horror I just love, thanks for that!

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  17. I got distracted while writing, oops!

    The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #62
    Non-Explosive


    “Yarn bomb incoming!”
    Yay! I hope it’s blue this time. Last time was this weird greige wool blend that lodged in the main mast shrouds. Natasha was seriously displeased.
    It is blue! And it’s a nice cotton-y sort of thing, very easy to crochet. I wonder if the local yarn bomb squad wished to appease Natasha after last time.
    I think I’ll make a tea cozy.

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    Replies
    1. This just gets better all the time. I applaud the originality and the brilliance. I do so like Natasha.

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    2. Jeffrey here;

      An enjoyable and entertaining piece. I still don't know what a yarn bomb is. As for Natasha, beware a princess with an entourage of pirates.

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    3. I echo Patricia's originality and brilliance - so inventive. And 'greige' immediately perfect. Great stuff Rosie.

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  18. so so good, week on week. Rosie, you're one hell of a writer.

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  19. Belated but I discovered what a Yarn Bomb is. So, I learned a few things this week. Keeps me forever young.

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