Friday, 28 April 2017

Another week for you to run amok!

I’m off on holiday again (it’s turning out to be an exceptionally well-stuffed year for holidays) so will schedule prompt words for 5th of May and ask each of you to nominate your winner for this week.

A very warm welcome to newcomers; Rie and Ghostrunner who both made strong starts. I’m not alone in hoping you will stay around and use this weekly exercise to entertain us. Please do make the effort to comment on others’ posts – we all like to know we’re being read.

This week’s winner has been picked from a strong field because I fell in love with the phrase ‘Pay it or chew cabbage’ – well done AR Martin for ‘the Price is The Price’. (Several others jostled for a place).

Words for next week: bruise inquisition souvenir

Entries by midnight Thursday 4th May, new words 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 you prefer.

119 comments:

  1. No question of romance [Threshold 162]

    Hard for Raven to claim hurt with bruises invisible on the ebony of his skin. With blood detectable only by stickiness or, dried, by finger-tip discovery of crusting.

    He had ordered inquisitions enough to know pale skin bears colourful witness. (Maria he’d flogged to death). Mine was no exception. But since the questions asked of each other throughout the night had not always been expressed in words, the answers not always given tenderly (or even with coherence) such souvenirs could be considered commemoration of the journey we had made.

    Would our future be as temporary? As painful as the night?

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    Replies
    1. Beautiful writing, Sandra. Loved the parenthetical thoughts.

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    2. The fugue-prompted detachment from violence is sublime.

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    3. Intriguing piece. Draws forth the images of battery well, and makes me wonder about that has gone before. I will have to check out the previous chapters at some point. :)

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    4. It just might be how I think, but I felt a double entendre with the title. A fantastic use of prompts.

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    5. Introspective and quite horrific in the images it evokes.

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    6. This had a haunting almost poetic feel. Truly beautiful writing...particular that final statement.

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  2. Change of focus [233]

    DC Henry Moth backed off, hands upraised. He’d deal with Bailiwick. In the event of an inquisition, should he fuck up, he’d blame Pettinger. Success, of course, all down to him.

    A scramble of noise from his laptop. Pettinger lifted the lid. Aleks’ face. Emotion caused temporary near-blindness – an all-too-well-remembered post-concussion souvenir. Was that smile or grimace? Shadows or fresh bruising? It took longer than it ought to translate his son’s emotion-garbled native tongue; he claimed it no intruder but a trusted friend.
    ‘Let me speak to Valdeta.’
    The baby still cried.
    And a man’s voice said, very clearly, ‘No’.

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    1. You do 'grit' well. Nice use of the words, so effortless it seems, but I know better.

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    2. Powerful outtake from an ongoing narrative, and cheeky use of hyphenation.

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    3. So different in tone but not competence from the first piece. (That's a compliment, really!) Love the noir feel.

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    4. I enjoy how much noir this is, and how enjoyable.

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    5. again, lots going on in a few words. I am getting the feeling you enjoyed writing that instalment.

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    6. Loved the sense of action going on here and lovely comparisons. I think I liked "shadows or fresh bruising" more than anything else. Another brilliant installment but then, I tend to expect nothing less these days.

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  3. INTO THE LIGHT

    Dripping blood from claw marks and backsplash from slaying the oversize rodents Colm squinted as he took point from the sewer, careless of the nettles at the opening. The battle had been brief but intense. Some of the family had taken heads as souvenirs: the skulls were surprisingly good as clothes fasteners.

    The rats had withdrawn so abruptly Colm was eager to do a headcount in the open.

    Sorcha had been safe on Finbar’s shoulders and the father had escaped with only a few bruises. There’d be an inquisition about one of those. Colm had caught him on a back-swing.

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    Replies
    1. Great story, Perry. I'm worried about the quick withdrawal of the rats. It seems they may be up to something.

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    2. Each episode of this has me thinking of Cormac McCarthy although, since it's being too long since I read him, it's more about the mood you create, its colour and intensity. I like Colm's change of focus, too.

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    3. Thank you both so much. Your glorious feedback urges me to do better.

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    4. Fascinating story. Coming into it cold, I don't know if this is a serial or a stand alone piece, but it tells a distinct story in a few words. I can see it as the beginning of a post-apocalyptic nightmare...

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    5. Beautiful, skulls as clothes fasteners. Very good scene description with few words.

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    6. heh, I can just about picture doing that, good work :)

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    7. building well, Perry, drawing savage pictures in the mind.

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    8. I think it's already been mentioned, but that use of skulls as clothes fasteners was inspirational. Love the way this is moving along.

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  4. Criminally Irresponsible

    The young man sat bruised and trembling at the wooden table. The detectives had called it an inquisition. If he got out of this, Cory would call it tortuous brutality. The press would eat it up.

    He thought about the souvenir he’d hidden in his grandmother’s garden shed. He should have found a better spot. Haste could very well prove to be his enemy. The detectives surged back into the room. One of them slapped down a photograph of a headless woman splayed in a dank alley.

    They would search the shed. It was time to play the insanity card.

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    Replies
    1. This young man sounds to be a blend of irresponsibility and devil-may-care. Lovely writing, keeping him knife-edge balanced.

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    2. Delicious description of a sociopath. Wasn't too sure about the use of "tortuous" over 'torturous', but there you go.

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    3. Well-drawn character portrait. And I can see him talking his way out of things to the press as the victim. Even if they find his souvenir, he sounds the type that figures a way around it...scary.

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    4. The plan comes to fruition. Nice use of the prompts and a very enjoyable story.

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    5. and now I'm curious how it turns out :D

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    6. Definitely want to know if he gets away with it!

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    7. Time to "play the insanity card" indeed. I do hope we're informed of the outcome. Beautifully blended prompts by the way.

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  5. No Rhyme Or Reason

    She didn't question why. Never had. Such soul-searching inquisitions were best left to those with an overpowering desire to know and she really didn't care. It was what it was.

    Her lacerations and bruises were souvenirs. Evidence that nothing came easy.

    She didn't question her choice of quarry. Never had. Purely random.

    But she did love it when her victims put up a good fight.

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    Replies
    1. Sociopaths abound this week! :) I can't help but think of Supernatural reading this...and hope she is hunting bad guys and not being one. ;)

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    2. Roman stoicism at its best.Your usual great use of prompts.

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  6. Even killers can display a certain logic or lack thereof. Wonderful little tale with quite a punch. It will take something special for me not to vote for this one.

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    1. like it, cold insanity in all its glory.

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  7. Pause for thought

    The apricot horizon – a peeping edge of silk beneath a sky the colour of a two-day bruise, evidence of a punch dealt by a man who swore he loved you – put me in mind of a petticoat, worn beneath a frayed and mud-thrawn skirt ferreted from a bin by a long-unwashed bag lady.
    Perhaps a souvenir from a past life of material luxury whose constraints – parental inquisitions – she found unbearable.
    Wishful thinking? That the high can fall as far as I who, almost, had to climb to reach even here?
    Whatever, the edge – The End – was where I headed now.

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    Replies
    1. "... apricot horizon..." This could be called an ode to a bruise - wonderful. Easily my favourite thus far.

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    2. Perry - thank you. Praise from you is praise indeed.

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    3. Very eloquent. Not the usual description of a sunrise...and yet it definitely works. Quite beautiful.

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    4. Making..no providing the reader the opportunity to use all their senses, your trademark. Ferreted from a unwashed bag lady, very good line. Prompt use was more akin to apple-butter on toast.

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    5. I believe you have excelled yourself in all aspects this week, Sandra. This one was a visual feast and I refuse to select one gorgeous phrase over another. They were all gems.

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  8. Something about the prompt words this week are bringing out the cream of the crop. Beautifully done, Sandra. This is poetry in prose form.

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    1. John, thank you, for all your thoughtful comments - very much appreciated.

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    2. it does seem the prompts have brought different thoughts this week. I like this one, creates a whole different set of images.

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  9. THE BLESSED

    The facial scar was a souvenir of a fencing academy, and his piercing green eyes lent such power to his gaze that any who met it for too long felt bruised if not defiled.

    Though he had galloped past the copse where Engraçia hid with barely a glance in her direction, she had felt the weight of the terror he carried and would have cried out in pain if not for the elder of the coven.

    “Steady, child,” Ollala had whispered under the breeze, “This is no mere captain, nor holder of any other illustrious title. He is the Inquisition.”

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    1. Well, I most certainly hope this is to become a novel! What an enticing, exciting character.

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    2. Fascinating introduction. You've managed to sketch three distinct characters in a hundred words. Most impressive.

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    3. Your use of He is the inquisition, very well done, suggests that they are the face of such, though not it's leader. Perhaps a fanatical believer/follower to the cause. So, IMHO you actually ended the story with the introduction.

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    4. the tension in this is palpable and the piece outstanding because of it.

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    5. The standard certainly has risen this week and "The Blessed" is to be counted up there with the best of them. So easy to picture this scenario with the mind's eye and all accomplished within the word limit. Very nicely done.

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  10. Thanks so much! Oh, and to answer your previous question, I made up "pay it or chew cabbage." It just felt right. :)

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    1. It felt so natural I though it was pre-existing, but all there is is "not chewing cabbage twice" (not repeating oneself) and cabbage onto (filch/pilfer).

      It's great when phrases just introduce themselves.

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  11. Many congratulations to AR for last week's win. I just knew that "pay it or chew cabbage" was destined for great things!

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  12. THE APPRENTICE

    I hurried down to the station. Best to get these things over with. As soon as I stepped into the front room I could see that Corrigan must be in charge of this one. A boy cowered on the reprimand bench, the bloom of a bruise across one cheek. Another souvenir of Corrigan’s interrogation techniques. His “suspects” usually wound up coming into the shop sooner rather than later after one of his inquisitions…

    “Who’s this, then?” I asked, jerking my head toward the boy.

    “Natch Gertson. He admits taking the willow bark. Says he needed it for his sick mum.”

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    Replies
    1. Bloom of a bruise was a good prompt use. It has the feel of an early school, yet I'm unsure of what kind, that's good. Willow bark has been used for it's anti-inflammatory properties and effect similar to aspirin.

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    2. Great little excerpt which immediately engages and effortlessly fuses the prompts. AND a bonus of the use of the last prompt with its medicinal properties implied - willow bark having been the original natural source of aspirin.

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    3. Echoing Jeffrey and Perry - lovely use of prompts and richly promising episode.

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    4. very nicely done, information and background against vivid characters. good one.

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    5. Wonderful character sketches here and inspired use of the prompts. I particularly liked "the bloom of a bruise." What a wonderfully descriptive phrase.

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  13. First, I tip my hat to A.R. for his story. Rie and Ghostrunner and excellent first entries.
    As for this week, the prompts seemed easier at first glance, then they created more consternation as I spent time with them. My first entry for this week, a stand alone, from one who's branching out.


    Uxbex’s Poetry Corner

    Falling from clouds does water, now rain is named.
    Event or lack of evokes yelling and deity reference, all the same.
    Inquisition of Prediction’s maker sent via multiple communication methods.
    Why does precipitation such angst cause?
    Males in pressed pants and unfinished caps
    Sphere of depressions, proof of physics laws.
    Trap of sand hidden well, is not,
    To danger avoid, prayers offered with ceremony
    Bruises to egos and knees,
    Bent sticks of metal, flies not like boomerang
    Slapping of hands and cheers for all,
    Female’s shorter distance has to hit sphere
    Like on TV not, as no souvenir, given is.

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    Replies
    1. Very intricate. Quite interesting. I think it will require several readings to grasp all the nuances, but I really like it. :)

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    2. Love the willingness to branch out, but I would recommend reviewing the piece personally with an eye to dropping
      unnecessary verbs, simplifying the text and reconstructing the syntax without worrying about rhyme at all.

      The trick with poetry is to determine in first draft prose what needs to be said - then you can decide format (formal, free verse or prose poetry) and add the delicious icing of imagery. Syntax inversion is pretty much frowned upon these days.

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    3. That was one of the things the poet in me liked about it, Perry. It was...outside the box. ;) Thank you both for your kind words on my piece.

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    4. Perry,
      I had to think about how best to reply to your post.

      This poem is literary cosplay, my cosplay subject was Uxbex, he from my recent Uxbex series here. I'm not sure if you were here for anybof them.
      Those stories were either all dialog or almost all dialog, as Ubex's unique sintax was revealed.
      It was in that mindset I wrote this poem.
      If you care to go back, I'm guessing 1o-11 weeks you can check them out and see what others thought.

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    5. I truly with a had some facility with poetry, the piece is nice :)

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    6. And once again, I truly applaud your venture outside the box but is so often the case with more modern poetry, it drifts a little out of my perception. Regardless, I did like it and you certainly have a knack for this type of poetry.

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    7. As an FYI, the poem was about golfing.

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    8. Since I know diddly-squat about golfing, I now feel better that I didn't quite grasp the meaning.

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  14. Kursaal (Episode Sixty Eight) -- "AWOL"

    Isabel la Gaya delivered a dazed and confused Constable Twittering to the First Aid Station run by Ludmilla, oldest daughter of Laszlo "Bruiser" Bartók, the Boxing Booth's most experienced prizefighter.

    Ludmilla collected husbands like souvenir spoons, but she didn't hold out much hope for this specimen.

    "The local constabulary will descend like the Spanish Inquisition once they learn of his condition and whereabouts," said Isabel.

    "He'll be secluded and sedated," assured Ludmilla.

    As the crystal-gazer returned to her establishment, past the hot-air balloon (now fully-operational again), she was accosted by Cinders, lime sherbet wig totally askew.

    "It's Capers. He's missing!"

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    (NOTE: Laszlo "Bruiser" Bartók and Ludmilla made their debut in Episode 17)

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    1. Lovely and lively little aside from the ongoing storyline. The "bruise" prompt fell nicely for your pre-established character.

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    2. So much in this episode to appreciate.

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    3. "Ludmilla collected husbands like souvenir spoons"
      that raised an eyebrow for me :D

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    4. Yes - I meant to mention the 'souvenir spoons' phrase, too.

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    5. clever one, wrapping the prompts into the whole carnival you have there!

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  15. Kandar 8: Money for Nothing

    Ragock’s store was open 
    “If it isn’t Uxator and I sure wish it wasn’t. Since I see you, ya didn’t steal anything. To what do I owe the inquisition? I know...the mage who was here earlier. You want to know what he bought.”
    “Careful, Rag, sarcasm can lead to more than a bruised ego. You’re right.”
    “It’ll cost one hundred and twenty five high silver pieces.”
    I counted the coins out.
    “A ring of a dragon eating its tail, inscribed on it; in elvish- ‘All is one’, in orcish- ‘One is all.’ A nice little souvenir.”
    “Thanks Rag.”

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    1. Very good. I was swept along with this so quickly.

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    2. again, creating images which is the essence of writing

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    3. Dialogue most certainly is your forte. I definitely "see" a medieval-type setting here. This was very enjoyable.

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  16. Patricia, a very nice romp through the prompts. Collecting husbands like souvenir spoons, was so enjoyable. Though in retrospect, keeping a husband sedated just might be the best medicine.

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  17. A bit of a back-step this, but it fills a gap.

    EXILE

    Though the falcon had observed gulls dip into the deep waters for wriggling creatures, her internal inquisition into the mechanics of the manoeuvre was eventually met with raptor pragmatism: she just wasn’t built for collecting such glittering and apparently nutritious souvenirs. Her talons and feet were all wrong for it.

    Decent-size crabs had posed a problem until she hit upon the same strategy as her distant cousins had adopted with tortoises: dropping them from a great height until cracks provided access.

    Not her preferred prey, but she couldn’t go home yet, not while the air around it bruised her senses.

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    Replies
    1. Oh-h-h - that final "bruised her senses".

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    2. Loving this perspective from the falcon. Really well done.

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    3. This would have to rank as my favourite thus far. I have a fondness for all types of raptors and the unique perception slant here is a true treat. I especially liked the reference to the falcon's distant cousins and their prowess with tortoises.

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  18. This is a most enjoyable story, I thought that "raptor pragmatism" was just excellent! You've done a very good job of humanising the falcon, bravo.

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    1. the falcon is very real viewed through these vignettes.

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  19. Cripplegate Junction/Part 94-The Cat's Meow

    To bruise Marmalade's ego was an impossibility, but his pride could be somewhat injured by the use of derogatory terms like "moggie." Violet engaged in such slander at every opportunity and the cat retaliated by leaving souvenir puddles on the clean Canteen floor.

    He never lingered for the shrill inquisition and public dressing-down sure to follow. The unsubstantiated accusations of a mere waitress were beneath him. After all, his lineage was above reproach and included such prominent characters as Skimbleshanks, Trim, Pyewacket and the revered Pangur Bán.

    Marmalade very much doubted Violet could boast a similar pedigree.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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. "Souvenir puddles" and pedigree - lovely stuff, Patricia!

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    2. Really made me smile - especialy with fond memories of Pyewacket reference - Jimmy, Kim and Jack.

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    3. Just received a little souvenir puddle the other day from my little granddaughter. Really great story, Patricia. Love Marmalade's attitude.

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  20. Stories like this and others, give pause as I reflect on what my destination will be like.
    I doubt that Marmalade would care about others pedigree. Souvenir puddles was awesome.

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  21. Having a more leisurely start this morning in Valletta - and so glad I don't have to choose this week! Wonderful selection - much like the Maltese dessert I forced myself to try last night.

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    Replies
    1. this is one proud cat... and he lets everyone know it. Nice one, Patricia!

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  22. I'll never forget my first date with Chloe. The movie was tepid, the meal was bland, but the dessert was hotter than the searing heart of a star! Together in the back of my moms wood paneled station wagon I swam in a sea of searing fire, rising and falling with the tides until I became it's god.
    Returning her home was awquard to say the least, my souviniers being clawmarks, lipstick and at least one bruse. I barely passed her fathers inquisition.
    I'll also never forget the second night i met her father , as i stared down the cold barrel of a shot gun into an even colder gaze as the minister said "Do you take this woman."
    "Yes, and I loved it," I responded, as the old man snarled.

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    1. Great punchline - had me snorting in delight.

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    2. Claw marks on the first night...a real firecracker there. Loved this story.

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    3. Very enjoyable and I loved your discrete descriptions. Some nice humor.

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    4. this is so good, so much wrapped into these few lines!

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    5. Oh, what a nice one! This was so enjoyable in my favourite dark way.

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  23. WOW - a right literary wrestling match this week. Sandra's Pause for Thought with the precise metaphor "apricot sunrise" just edges it for me.

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  24. The Mad Italian is in reflective mood tonight:
    The Mad Italian 3:
    This night the sky is a bruise across the land, nothing to encourage anyone to go out and find a souvenir of some kind. I ask, why do they buy trash when there are stones and pieces of wood which are natural and which speak more loudly than plastic? In turn, you will ask, why the inquisition? Are we not free to do what we want? Well, no, there are laws, rules and conventions to stop you going where you want when you want. It’s time the people on earth rebelled against petty bureaucrats who think they rule the world.

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    1. The Italian is reflective and obviously not afraid to speak his mind. This is turning into a very interesting serialization which is so very different from anything else on offer thus far.

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    2. My interpretation of what I've read of this gentleman is he was a rebel at heart. Not so much a revolutionary in the political sense but in the more conventional personal aspect about what we allow to govern ourselves.
      Very nicely transposed, especially with your promot use.

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    3. For this week, I'm tossing my coppers to Patricia for The Cats Meow.
      The varied quality of stories is as enjoyable as it is frustrating.

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    4. 'stones and pieces of wood' - oh yes.

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    5. I see Leo championing the organic movement or something similar. It would be something he'd do. I wondered about plastic, though.

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  25. The Blessed, Perry's offering, is my vote this week.

    For our newer people, The Mad Italian is Leonardo Da Vinci, who is often extremely complicated to work with but with a mind like that, are you surprised?

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  26. Unless more submissions are offered that would "bump" what is already here, my vote this week is for Perry's "EXILE". I'll check back later today to see if anything new has been posted and if necessary, revise my vote but, all things being equal, "EXILE" is my choice.

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  27. The Long Game

    The nightly inquisition: how many, how much did they pay, where's the kickback from the barkeep, you goddam liar I know you're keeping money from me. Another bruise, add to the collection of bitter souvenirs.

    I am keeping money from him.

    I'm spending it on jars of calomel, little ones, easy to hide in a place even he won't look.

    Every evening a spoonful mixed into the dinner stew. I eat it alongside him, to prevent suspicion. The symptoms have started for both of us, and that's fine. I just have to hang on long enough that he dies first.

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    1. Dirty dealings succinctly delivered.

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    2. Oooh, desperation abounds in this little piece with lots of punch. I like it.

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  28. The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #75
    Not That Inquisition


    I’m expecting a parental inquisition when we get back. My charges will be returned with minor bruises and torn dresses, souvenirs of their adventures. Their precious darlings could have died! Minor bruises don’t equal near death; now if one of them had fainted, as their mothers all do, then death would be a real possibility. We had a fire going after all.

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    1. Sentiments which match mine exactly, and a delight to read.

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    2. Yes, that was a delight to read. Nice wordsmanship. No fainting into the fire please.

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  29. From the beginning, I had thought I would vote for Patricia, No Rhyme or Reason. And my vote remains the same. Good luck.

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