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.

48 comments:

  1. Squee! *shakes out trophy bag*

    Thanks Sandra :) and who knew there was a word for that lovely rain-on-concrete smell?

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    1. You can thank John Taylor for that. Hope to spot you amongst the 400.

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  2. congratulations, BD! hope you both have a great time at the festival.

    Intriguing words this week!

    William, shame you didn't get time, perhaps another visit we will see you in the shop??

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  3. Congrats BD an excellent piece of writing, I have also put petrichor in bag of useful words.

    Antonia, I'm sure I will return one day, alas it may be a while.

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  4. Nicely done, BD. Very worthy winner last week. I seem to be finding the trios of words more and more difficult to work with lately. Not that this is the fault of the words themselves, but rather that I feel my creativity is dwindling a little. I find it increasingly difficult to come up with anything inspirational. I'll sift the prompts through the brain factory this week, but if nought of any worth snakes its way in, then I may just have to take a break for a while. The last thing I want to do is toss out pieces that are neither entertaining nor interesting.

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    1. Sometimes I cannot force the words into Gostegodd so I have fun with a completely standalone piece :)

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    2. Thanks for the encouragement, JK. However, since I post an additional standalone each week, along with my two serializations ("Kursaal" and "Cripplegate Junction"), I'm afraid my observation related to the prompt words applies to all instances. But again, the advice is truly appreciated.

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    3. Oh, not advice Patricia, more commiseration ;)

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    4. Oh, Patricia, yes! Sometimes have to give yourself a rest, other times beat yourself up to force something to blossom. As writers we know this all too well. I hope you find a spark of inspiration for at least one piece but if you don't then fingers crossed the hiatus won't last long.

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  5. Well done, bdcharles? your writing never cease's to amaze me.

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  6. Renting a mustang

    I waited impatiently, two cars behind you at the lights.

    You had ignored me for eighteen months last time, this time only two days after fobbing me off with some lame but plausible line. You weren’t to know I had prepared myself this time, nurtured my indigo bruised heart inside its shell before handing it to you along with a hammer. Thinking myself prepared for rejection but god, however can you be when it comes a different way each time?

    The lights changed, one more set before the viaduct. Engine revving greedily. I will prevent you from ignoring me again.

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    1. "nurtured my indigo bruised heart inside its shell before handing it to you along with a hammer" - what a powerful line! This reads smoothly as if you chose the prompts yourself.

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    2. Vengeance with a very nasty twist. I'm still trying to determine in my mind whether or not the protagonist will take himself (or herself)out along with the other driver. I also like how the gender of the protagonist remains unidentifiable. As Sandra pointed out, that "indigo bruised heart" line is tremendously powerful.

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    3. powerful lines, lots of 'who is it' and 'who will be wiped out' going on here which makes it a tremendous read/

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  7. So close [Threshold 131]

    My eyes but a lash-length from his chest I opened them to silver-glistening indigo. Rain had revived the sweet pepper of his skin, heart-beat pulse of blood prevented mine from slowing.
    He’d held me this close before, then fobbed me off:
    As my waters broke, prior to my giving birth (and after when he bathed me, which was when I fell in love).
    When he rescued me from drowning in the river.
    When, escaping, he sat me before him on a horse.
    Best-remembered: sleep-spooned, evidence of lust undeniable – as undeniable as I felt it now.
    Until the bitch Cathra intervened.

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    1. Lovely positioned barb in that last line. Otherwise, a gorgeous wander down a romantic and sensitive lane. I love the remembrances invoked here and can picture them in flashback form.

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    2. really good instalment, lots of reminiscing, filling in the background as basis for future instalments.

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  8. Change of focus [198]

    To ensure proper storage and prevent contamination DS Ben Brickwood tasked a specialist branch of SOCO with clearing jars from Edith Edgewater’s pantry.
    They knew what they were doing: one leaking indigo, and reeking like the sewer from a witches coven, was wrapped and double-wrapped before transportation. The room itself they secured with chain and padlock, sealed it with a serial-numbered fob.
    Satisfied, Ben said, ‘Not only can we get her on stalking, but on poisoning too –‘
    ‘Aye, and talking of poisoning , you seen your boss lately?’
    ‘On leave. At least, that’s what he said –‘
    ‘Worth checking.’

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    1. Insinuations abound. But, as always, there is that underlying humour that accompanies this serialization. These installments are constantly smooth and seem effortless in composition. I envy the amazing handle you have on your characters.

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    2. I can go with that! They definitely live in your mind, don't they?

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  9. Kursaal (Episode Thirty Seven) -- "Gianni And Leonardo"

    Gianni and Leonardo entertained crowds waiting to purchase tickets. Given his prestigious lineage, Leonardo wore a cap and jacket of royal indigo velvet, rather than common red. Gianni never smiled or spoke, except for an occasional "grazie," but he unceasingly turned the handle of his barrel organ.

    To garner gratuities, Leonardo rattled his tin cup while skillfully twirling a tiny pocketwatch and fob. He was an exceptionally talented monkey.

    Every evening, the duo retired to their caravan, where Leonardo removed Gianni's batteries to prevent them from running down and, donning miniature spectacles, tallied the day's takings while listening to Pavorotti.


    --------------------------------------------------------
    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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    1. Well, found a modicum of inspiration for this one, at least.

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    2. More than a modicum, and prompts skilfully concealed. I love the final image of tiny spectacles and big-voiced Pavarotti.

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    3. oh yes, that's truly an image to conjure with! Nice one, Patricia!

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  10. A mnemonic tale

    I am Indigo, penultimate Arc
    Richard the first. The multiple fine leather fobs of his jerkin curl under at the edges, autumnal in shape and colour; a blend of red and orange. Fitting since Orange is his wife. Any yellower and they’d betray his adultery with York.
    Richard’s bending over backwards to prevent us knowing. Battle sniggers and says not half so much as York is; she too easy led.
    Battle is blue, of course, and Gave is Green. Vain’s arrival will give us a majority. Fingers crossed she’ll be nowhere near as shrinking as her colour.

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    1. I will be back to comment later, but I absolutely swear that I had composed my "Cripplegate Junction" episode below before seeing your magnificent tale above. So similar in theme that I can only say, "Great minds and all that!"

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    2. No worries Patricia. Unusually for me (i.e. haven't done so since my teens) I'm reading a Fantasy genre novel and kept jotting down notes, following on from the opening sentence. Didn't AT ALL go where it was meant to!
      Great minds indeed.

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    3. Absolutely beautifully done. I look forward to Antonia's observations, given that she is such an expert on things of this nature. And I thought I'd be the only one to latch onto indigo being part of a rainbow. I should have known better!

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    4. the historical setting is just so well done! Nothing feels contrived, as it does in some stories, just a smoothness and an acceptance that the audience understands. Fantastic!

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  11. Cripplegate Junction/Part 62-Tea And Tiffin

    "Cucumber sandwiches and pot of lapsang souchong," said the Grande Dame. "Don't fob me off with an inferior blend!"

    The waitress, former Lyons nippy and unsure of that specific tea's availability, anxiously prevented confrontation. "Yes, Madam."

    Observing a distant rainbow, the Grande Dame adjusted her pince-nez. What was that mnemonic aid she'd learned as a child? Oh yes!

    "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain."

    Remembering "indigo" still caused her trouble. Odd name for a colour.

    Despite the obviously recent shower, the platform outside the Dining Car window was bone dry.

    The Grand Dame sighed. That came as no surprise.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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. 'Tiffin' - I'd forgotten there used to be a bar of chocolate with biscuit bits with this name - such an evocative word, of which you appear to have an inexhaustible store. And, like you 'indigo' premier association is with rainbows. I like the reiteration of the otherness of the station itself.

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    2. rainbows didn't enter my mind this time, so pleased to see it used by others. This is a lovely instalment, with the tiffin, oh yes...

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  12. Child's Play

    Mandy liked to gather indigo mushrooms. She refused to be fobbed off with cautions about getting lost in the pine forest and scoffed at warnings about lurking strangers who might lay in wait for little girls. She could not be prevented from her excursions no matter what anyone might say.

    Her eyes would grow bright as she captured the oozing blue milk into a teacup and then, with a pudgy forefinger, smeared the liquid on the lips of her dolls, pretending they had died from cyanide poisoning.

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    1. a horror story in 100 words. How clever is that? and what a clever story, too!

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    2. It's the way you surprisingly juxtapose words - podgy and cyanide in this case - that adds such power to your pieces.

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  13. Change of focus [199]

    So bloody and turbulent the history between him and Jake Cherriman that John Pettinger was forced to prevent anger swamping his ability to concentrate on more immediate practicalities.

    If Aleks – almost certainly his son, except it was possible one of his green-eyed cousins was trying to fob him off – had been sent as hostage (and judging by the pale indigo bruising on his torso, there’d been an element of force) more than food, clothes and a bed would be necessary. (His cottage equipped only for the occasional woman) But how to protect a nine-year-old child?
    Except by returning to Khakbethia.

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    1. this is when it looks like it's really going to turn nasty...

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    2. Nice turn of events here. I like the possible doubt regarding Aleks, but it's just a little needle really. Still, a neat possibility and Pettinger's need to protect is an endearing facet to his character.

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  14. Infinity 164
    The plans for the sails are amazing. Sheer gleaming white with indigo markings, said to ward off evil spirits and if they work, this cap’n will be one happy man. If anything prevents another creature getting on board… but they better be warned, I won’t be fobbed off with anything second rate. I have the gold to buy the best and the best is what I wants.
    There don’t seem to be enough supplies on this island, not to stock us for a long journey so we will need to call in somewhere else when we sail from here.

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    1. And I can't wait for him to set sail towards another adventure, testing his indigo markings. Solid episode this one.

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    2. This has something of an "off with the old and on with the new" feel to it. Brimming with promise, I look forward to what seems to be the beginning of a new adventure to accompany those amazing new sails.

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  15. so wanted to get in earlier this week but as usual... daughter especially hogging my time, 1 1/2 hours of ranting and raving and then finding it all working out anyway, just as I told her. Honestly, she has a medium for a mother and still disbelieves...

    Also doing some revamp work on the promotional material for the Richard III Foundation, it's gotten stale and old and I'm busy trying to inject some new thinking, like, change the venue for the symposium to somewhere people can get to easily, like on a train, not somewhere in the middle of the country when you need a sat nav to get there. I'm going to use all the writer's tricks, a hook for the promotional leaflet she uses for eblasts, things like that. Here we go, more work, less time for the writing... and I so so want to get on with the book about my cats. But conscience won't let me rest when I see this year's symposium falling down, about 34 people attending at the moment, less than a month to go, tis a disaster. Next year has to be better and will be if I can do anything about it, short of going. I don't care to listen to academics, always want to pull their talks to pieces...

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    1. Best of luck with this. For me the Festival of Writing at York was the best yet - guidance and validation for two of my novels, several useful workshops and an opportunity to meet old friends and make some new.

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  16. The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #42
    A Poor Choice of Cargo


    We’re on a standard prevention run, like a protection one but without incidental damages. Supposedly our charge was departing from this disagreeable harbor. Supposedly. According to my jet fob watch, we ought to have left an hour ago. Maybe we didn’t prevent the local thieves sufficiently. They are well known to favor indigo, especially when it is packed nicely in bales.

    I didn’t much like that captain anyway.

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    1. The writings about Rosebud always overflow with a certain type of mystique. As I've said before, there is never any mistaking the innovative aspect of this serialization. It's certainly different from anything else offered. I just adore the variety that can be found here.

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    2. I'm inclined to echo Patricia's words as to why this serial appeals so strongly. Rosebud, in my mind, has the look of a Quentin Blake illustration, but not quite, and there is always a fresh surprise.

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