The Prediction - look out, he's coming!

And here we are into the final week before I can give my time back to judging your entries.
Now, if everything went to plan then we had a winner announced for last week. If said writer would be so kind, do let everyone know who you thought was the outstanding entry this week. As I said last week, no obligation but would be nice if you could.
If we had no winner announced then such is life and you shall still have your new words. The winner for this week will not have to judge the coming entries. Normal service will resume and I shall be announcing winners on Thursday night.
We're now into the third week of our leather clad beast's rampage and reports of another victim abound. He was found babbling in the bushes, repeating the same words over and over again:
  • Eclipse
  • Stiff
  • Dangle 
The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine. Just have fun!

You have until 9pm (UK time) Thursday 13 September to get your entries in. New words will spill forth and winners will be announced 9am Friday 14 September. If you can, please tweet about your entry using the #fridayflash #100words or #flashfiction hashtags and blog if you feel like it. Please tell your friends and do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - everyone appreciates it!
Looking forward to playing again soon!


  1. Oh what wonderful words! and the first line came so fast I had no choice but to continue. There will be more to come from these but here's the first:

    The blacksmith's wife [part 36]

    The head which had eclipsed the sun was roaring.
    Stiff-angled fingers wrenched me as hard-spittled fury shouted of broke promises then raised me high to dangle over the dirty midden-wash ditch of debris from the half-demolished forge.
    I’d time to wonder whether ‘twould be best to die from being dashed upon swarf-dusted shards of discard metal or drowned, weed-draggled and half-dressed.
    Speedwell-eyes had turned to saffron as he scrambled to his knees then fled, caring not he left both me and horse behind.
    His lack of chivalry and the death of my romantic dreams, laughter-doubled Gabriel, who safely dropped me.

    1. "...hard-spittled fury shouted of broke promises..."

      Wow! I am breathless, Sandra! Thirty-six 'chapters' in and just as strong as ever!

      Please tell me you are going to compile The Blacksmith's Wife in a handy little volume on Kindle once the tale is done being told.

      I love that bit at the last... "... the death of my romantic dreams..."

      Brava, Sandra... Brava!

    2. Thanks Veronica - when it's done I am intending to turn it into an illustrated book ... but am lagging behind with the pictures more than a ittle ...

    3. So fabulous, and far better an outcome than I'd expected, given the last entry. Once you get your Kindle thing sorted, do give some love to us Nook users. I would happily buy this (in print, too).

    4. Sandra! This is gorgeous! I have no words for the visuals it brought. This is a beautiful bit of writing. Thank you! Can't wait to read more.

    5. Thanks Rebecca and Ravenways - and I sincerely hope you are intending putting your Seth and Nate adventure into print at some time. Please.

    6. I love the phrase "dashed upon swarf-dusted shards of discard metal," for it's feel and for the fact that it is fitting lexicon for a blacksmith's wife.

    7. Sandra, I need to spend some time catching up on the Blacksmith's Wife yet time has been my enemy since I have returned so apologies if I have misinterpreted anything in this latest entry.

      The language, as ever, is exquisite in this latest episode of our favourite female protagonists and I am filled with an urge to rush back and read the previous chapters! I suspect the forge has exploded but what, or who, was the cause.

  2. Hey all, just popping by quickly to say that I am now back in the UK after three weeks of holidaying in Australia and New Zealand!!!

    My thanks to my guest judges Rebecca, William and Matt who have all done stellar work and congratulations on your winning entries.

    Hopefully I'll get a bit of time to go back and read the entries from the weeks I wasn't here and also to ponder this week's words.

    For now though, keep writing!

  3. congratulations Rebecca!
    Good to see you back, Phil, do take time out to tell us all about the holiday and what you saw and where.
    Good one, Sandra, how you maintain the standard like this, week after week, is astounding!
    Good words, need to think on them. Just ended up with another huge editing job, so will be involved in that for a while, but you never know...

  4. Thanks Antonia, and welcome back and thank you too Phil - the words this week make it a doddle.

    The blacksmith's wife [part 37]

    ‘Sweetling’ he grinned, ‘'Tis time you learnt experience eclipses fumbling adolescence every time. His dangled promise of delight is but soft come-quickly when compared to the stiffness of my intent to prick more than your conscience into cleaving solely unto me.’

    I allowed my hair to eclipse my gleeful anticipation: such a welcome promise to dangle before me, sufficiently dispelling stiffness from the tumble I had taken (and sorrow for the one I’d not, since my jealous spouse appeared several minutes sooner than desired.)

    But damn his eyes, he well read mine, and laughed and bade me wait 'til dark.

    1. Oh, what a treat... two at once!

      I confess to being a bit ;lost'... I've missed a few chapters, it seems. Even so, your writing is so compelling... such brilliant wordcraft!

      "Damn his eyes, he well read mine..." Ooh... I just got a chill up my spine!

    2. Veronica - you can catch up here if you wish:

    3. That's doubling down in so many ways. I simply adore their interaction, though he's more than a little cruel. My mother used to say "damn your eyes," and I always thought the literal take on that quite horrific. Naturally, it became a favorite of mine.

      I can't wait to see what happens next!

    4. Thank you, Sandra... I've added link to my favorites. I skimmed by last night just for a minute... and I am completely blown away with the images you have there! Oh... my... god!!!

      Is there no limit to your amazing talent, dear girl? Wow! Those images are fantastic! I cannot wait to see everything in book form.

    5. Thank you Rebecca and Veronica - I'm glad you are enjoying reading - I'm certainly loving the writing, especially when the words are as usefully suggestive as these.

    6. Oh, this is a well-wrought episode, Sandra. =)

      Such a lot to like, but particularly amused by "stiffness from the tumble I had taken (and sorrow for the one I’d not)"

    7. Gosh, I feel that I should read this latest installment in secrecy as I fair blushed at reading the insinuations within! Maybe we need to set a rating scale on these entries as this is definitely 18+ ;-)

  5. Phil has enticed me back... something about chocolate, I believe... haha!

    I've just 'tied the bow' on my little slice and want to sleep on it overnight... oh, and come up with a title. It's been a while since I've written for The Prediction... this one came almost too easy. Although, I do have to say... this weeks words are more than enough to fire the imagination.

    Anyway, I shall return tomorrow and post here and on my blogs... maybe even do that tweety thing. :-)

  6. Thou Shalt Not Lie

    I’d driven all night, breaking every speed limit for three states to arrive early. I felt as if I’d been chasing the carrot you dangle in front of racehorses. It wasn’t what Jimmy had said. “That dumbass!” It was the tone. Like he’d known.

    I walked into Jimmy’s kitchen, stiff and aching from the drive. He was at the table, two shots of Jack already poured. He looked like fresh brewed hell. One glance cinched it, and rage geysered up my spine, threatening to eclipse me.

    I ignored the liquor and aimed my gun at him.

    “How damned long, Jimmy?”

    1. Yoiks! I don't know that Seth can get there in time to stop whatever happens next. I love how you up the stakes every time. Nate needs some soothing drugs - or another outlet - before his poor heart explodes... again.

    2. 'looked like fresh brewed hell' - how wonderful is that?! And a fabulous final line too.

    3. I have to echo Sandra here... "He looked like fresh-brewed hell." WOW!! Now, there's a line!

      I've been away for awhile... there is more to this, isn't there? Feels like I am stepping in the middle of a story. At the same time, this stands on its ow. very well.

    4. The phrase already mentioned is great, but also, "rage geysered up my spine."

      Good stuff. =)

    5. Veronica, the whole thing can be found here: both my pieces and Colleen's. It hasn't been going on long, so catching up won't take too much time.

    6. Another saga which I need to catch up on. I feel like such a bad host :-(

      There's a real sense of tension and malice which comes from those final lines. I can feel the electricity in the room and am waiting for fireworks to follow in the oh so near future.

  7. Rest. Stop.

    Stiff from riding, I stopped at a scenic overlook. Trees surrounded a deep gorge, running water a faint echo below. Clouds formed a mini-eclipse, only the outline of the full moon discernible.

    Graveled footsteps prompted my turn. A man, his fist wrapped with rosary beads, cross dangling, muffed a punch while mouthing a useless exorcism. I knew his family.

    “Not demon.” My fist connected. “Don’t make me hurt you.”

    He drew a blade, probably dipped in holy water.

    I sighed at necessity.

    I left his unconscious body at the edge, hoping he’d roll over. But first, I took his keys.

    1. So much visual in this as well as character and action and back story and badness and things to worry about while waiting, oh dammit, for next week's double dose.

    2. Oooh... I like this one! Such marvelous imagery in such a small amount of words.

      "I sighed at necessity." I LIKE that line!

      Very nicely done!

    3. This is such fun! I concur with the others, btw. "I sighed at necessity." is pretty fabulous. Writing with you is an adventure, and an honor.

    4. Aw, the poor out-of-his-depth holy man... ;)

      I really like the simplification of the fight, and its foregone conclusion, into that one phrase, too. =)

    5. As others have said, 'I sighed at necessity' is the crux of this piece, it shows the nonchalence with which our protagonist deals with 'preacher man'.

      Great visuals and a tight tale, enjoyed this a lot.

  8. Hello all. Congratulations Rebecca. Well deserved.

    Quick item... Please drop by and pick up a story. Dorothy Davies has a plethora of most excellent stories. I just had my second story go live today. The editor for this site is amazing. If you read the stories on the site you will be thrilled if you are a writer she will make you better. Support her and a host of really great writers. Thanks everyone. No to consider our words...

    1. Just had a quick look at and looks a great site. I have a story I will submit straight away!

  9. Congratulations, Rebecca!

    *takes a deep breath*

    Okay... I've been away for a while... let's see if I remember how to do this, shall we? No leather clad beastie in this, sorry... the words for this week just begged for a little zombie vignette, or is that just me? Lol! If you pop over to either of my blogs, I have this week's entry posted there along with an image of a photo I took last week with my new little 'baby' - a Nikon L810. It has a much more powerful zoom... I can zoom right in and see the craters on the moon! But... I digress. Without further ado...

    By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw


    With the moon in half eclipse, they came out of the woods… anthropophagous creatures hungering for living flesh.

    Kimoku stepped into the clearing… letting the katana dangle from her hand for a moment… then brought it up… moving toward the undead.

    Razor-sharp blade slicing through the air... crimson line blossoms across hell-spawned torso.

    Spinning around, she swings the blade again… wading through the grisly beasts… leaving steaming entrails to dangle in the moonlight, dripping scarlet.

    Stiff bow… she moves again… blade swings higher… emaciated heads topple… dark blood jets into the night air.

    Bowing again…

    “You are avenged, my father.”

    ~ finis ~

    1. 'leaving steaming entrails to dangle in the moonlight, dripping scarlet' - now there's an image to conjure with!! and how well you've created the whole red murkiness of the scene.

    2. Great scene, Veronica, captures the feeling of a scene from an old samurai movie.

      And the prediction brings me yet another new word in 'anthropophagous'.

      I'll also just mention a Japanese film, Versus, for zombie-weird fans out there. Very cool, yakuza vs. zombies/ cycle of resurrection type movie that has a certain amount of zombie-katana interaction. Slightly out there, but great film. =)

    3. Gorgeous/gross visuals, an intense dance of death with just the right rests - this whole piece is a movie in my head, complete with backstory we don't yet know. Fabulous.

    4. I think that you've remembered to do this just fine Veronica! And so great to have you visiting our little sit here :-)

      Kill Bill meets The Walking Dead here. Superb visuals throughout and a superb use of language. One word for it. Brava Veronica, Brava!

    5. Thank you, Sandra, John, Rebecca and Phil, for your wonderful comments! That's always been the best part of writing with you all... everyone is so encouraging and supportive of each other.

      It is nice to be back.... even nicer to see I've still got a bit in me, Phil!

      Imagine what I could do with the 'visuals' if I had a few more words, Rebecca and Sandra! Haha!

      John... I will have to check that one out... it sounds very intriguing. I can chalk it up as research for my slowly building zombie apocalypse tale. I've about six or seven of these little vignettes and some day, I need to sit down and get serious about a full length story.

      "Anthropophagous" was a new word to me as well, John... until a couple of months ago. I was working on an 'end of world' story for an anthology coming out this Fall and I'd already used the word 'cannibalistic' twice in the story, so... I went searching the old thesaurus!

      "Kill Bill Meets The Walking Dead"... I like that, Phil... very much!

      I am humbled at your accolades.

  10. Welcome back, Veronica! A triumphant return! I love the lush descriptions of gore! I cannot wait to read more from you.

    1. Thank you, ravenways... I am glad you like it. :)

  11. Morning all! My mind is all over the place with jet lag, returning to work and life in general but I have managed to scribe this little piece for you. Hopefully it is vaguely coherent which is something I feel has eluded me over the past few days.

    I will be back this evening to comment and don my judges cap once more. Let's just hope I can remember where I left it.


    Stiff metal sang in the wind, a see-sawing sound filled with anguish and regrets, joined in chorus by the cawing carrion overhead.

    The gibbet cage dangled from on high, its ferrous structure rusted over time with peeling umber flecks brought alive by the weary light of the autumnal sun.

    Periodically crows perched on the frame, picking at the flesh of the gibbet's current squatter. I could elucidate about the misfortune which dragged this wretch to Pauper's Hill, to be eaten alive as he waited for death but I fear his screaming visage, frozen forever, eclipses any tale I could tell.

    Writer's note - I first came across gibbet cages when a lad of eight or so on a school trip to Rye, East Sussex. They have one hanging in the old Town Hall, or similar, with half a human skull still encased inside from the wretch that hung within it as a deterent to other criminals in years gone by.

    1. I'd forgotten about gibbet cages - probably never had them made so vivid as this one! - although I knew, of course, of gibbets such as the one which inspired the 'hell, Hull and Halifax' saying.
      And this is much more than 'vaguely coherent' Phil.

    2. Dark, Phil. And great writing despite the jetlag, particularly the first line, very evocative. The ending has a nice, old school horror feel to it, too. =)

    3. Welcome back! This is mesmerizing - familiar in a strange way. We don't have gibbet cages here (preferring the instant gratification of hanging or gunshots), but they still tap into that primitive place in my brain that knows just what that would be like - and wishes it didn't. Jetlag or not, you made me shudder.

    4. Oh, I really like this one... dark and sinister!

      And the visual of the crow picking at the inhabitant of the gibbet cage... that's enough to send this girl screaming from the room!

      And yet, I stay! :)

      Great little tale... dark and mesmerizing, Phil!

  12. Not sure about the title... and I feel a bit out of practice, but here goes...


    Marking the days made Carla feel more human, somehow. If she was right, her tattered almanac predicted an eclipse today.

    Out of the window, the sky was nothing but ash clouds, as usual.

    She tried to remember what the sun had looked like, what daylight felt like, and found she couldn't. Such memories dangled tantalisingly out of reach.

    As the wan light dimmed further something slinked between crumbling tower blocks and she stiffened. Only the hostile survived in this penumbra between bright civilisation and the oncoming dark ages.

    Carla picked up her knife of jagged bone. Only the hostile thrived.

    1. 'Crepuscular' - I had to look it up and found I didn't really know what it meant after all - thank you for that. And also for this twilight tale in shades of grey (and probably more than fifty too if the truth be known)

    2. The mood of this piece is pervasive. So very much going on that it would take so many more words than are in the piece to tease out the history behind the gritty world you've given us. I love the last line. I also thank you for the new word. Love when that happens.

    3. This evokes memories of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. There is a real oppresive feel to this piece as Carla tries to survive in this dystopian future. Excellently told and a chilling final line.

    4. "Carla picked up her knife of jagged bone. Only the hostile thrived." Now, that is probably the most chilling last line I've read in a long time... brilliant, John!

      "Tattered almanac, ash clouds, dangling memories and crumbling tower blocks..." Each line builds on the next, the mood sharpening... and then that last line...

      Bravo, John!

      And, Congratulations!

  13. Welcome Back Phil!

    A Dream Foretold

    I know it’s a dream and I know it well, because it’s always the same. The graveyard, moist and pungent in the midnight air, dead trees stiff and rotting where they stand . The moon stands above the horizon, the clouds clustering away from it as in fear of its brilliance, but its light is eclipsed by the gravestone stood over me.

    I have fallen to my knees, and my arms dangle uselessly by my side, eyes locked on the name – my name – and the date, always the same date.

    But for the first and last time, it is tomorrow.

    1. Another filmic opening scene, this one definitely monochrome and terrifying. Not a wasted word either.

    2. I agree with Sandra; this is a classic horror movie opening - or closing. "moist and pungent" added the olfactory layer over the visual and made it so much more real.

    3. Wow Matt, that last line is a killer (literally). You set the scene here so expertly and I felt shivers down my spine as the story unfolded. This style of horror is something you do so well.

    4. I can picture this scene in my head... dark and moody monochromatic images... sinister music... icy fingers running down my spine... oh!

      I've gone and given myself a fright!

      This is really great, Matt... powerful and evocative... and again...

      That last line. You've definitely nailed this one, Matt!

    5. That's fantastic, Matt. Atmospheric, creepy and a chilling last line. =)

  14. Ok, I'm watching a DVD so you have an extra hour to get any last minute pieces in. See how good I am to you all :-)

  15. Right, that's it, pens down everyone, face the front and no talking. That includes you Xero!

    Ok, off to see if I can remember how to do this judging thing ;-)


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