Friday, 29 April 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I opened an old notebook this morning and discovered something tawdry I'd jotted down a few years ago. The writing was terrible, but the complete story shone through and I know I can do something with it. Not only that, I'd illustrated it - probably because at that time I didn't feel able to describe a central character properly.

I love it when we come across a nugget from the past and can shape it. In this instance I'm referring to writing but it works with life experiences too.

Congratulations to John Xero for his powerful winning entry from last week's Prediction challenge, Who pulled the trigger on the Universe Gun? Stellar writing from everyone; well done all.

This week's words are:

  • Cult
  • Neglect
  • Syrup


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have all week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 5th May to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday or Friday. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Where will your pen take you this week, I wonder...?

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Prediction Winner

My oh my, but did these words have everyone exploring their own mysteries. I am spellbound. Quickly, let's sum up and then I'll do my darndest to make a decision.

  • Michael kicks off with a horny non-starter who ends up with a lot less than he's hoping for in Been Meaning to Tell You.
  • Asuqi's Twisted Silk continues the 'bedroom theme' revealing the thoughts of a Master of consensual hard slaps.
  • Aidan is the first to expose the arachnid angle and introduces the now popular concept of Spider Sex in The Chilean Recluse Invasion.
  • David has us over a barrel with his lady's weapon (sorry); the victim finding himself in the Wrong Place At The Wrong Time.
  • Chris provides a webbed creation myth of silken proportion in the sparkling The Eonic Web.
  • John fires into the mists of chaos to evoke change through entropy in Who pulled the trigger on the Universe Gun? Later, in Thief fear creeps cold through Ellen's core as her assailant disappears.
  • Antonia takes us into a ghostly wild west where no-one messes with a gunslinger in Death Wears Boots.
  • Colleen (ravenways) seeks her lover across time and space in her untitled journey where pleasure and rebirth combine.
  • My Prism sees a shattered husband take advantage of accidental light to rid himself of his lazy wife, while the alien Forty-Niners rever the cosmic power of the number seven.
  • Ally reveals the true-life horror of an earthquake and tsunami victim that, in a double tragedy loses her baby before she too is swept away in Surge.
  • Reba slices skin after taking her fill and reading the signs in creation myth Re-surrection.
  • William provides the next instalment of his Plague series where the gifts of magic are accepted and the spell is ready to begin in After the plague PT 3.

Well, this is the first time I've felt tempted to say "Everyone's a Winner" but that sounds like we're playing Bingo. I mean it though, these are all exceptional works of fictional art - well done to everyone for allowing us to read from the gifts of your imaginations.

My winner, however is John Xero with the sci-fi chaosphere that is Who pulled the trigger on the Universe Gun? Many congratulations John, I love how this twists and crawls back and forth between creation and chaos, causal and accidental.

Runner-up is - everyone, and that's not a cop out, as I hope you will all agree.

There'll be a new challenge in the morning, and I promise the words will include neither 'royal' nor 'wedding'. Sleep well mes amis.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

It's already hot, hot, hot here in the seafront town of Eastbourne and I'm craving English strawberries. But first things first, for 'tis Friday which means a Prediction Challenge.

As mentioned in yesterday's Prediction Winner post - and just to forewarn you - there will be no Prediction on 27th May and 3rd June. A bit of breathing space for us all - and who knows - I may be in touch about that Prediction anthology idea during that time as, at the end of May the challenge will have been running for a full year! And what a year it's been.

Many congratulations to joint winners of last week's challenge A.J. Humpage for The Unwatered Well and Reba Kovar with Truth and Consequences. Stunning fiction, both.

This week's words were selected for you by my daughter:

  • Silk
  • Trigger
  • Universe


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have all week until 9pm UK time on Wednesday 27th April to enter.

Winner will be announced next Wednesday or Thursday. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Enjoy the long weekend - fiction fingers at the ready!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Prediction Winner

Life has been horribly demanding for many of us lately and I've had a series of apologies from regular Predictioneers who have been unable to contribute these past few weeks. You're not forgotten; The Feardom's doors are always open. However, in a major attempt to catch up myself, I'm announcing that there will be a two-week Prediction break at the end of May. Details to follow soon.

As for this week, I am shaking my head (you can't see it, but I am). You knock me out, and the quality of writing continues to rise. How can that be? No, I know exactly how - such talent...

So to summarise this week's outstanding fiction (sorry for lack of links):

  • My Children of the Sand were 'Children of the Damned', blond and bored of playground competition between rival mothers.
  • Erin Cole exposes the sibling hunter for what he truly is; and fortunately 'deals' with the problem in A Shot To The Left
  • In Eaglewing & Mastermind to Save the Day? Aidan Fritz parades his nemesis Super Heroes across a perverse and illogical world.
  • Antonia Woodville's Spring Sacrifice glides us through a beauty found only in this floral season before declaring the 'sacrifice' that man chooses to make of beast. Poor beast.
  • Pixie J. King treats us to a glimpse of her realm in Beautiful Prison, where the victim - despite everything - will not survive,
  • The Unwatered Well plunges us into filth and flesh until we drown in bilious and noxious liquid. A.J. Humpage goes full-scale horror.
  • Monsieur Allinotte invites us back into the doll-like world of vampiric Ma petite homunculus, ma fiérté. Michaud va mourir, c'est sur.
  • RR Kovar, Reba creates as if from the whisper of Mother Nature herself in the poetic Truth and Consequences. Meanwhile she misleads us into believing we are amongst naughty children in boarding school, until skin starts to smoke and a vampire flies to his exquisite death in Sunshine Laws.
  • David Barber chills, making us all face our innermost demons as a judgemental reflection in the murderous Your Reflection?
  • We hang from a spout of fear that captures mankind's perception of sin whilst evacuating The Devil beneath in John Xero's galactic, tremulous Tower.
  • Ravens feed with relish at the bound body dealt up by Steven Chapman in his debut, untitled Prediction entry (entrée) as nourishment.
  • William Davoll has us by the fragile bits - not once but twice. The Devil Inside forces us to linger inside the mind of a psycho-killer as he stalks and tortures his victims. In Pilot Error - OMG what a clever, and oh so Easter-timely play on words the Christ figure is only crucified because of a joke - a heckle. How our history might have been different without a Comedian from Coventry. ;)
  • Kim slips in at the last moment with a fight. A carefully-planned and terrifying observation of the preparation, the circling of combatants in a raw pit as they attempt to blindside each other in The Pits.

A winner? Well, do what you will but - it's me! No, not really. I have two joint winners - as Antonia said last week, everyone else truly is a runner-up. Not a cop-out - a reality, and testament to your talent.

So - the winners are A.J. Humpage with the visceral, claustrophobic and hopeless The Unwatered Well, and Reba with the first (as if I could choose between them) of her entries Truth and Consequences, a beautiful birth.

But seriously, a huge well done to everyone; you are so inspiring.

Sleep well lovelies; I'll be back.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Interviews and Kindle News

This week I read another great interview with the wonderful Jodi MacArthur over at Spinetingler Magazine where we're both nominated for the best short story on the web award. But that's by the by - Predictioneer and Wicked Woman's Booty author Jodi gives her best - as always - in the magazine's Conversations with the Bookless series. Go see...

Another great read is with Lori Titus, an amazing psychological horror writer who is also editor for Wicked Nights Publishing and runs her own radio show. Author of the novella Lazarus and anthology Green Water Lullaby (I've got it - it's extraordinary), she was interviewed by the hospitable Richard Godwin in his Chin Wag at the Slaughterhouse. The probe provides a great insight into what inspires Lori's beautiful and edgy prose. While you're at it, check out Richard's website and consider buying his novel Apostle Rising - it's my bedtime read at the moment - and I'm freaked. Can't pick it up - and then can't put it down.

Lastly, my own news is that I hope to have a short 7k word book coming out on Kindle at the beginning of May. It's been ready for a while but I finished the cover this evening. The original artwork is by esoteric artist Laurence Ranger and sits on my wall. He's approved my graphic manipulations and I'll display the cover here as soon as the Single book is out.

Related to this is my interview coming up over at lovely fellow horror writer Erin Cole's dark and wondrous place on 1st May - Beltane to my pagan friends. I'll be revealing what the Kindle premier will be and Erin will also be publishing an unpublished story of mine, Wraiths and Stays. Can't wait. Thank you Erin!

Oh, and girlfriends? I bought shoes. Black things with leather roses. Thought you'd like to know.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I am a woman of little brain this morning. I do hope you'll tolerate my ineptitude - for it is rampant.

Congratulations to Chris Allinotte for winning last week's Prediction Challenge with the delicious second episode of the Homonculus series (see how I'm putting you under pressure there Chris?) Homonculus, ça marche.

Will today's three words evoke as much twisted passion as last week? You tell me.

  • Pit
  • Structure
  • Observe


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have all week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 21st April to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday or Friday. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Let's see what you've got...


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Prediction Winner

Volatile and venemous I am seriously wondering if this week's entries haven't been the best entries ever. There is so little between them.. dare I not declare a winner? (Like in the 'old days.) Can't do it - someone has just crept over the line - but I truly am unable to choose a runner-up - you're all too astonishing (and therefore equal) for words.

  • In Michael's Trial and Error a son perfects his culinary craft. 
  • In Mimi's Fly Trap a woman's revenge is painful. Don't go there.
  • Antonia's Amateur Serial Killer hones his skill, getting frustrated with lack of practice. 
  • Sandra has the most bizarre of art installations going on in her Philistine? gallery. 
  • AJ's collector makes a trembling pattern of horror with his victim in Sliver.
  • David creates a completely new non-virtual game in the undertaker-genre, in Role-Play
  • Ragemore evoked the alleged, legendary bloodbath of Elizabeth Bathory in Signs Following
  • My God's Gift was a sordid little number for which I apologise. But Marlon will be back!
  • Aidan brings the heat of Iraq with a war-blasted viewpoint in the cleverly-titled War Spoils
  • Jenny's Mother's little angel hurts and abuses as his mother deliberately ignores the signs. 
  • Chris expands the Homonculus's circle of friends to terrify us with the freak party in Homonculus, ça marche
  • Kim crafts a human lampshade from the tattooed skin of a concentration camp victim in And there was light
  • William brings Kook back in Kooks First, and we meet his terrifying mother. It explains everything. 
  • John creates human cattle in the highly disturbing, and inky Cattle. Next, he tears us forward in time - but how far? Template for Extinction asks just that. 
  • Reba speaks of fallen Angels with a desperate task on their hands in Penance.
  • Pixie chills her readers by writing from the perspective of the wrong-doer in Tender Prey.

Everyone - outstanding writing, really. Congratulations to you all.

My winner though, and developed from last week's runner-up tale is Homonculus, ça marche by Chris Allinotte. This has everything from scary dolls to horrifying intrigue. And a lot of French. Make this major, Chris - 'people' will be waiting for the rest of this terrifying gothic tale. Well done!

And so you have a day's reprieve, thanks to hubby's birthday tomorrow. I shall be back on Friday morning - if a little hungover - with three new words. After this week's stunning prose, I can barely wait.

May 1st - a date for your diary...

It's my honour to have been invited into beguiling and talented author Erin Cole's world as a guest writer. We'll be having a chat and a gossip about writing, inspirations and the future, and Erin will kindly host a new, unpublished short fiction story of mine Wraiths and Stays.

So please put 1st May into your diaries - I hope to see you in the the lovely writerly realm of I can't think of a better way to celebrate Beltane.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I've spent the morning so far explaining to my daughter about the Goddess Eostra, how the Easter Bunny is really a hare and the egg represents rebirth in older religions. She thinks I'm a "silly Mummy". Ho hum. Up to her.

I am SO glad it's Friday. I was expecting a hell of a week - but it all worked out really well. However, I am emotionally shattered and desperate to spend time out in the glorious sunshine - my skin is as grey and peely-wally as can be.

But that is neither here nor there, for there are words to discuss!

Firstly, congratulations to Mimi for winning last week's Prediction challenge with the splendid Last In Line. I can't get the imagery out of my head. And well done too to runners-up Chris and Reba with Ma petite homunculus and Patterns. All entries were outstanding.

This week's words are interesting...

  • Template
  • Spike
  • Spoil


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have all week until 9pm UK time on Wednesday 13th April to enter. [A day earlier than usual].

Winner will be announced next Wednesday or Thursday. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

All newcomers are welcome to try their hand at the challenge. And the earlier you post, the more likely you are to receive comments on your work. Go on - take the plunge!


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Prediction Winner

A light week - can't work out whether:

  •  interest is waning
  •  people have a life and have been very busy :)
  •  I let you down last week by not summarising

Probably just pure coincidence!

Anyway, there is still a plethora of dark fictional delights to judge, and I am already hard-pressed to make a final decision...

  • Sandra made every woman tremble with the horror of a Boob Job gone wrong. Don't do it girls; you don't ever know who you can trust.
  • Mimi reveals the dropped stitch that lost the resistance's fight as her character is left to contemplate the revolution in Last In Line.
  • My graveyard tale, She'll be Spinning sees childhood sweethearts daring each other to kiss a skull, all for a wish.
  • Aidan spins us through a Beatles revolution, an ambling journey through beauty and harmony with the dedication, Nothing Is Real.
  • Chris's mechanical creature comes to stuttering, humming life; all stitched up and raring to bite in the vampire/golemic Ma petite homunculus.
  • Antonia's flapping flesh makes our skin crawl as her lucid zombie sits and waits in A&E, in Mistake.
  • Asuqi scares us first with the drama and tantalising words of the desperate and Functional Liar.

    In If I Stand On A Rooftop In Brooklyn And Throw A Coin It´s Bound To Hit A Writer the pretentions of literary world lovey-darlings have them wailing with woe.

  • Melenka/Reba, questions the superstition surrounding the frothy wedding dress in Patterns when surely a solid relationship and friendship should seal the knot?
  • Ally's flipping car provides the backdrop for a terror-flled scenario where a little girl sensibly tries to sew her decapitated mother back together in Mending The Broken.
  • Pixie's fairy realm spirals again in a world where punishment is harsh and prisoners fall by the wayside in Flight of the Arrow.
  • William has Frank carousing around rest homes doling out chemical delights to the supine and sad in Frank's Games. But what happens after the party?

My winner this week is Mimi with her proud tale of hopelessness Last In Line where even courage of conviction counts for nothing. Congratulations Mimi.

Runners-up are Chris Allinotte with the bizarro Ma petite homunculus (best title this year) and Reba with the fabricious (yes, I know I made that up) Patterns. Well done both.

There's too much talent here. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Matthew Hopkins - would you let him interview your mother?

'Imps' from Malleus Malificarum
Bigot and misogynist? Clever sadist? Or both...

Matthew Hopkins is a vicious yet mysterious figure in English history. No record exists of his birth or death though he is said to have expired from tuberculosis around 1647 in the eerily named village of Mistley in Essex.

Rampantly declaring hundreds of women (as well as a handful of men and children) as witches in the tumultuous years building up to the English Civil War Hopkins granted himself the ominous title of Witchfinder General. And he made it his mission to live up to his own job description. Over 300 women were hanged on Hopkins' dubious findings, and magistrates up and down the East of England paid him a handsome fee to do so.

Hopkins wasn't the only Witchfinder of the time - witchcraft had first been outlawed in 1563 and then established as a far more serious crime in 1604 when a Witchcraft Statute was raised. But Hopkins' dubious methods of skin pricking and ducking, stooling and sleep deprivation - none of which came under the illegal practice of torture - gained him a reputation more feared than the fabricated crimes of those he accused.

I truly believe in the innocence of Hopkins' victims. They were often widowed and elderly, perhaps cantankerous and opinionated. Healers and midwives too, would of course have been at risk.

And so I got to thinking, what if one of Hopkins' 'witches' was more than he anticipated? What if the (unsubstantiated) perverse means of sexual gratification practised by this son of a Puritan evoked a darker power than he really believed in....


One long quill to save a life. One signature in ink.
One young wife possessed, accused. One ducking stool to sink.
Bright shillings from the sheriff’s purse weigh heavy in my pouch.
I juggle, jingle, fondle them, my methods for to vouch.

She favours me with pleasures sweet but calls them tortures, sick.
I twist the pen in my fine hand; which signature to pick?
The one to tie her thumb to toe and toe to thumb again?
Or single pricking, clever knife to hide her lying pain?

She mewls, a cat – the evidence, her breast is wrought in sin.
I dip my pen, stroke at the page and scratch her name within.
Goody Blithe forgets herself, reveals her nipples three.
“One for master, one for Pan and lastly one for thee.”

Her voice is of a nether world. It spits fire from dark hell.
Black eyes glow a burning red, “I’ll have this tale to tell.”
From moles and warts a seeping slime erupts and bursts and drips.
“Curse on you, priest of false God.” Her words spill from torn lips.

Wet walls hum with spectral mist, their faces I remember
from hangings at the crossroads tree from May to last December.
Their innocence I did not doubt, no ugly beauty fooled me.
There is no witch in Charles’s fair land but simple neighbours feuding.

Booty stashed and power raised Blithe saw straight through my ruse.
A demon, raiser of the dead she announced my abuse.
Her harridans swept swiftly forth, tore at my black-cloth’d chest.
Froze their breath inside my lungs and laid me down to rest.

Your chronicles bare not my words. No sullied, deviant ink
recorded how she stole this man to Hell, his soul to drink.
But now, my reputation rot, my name a curse ephemeral
I rise once more to seek you out, signed, your... Witchfinder General.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Eight Days of Madness - now available as a free e-book!

Chris Allinotte, host and editor of the marvellously dark Madness In March over at The Leaky Pencil has gone one step further. The seven stories plus the excellent bonus tale by Mr Allinotte himself have been gathered into an e-book at Smashwords, retitled Eight Days of Madness.

You can download the e-book in all formats - and best of all, it's free:


  • Paranoia by Laurita Miller
  • Blister Pack by Richard Godwin
  • Mad Dash by Angel Zapata
  • The Giver, The Taker, The Monster by Benjamin Sobieck
  • Heart Shaped Hammer by Sean Patrick Reardon
  • Still Alive by Erin Cole
  • Living In A Box by Lily Childs
  • The Dollmaker and the Rat by Chris Allinotte


Saturday, 2 April 2011


A small indulgence. Talkback - the online forum for the UK's Writers' News and Writing Magazine - runs a monthly 'One Word Challenge'. They give you one word (funnily enough) as a theme and you can write 200 words of fiction and/or 40 lines of poetry.

Last month's word was the delicious 'Ink'. My fiction entry didn't get short-listed but I have to say I really, really enjoyed writing it. I may have to expand on the idea...

Do let me know what you think. Thank you.


It’s an obscene stretch of vellum that extends to touch the walls of his cell. Thin to the point of transparency the gift of skin lies flaccid beneath his clumsy fingers. Yet as soon as his quill is dipped into ink – a turgid shade squeezed from oak cankers – a new world evolves.

Liquid towers strut across still rivers, defined and desired by the hungry pen. Humble houses open onto bacchanalian gardens; fresh water springing from fertile wells. The canvas rambles in the wake of his caress. He flicks the surface – welts raise as troubled mountains.

Plucking with the nib he labours at molehills, he pokes at craters until – no more. The drying brown powder refuses to emulsify with his pitiful spittle.

With darkness comes familiar blindness. The light has abandoned the skies, no longer seething through the single hole above his head. For this night only the prisoner wraps his art around his naked flesh and sleeps in its caress, soaking in the dreams he has made.

In the morning she will come to release him from the wondrous cloak. And he will wait as long as last time – maybe less, maybe more – for her next bequest.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Spinetingler Awards - Voting Now Open!!

I am still stunned that my mean little tale Carpaccio has been nominated in the coveted Best Short Story on the Web category for the 2011 Spinetingler Awards. I've read each and every one of the other nine in the nomination list and they are all - without exception - excellent.

I've voted for my favourite (not telling - and no - I didn't vote for myself|). And now you have your chance to vote for your favourite at:

Simply choose one per category (you don't have to vote on all categories). Note: you can only vote once as the site remembers your IP address.

So please do support the writers and the sites that have hosted the stories by voting now! Thank you.

Excerpt from Carpaccio by Lily Childs
Published on Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers March 2010

I prepared a new entry for tonight. A eulogy.

I didn’t usually record the times and dates of their deaths because that made it kind of final. I liked the idea that the agony would go on forever.

Some of them I held onto for weeks, a couple of months even. Kevin and Peter only lasted half a day each. That was my fault, I couldn’t leave them alone.


I liked to hang around the fairground. It visited our seaside town two, three times a year; just about the only thrill we had in our genteel haven of beaches and blue rinse.

I imagined how it would be to work there. The rides, the slot machines. I’d be one of the cocky boys on Waltzers who’d steal your money as soon as screw you in the bushes.


My first was Jean-Paul. I was only thirteen, a late starter. Jean-Paul captured my attention and I felt this need, this desire to possess him, care for him. For him to love me back. I relished his sinewy moves, the lazy slant of his lingering eye as he moved past me – one time, two times, three times, more.

"Jean-Paul" I whispered.

Lily's Friday Prediction

What a strange and complicated month April promises to be already. Busy, busy, busy followed by a whole 11 days off. I'm not going anywhere so will get on with the new novel as the research is mostly complete now. (Frissons in my fingertips - itching to type).

Congratulations to Jenny Dreadful for winning last week's Friday Prediction with Slim(e) wa(i)ste. And to runners-up Aidan Fritz and Pixie J. King with The Time Traveler's Hawker and Glass Slipper - well done.

This week's words are:

  • Revolution
  • Stitch
  • Mistake


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have all week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 7th April to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday or Friday. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

I look forward to the beauty (or not) of your words...
Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.