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Autumn Word Vault (WBQ35)

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Old 08-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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Tau (Offline)
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Default Autumn Word Vault (WBQ35)

The Word Vault contest is here again, with a new selection of words to inspire you. Good luck, and have fun.



Members are allowed one entry in the Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest. You are required to use at least one of the words from the Word Vault, (duplicated for your convenience below). Entries should be submitted as posts to this thread. The competition is open to all members of Writer’s Beat, including staff.

Members are requested to refrain from commenting on entries in this posting thread. Please use the Autumn Contest Comment thread instead. That thread will remain open throughout the posting period and afterwards, and members are encouraged to let entrants know what they thought of their entries.

Word Limits:

250 words maximum


Once an entry has been submitted, it cannot be altered. Any work that is edited after it has been entered will be disqualified. If you feel you need to make a small alteration (a misplaced comma, a spelling error), contact a member of staff. If we feel your request is reasonable, we will make the correction on your behalf.

Close Date:

30th of September 2012, 12 midnight GMT


After the closing date, we (the Staff) will select a winner to be published in the next issue of Writer’s Beat Quarterly, assuming permission is given when we contact the winner.

arpeggione (n): A six stringed instrument, similar to a cello or guitar.
Example: The musician plucked at the strings of his arpeggione instead of using his fiddlestick, that way the tune he played had a more staccato sound.

avowed (adj): Confirmed or stated (as a belief, fact, or assertion) under oath or vow.”
From: avow (v) from Old French avouer and Latin advocare (to call to/upon).
Example: The Prime Minister was an avowed supporter of children’s literacy.

ayah (n): A servant or maid. Specifically a native serving a European in South Asia.
From: Indian Languages, after the Portuguese aia or aio (nurse, tutor).
Example: The Merchant family hired an ayah to look after their son and teach him the native language.

fallal (n): An item of jewellery or dress that is intended to show off.
Example: The necklace was a true fallal, showy and in your face.

frugal (adj): Avoiding unnecessary expenditure of resources/money.
Example:The frugal housewife dried the tea bags after usage. That way she could serve a second pot for free.

nidulate (v): To build a nest.
Example: I always admired the way that birds nidulated.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Last edited by Tau; 08-04-2012 at 08:58 AM..
Old 08-04-2012, 10:54 AM
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The ayah plucked on her arpeggione. She was, like Princess Shalice, carefully chosen. The servant played a simple tune, all day, six days in a row. Shalice, sickened by the monotony, glared at the girl.

“Can’t you play another melody? I’ve heard this one more times than I can stand.” Shalice snarled, startling the unsuspecting servant into playing a false chord.

“Sorry, Milady, but I must play this. It prepares you for the Union.”

“I don’t bloody care about the bloody Union!” She spat, while pacing the room, feeling the door at each passing. However, it never opened.

Wide eyed the girl said, “Milady, it is a great honour to be chosen to wear the-“

“Oh, shut up! I don’t care about that stupid, bloody Fallal, nor the bloody Union. I want to be able to ride my horses and hunt. Loose an arrow from my bow, chase a boar. Kill something. I have no need for this so called honour.”

“You mustn’t say that!” Shocked the servant struck another false chord.

That moment the door opened. Shalice grabbed the arpeggione from the girl’s hands and raised it to strike at whomever came in. Her face paled and she dropped the instrument. It was too late, she’d waited too long.

Three Celestial Guards, carrying bared swords entered, followed by the Guardian who brought the holy Fallal. Her time was up, once the jewel closed around her neck, she would be united with the God, until death would set her free.

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:41 PM
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Icon6 Autumn word vault wbq35 – india

The ayah, sent to England to accompany young Jonathan to Bombay, pointed to an officer in fallal with his hands behind his back “That is your father.” Jonathan had not seen his father for years. Army assignments had kept him from home frequently. He knew him but not well. When Lt. Colonel Stonehurst had received his assignment to the Bombay Army he was aware that it would be for an indefinite period. However, Jonathan’s mother was not able to leave England due to poor health. Having always been a frail woman, she almost died giving birth to Jonathan. So, she remained at Stonehurst south of London. There was hope that she and Jonathan would be able to join him in Bombay. But that was not to be the case. She passed on some fourteen months after he left for India. He sent for Jonathan and avowed they would not be parted again.
During the passage from Southampton to Bombay, Jonathan had gotten to know Leena well. She had served Jonathan’s grandfather, Colonel Stonehurst’s, for over two decades. Leena had taken him to steerage to see the common Indians he would soon be living among. They had frugal accommodations but everyone seemed very happy. They sang, accompanied by a sitar, an arpeggione like instrument.
As he walked towards his father, he thought of the swallows that would nigulate in the cottage eves at Stonehurst. Now, he would have to build his own nest here in India.
Old 08-18-2012, 08:24 AM
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Default The Musician (218)

The musician came to play for us girls; excited we listened. He’d perfected a more staccato sound by plucking at his arpeggione, and we were all three delighted as he played on. He’d avowed that we would want to hear more of his talent and we looked toward our ayah who stood before the door ever watchful of us girls; she would never leave us alone with a man, not even a musician.

I, the eldest wore mother’s broach. I believe it caught the musician’s eye being a fallal, so showy it certainly couldn’t be worn unnoticed. Mama always said it would be useful if ever times proved hard – a frugal life could be avoided for the owner of such a showy jewelled broach.

I being just sixteen was not yet ready to nidulate, although with my eyes on the tall dark man seated at the piano I was surely tested. The music, soared, we three listened enraptured; snap-shots of what might be, causing my cheeks to redden at thoughts not proper, as Mama would say.

It couldn’t last, but after an hour of his playing, as he left, he took my hand into his, raised it to his lips and I ever after never forgot the musician, the beautiful arpeggione and avowed one day I would see him again.

Old 08-22-2012, 04:56 AM
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She had married for money. Sought it out wherever it could be found. Designers, doctors, engineers: Ugly didn’t matter. Tired of her meager, frugal existence, she wanted things. Shiny things. Maybe a butler, maid, an ayah or two; people who could shine her fallal, her ego, her shattered perception of life.

He was a designer. Rich beyond belief, but as attractive as a bag of cattle feed. And, as expected, he fell for her charms, her looks. Not necessarily a bombshell herself, all she needed to do was perform certain deeds, moan a couple of times, and tell him he was the best. Her nidulating was perfect. They married and had children.

When the oldest boy started calling his dad by his first name and put her on ignore, she only shrugged. When he shattered a priceless apreggione over the head of his schoolmaster, she called the boy “spirited.” And when he avowed to renounce his earthly goods and join the priesthood, she finally sat up and took notice.

How dare he? How dare her only child forsake the glittery and the gold? Items were power, possessions were happiness, were they not? “He’ll never be happy,” she told her useless husband one day. “Never happy without his iPad, iPod, GameBoy, or GPS. Will he?”

Something snapped within the man she conned into marrying. He looked up, his weepy eyes and jagged nose discordant on his cattle-feed-shaped body. Pushing his glasses upon his nose, he cleared his throat. For the first time in a dozen years, the words that escaped his lips were his own. The silky, timid, beaten voice was gone. No longer would he cajole and cower in order that he obtain pleasures of the flesh. No longer.

“Yes, he will be happy. I don’t enjoy them anymore.”

She gasped.

“I don’t enjoy you anymore.”
Blood spiders!

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Old 09-15-2012, 06:37 AM
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Default Keeping up appearances


Letitia, her hair styled ostentatiously with feathers and ribbons, avowed never to reveal her modest background. She would summon the ayah; display every fallal she could lay her hands on; and act oblivious to the arpeggione player, trying to curry favour.

Out of the window, she saw the rooks swooping down into the treetops, preparing to nidulate; then she weaved her way back through the crowded room, smiling at her admirers, mainly old men with paunches and bald heads,but also the occasional young girl longing to emulate her sophisticated ambience.

Suddenly, a dishevelled figure leapt out.

'Well, bless my soul. If it ain't Leila all dressed up like a dog's dinner.'

'Do I know you?' asked Letitia, wishing to disown a bewhiskered old man.

'It's yer old dad, from Islington. Don't you recognise me Leila?'

'What rubbish! And Letitia is the name, not Leila!'

There was a look of disdain for this weasly upstart; but as she hurried out of the room, she knew the truth would soon be common knowledge.
Old 09-15-2012, 11:23 AM
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Default Word Vault Contest #35

Mr. Muffin and his visitor sat in straight chairs on the veranda. He put aside his arpeggione and gave his full attention to the visitor.

“So, Mr. Wiggles, you claim to be a nephew of mine. I must advise you, many have tried to gain access to my fortune by such ploys. Have you any proof?”

Mr. Wiggles squirmed. His bony ass was ill-suited for the hard chair. “Consider for yourself. I am an avowed frugal person, the same as you. I was reared by a native ayah in India, just as you were. And I have the bony structure of a bird, as you do.”

“Yes, but birdship does not necessarily make kinship. You may be trying to nidulate using my money. Also, you strike me as a flashy person; that fallah gold bracelet is something I would never purchase.”

Mr. Muffin picked up the instrument and resumed plucking the strings, dismissing Mr. Wiggles.

Mr. Wiggles interrupted, “This bracelet was a gift from the King of Siam for services I performed. You cannot denigrate it without activating my wrath.”

“The King of Siam, you say? I knew him well. What color were his eyes?”

“He had no eyes, he was born with skin for eyes.”

“Dude, you are for sure what you say. Welcome to my family. Have a musical instrument.” Mr. Muffin passed him a banduria. “Chord of C minor.”
Old 10-22-2012, 12:48 PM
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Jatindranath Singh and his little brother, Dinesh, went down to a tributary of the Ganges River early one morning with a sack full of clothes to wash. Their mother, Baljeet, was sick with the flu and other diseases, so it was up to them to take over the more mundane household chores. This also included baking nan not only for themselves but also for their two younger sisters, Ashapurna and Himani. Ramesh, their father, had not been seen for months as he was away in the service of the prime minister. Even though the family knew only abject poverty, Ramesh hoped any stipend he earned would bring his family some fortune and lead to a better life away from their poor village.

Growing ever weaker, Baljeet started giving up hope. One night, Ramesh surprised everyone with a visit. He brought baskets of bread and fruit, tins of crackers and cured lamb sausages. As a special present to them all, he had also procured the services of young Gitanjali, an ayah, or maid, from the prime minister’s household. With Baljeet still recovering, Gitanjali was more than happy to help. Typically, very few people in their village could afford an ayah, so they considered themselves lucky as if Vishnu, the preserver, was smiling with favor upon them. Soon, with the ayah’s help, Baljeet’s strength returned. Jatindranath and Dinesh were able to return to school, Ashapurna and Himani started helping around the house, and Gitanjali stayed on as long as they wished.

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