Warmup Wednesday!

Directions: Write a scene or an entire story of 100 words on the nose (no more, no fewer), inspired by this photograph. No judging. All fun. (Normal Flash! Friday guidelines regarding content apply.)
Don’t forget to add your Twitter handle & link to your blog, if you please. And a few words on how your week’s going would be nice.

This week’s challenge: Your final word must be “peace.”

Brooklyn Bridge Evening Security. PD photo by Skeeze.

Brooklyn Bridge Evening Security. PD photo by Skeeze.

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144 thoughts on “Warmup Wednesday!

  1. The Illusion
    (100 words)

    The world was once as I remember it.

    It was a friendly place, warm and welcoming to everyone. There were quiet country pastures that quieted the mind and nourished the soul. Snow capped mountains where men looked inward to discover who they were. Bright cities served as places of enlightenment and cultural exchange.

    I used to fish on this river when I was young. I swam in it with my friends. I had my first kiss on the riverbank. I yearn for that world again.

    But it’s gone, lost forever.

    I just protect an illusion now.

    The illusion of peace.

  2. How’s my week, it’s been long and tiring. I live in Northwest Britiish Columbia. A week ago I could see my lawn. I guess mother nature decided that we needed a bit of winter so last Thursday/Friday we got nailed with a winter storm. I can’t see my lawn anymore and spent hours shovelling out from a snowfall of about 150cm over 2 days. On the bright side everyone was sent home early from work on Friday, although driving home in those conditions was a little hairy. But the last couple days the sun came out so it has been really nice with the fresh snow. Until it starts raining of course, which is tomorrow, lol. Oh well, spring is coming!

  3. Scourge
    (100 words)

    They always came at night, sneaking up the river as the city slept. Loathed and unwanted, they were the scourge of the city. Labelled as stinky and stupid, the residents of the city beat them and cast them back into the river. Their bodies were sent floating downstream as a warning to others.

    And yet they still kept coming.

    Enraged, the residents of the city grew more aggressive, using dynamite to blow them out of the water.

    But it didn’t stop them from coming.

    The city declared a war and mobilized their security forces.

    The fish would never know peace.

  4. Rest In Peace

    I can’t believe they hired me and gave me the weapon. My second job in a week, my first to shoot Robert P. Patton for which I am to receive a handsome fee, I won’t be as crass as to divulge the exact amount, suffice to say it’s more than enough for my time.

    He fishes here regularly but right now he’s my catch of the day, or night should I say I crack myself up. His house boat is well lit as always, no shortage of money here. His fingers in too many pies may he rest in peace.

    1oo excluding title
    @susanOReilly3

  5. Abundance

    I used to think the soldiers kept the likes of me out. If only I’d known. I lied and cheated my way across the bridge, to the island of plenty. I thought it was nirvana, but I was wrong. Back home, we shared what little we had. We banded together, because that’s what you did to survive. Here on the island we have everything, more than enough, but the people living here want it all for themselves. I lie awake at night, afraid to lose everything. I wish I could go back home, to the place with nothing but peace.

    100 words
    https://www.facebook.com/CraigAndersonAuthor

    This week we saw some pretty crazy weather here in Canada. It was -14 out and somehow it managed to rain, so you couldn’t drive three feet away from the house without having your windscreen completely frozen over. No amount of washer fluid helped, and if you got out to scrape it would be frozen over again before you were back in the car. Fun times!

    • I like your take on this, it’s a sad comment on how people just want it all for the sake of wanting it. I feel your pain with the crazy weather, we’ve had a ton of snow where I live and now it’s changed to rain, so things are getting really messy.

    • I agree with Reg – this is a sad commentary on our culture today. Beautifully written though. You captured it really well. On another note, -14????!!!! It hits zero here, and my face hurts. I can’t imagine any colder. Wishing a warm spring breeze up your way… 😉

    • Sad but true take on society’s divides. Listening to all your weather reports, I feel very boring. It’s been a bit gray, slight drizzle and that’s it. Oh and we had a few flakes of snow last week which sent everyone round here into a panic! Brits don’t do snow very well (although I like to think I’m made of sterner stuff and get my walking boots out!).

      • Oh how I miss the drizzle! As an ex-brit it took a few years for me to get used to the Canadian winter. I still chuckle when 3 flakes of snow hits uk soil and the country grinds to a halt, while I drive to work in a whiteout blizzard and a -28 windchill 🙂

      • To be honest though, the aussies are worse when it comes to the cold. Two years living there and the moment it dropped below 10 degrees everyone was breaking out their ‘winter’ gear, which consisted of a slightly warmer jacket or shoes instead of thongs (flip flops).

        They do however take the biscuit for warm weather. +40 degrees and everyone is still out and about while i ran from air con to air con!

  6. Truce
    @hollygeely

    “Yeah, bridge. You had this coming. Every time you were backed up when I was late, every time you were closed for construction, you were mocking me. Now, I have the power.”

    “Tim? What are you doing?”

    “Shut up, Sarah.”

    “You’re sleepwalking again.”

    “I’m fine. I’m awake. I’m ready to go.”

    “You’re in your underpants pointing a paintball gun at a model of the city. Let’s get you back to bed before you hurt yourself.”

    “I have to kill the bridge first. This is war.”

    “I’m declaring a truce. Come back to bed so the bridge can rest in peace.”

    *

  7. The Mission

    As dusk falls and the warm light of the day starts to fade, a boat glides silently from shore.

    On it, the six heavily armed men wait patiently to reach the boat anchored five miles away. It seemed like an eternity but it has only been a few minutes since they started this mission.

    An elite group selected for their ability to think on their feet and adapt to any situation, their leaders are not taking any chance and ensured they have the best.

    After all, what they want to achieve is not an easy feat: a chance for peace.

  8. Tamara Shoemaker
    @TamaraShoemaker
    Word Count: 100 on the nose

    Baby Steps

    I watch you, smearing makeup over your freckles,
    Intent,
    Not even a sideways glance to show me
    Forgiveness.

    Three months, too long for a stand-off.
    Silent pillows, strained dinners.
    The kids notice, you know.

    Glistening tracks on dimpled faces
    Trace the span of silent warfare
    In the kitchen.

    Here I stand,
    Watching you,
    You’re a mere speck,
    The miniscule figure on the wrong end of a telescope.

    Please, try, if you can . . .
    One foot before the other,
    Even if you stumble,
    Or waver,
    Or doubt,

    Please try to take that first step
    Across the bridge to peace.

    Scintillating moments in the life of Tamara Shoemaker this week: None. 😉 I did manage to get a cold, but Vitamin C is the best invention ever, so that’s leaving swiftly. Had a wonderful, though exhausting, weekend judging Flash! Friday (thanks everyone for all those awesome stories). Made cookies for my son’s Valentine’s Day party. Other than that – yeah, I’ve got nothing. 😉

  9. Rose Ketring
    @blurosemd
    http://www.proudmommaofgirls.wordpress.com

    “Daybreak”

    Jewels of light spread out before Jim across the bay. The city was silent in its appearance, but he knew that it was a false veil.

    The boat rocked with the ebb and flow but his eyes held steady to a small speck of light. Numbness overcame him despite a tear planted on his left cheek.

    Ruby kiss, heated salty skin, matching porcelain ducks stood against a backdrop of denial and madness. Happiness terminated by one dinner party.

    Jim shook his head; why was she making him do this? He felt ill.

    Quicker than divorce, one silver bullet delivers peace.

    This week in the Rose News: I started my new job as a substitute teacher and experienced my first school closure thanks to an icy morning. So it’s been sort of eventful 🙂

  10. How I Remember It

    It’s more than just a means to get from here to there.
    As a movie-watcher it’s an indication of where the story takes place.
    As a driver it’s an exercise in frustration.
    As a bicyclist it’s a gauntlet studded with upward gazing pedestrians.
    As a pedestrian it’s an opportunity to see feats of engineering of form and function, both of the arches and cables above you, and of the buildings ahead and behind you.
    As someone out for drinks at the pier it is the backdrop to your evening, a behemoth transformed with lights that somehow brings you peace.

    @CaseyCaseRose
    This was a lovely break from my hectic day.
    I’ve walked across the BK bridge a few times and it never fails to impress me.
    I had drinks at the pier the evening before my birthday one year and borrowed someone’s shark hat for a picture.

  11. How?

    How do others cope? I’m totally frazzled.
    One side of the house has been bedazzled
    The other is covered in action men and boats
    My son dressing up in a multitude of coats

    She’s sprinkling fairy dust
    shoot her he must
    Crying because he broke her doll
    He’s charging her a toll

    At the end of my tether
    They both run for leather
    Mammy dons her special voice
    They dash upstairs, don’t think twice

    I should make them pick them up
    Of guilt I take I big sup
    I need some stress release
    feet up for a moment of peace

    excluding title 100 words
    @susanOReilly3

    • Ohhhhh…. the painful dirge of Every Mom!!!!! Best thing about my new house is there’s a LOCK ON THE BATHROOM DOOR! peace, albeit brief… Feeling your pain. 🙂

  12. In The Name of Peace
    (100 words)

    There’s no place for me anymore.

    For years I’ve carried a rifle in the name of peace. I’ve done things I never imagined myself doing in my worst nightmares. I believed that only through death and destruction could the world be made safe for lasting peace.

    I’m forever haunted by the lives I’ve taken. Every time I go to sleep, I see the faces of those who took their last breath before my cold eyes. I hear their pleas for mercy that echoed through their last moments.

    There’s no place for me in a world that is now at peace.

  13. The Feud

    “We gotta fight for peace,” said my brother, gripping his gun. “They’re not gonna hand it to us.”

    I looked at the gun. Didn’t know anything about guns, but this one was big. Anybody standing at the other end would surely hand us whatever was asked. “You’re sure this is the only way?”

    “Fastest way,” he said. He shouldered the gun and flung open the door.

    “You’ll be b-back soon?”

    But he had already shoved his way into the darkness and was gone.

    I tried sleeping. Hard, though, what with flashes and roars shaking the earth with all that peace.

    100 words
    @postupak

    Sick dragonling today, poor thing! Chicken noodle soup and saltines here all day. Alas!

    • Oh no, Rebekah! Sick dragonlings make poor mommy dragons quite exhausted. Chicken noodle soup sounds comforting though. Enjoyed the story. “… all that peace.” Love the irony. 🙂

      • Did I mention the part where he had me make up a little bed of blankets and sleep on the floor next to his bed last night? which was fine until he decided that wasn’t good enough, and he crawled in with me and proceeded to rob me of blanket bed, blankets, and pillow….? It was very special.

    • And I’m sure this is happening in a number of countries right at this very minute. It would be nice to think that one day the guns would really fall quiet.

  14. Foy
    @db_foy
    https://foydb.wordpress.com/
    Word count: 100

    “A Fine Evening to Go Out”

    Who wouldn’t want to go out on such a faultless night?
    The world’s back is turned, cooing over the day’s pink-periwinkle death.
    The water below is calm, liquid granite.
    I stand suspended, fiddling with that gold band exchanged for three months of stress and hunger.
    She couldn’t see its worth.
    At first the breeze is meek and mild, then it throws off tenderness and straps on the severity of a dominatrix, whipping and lashing my skin.
    The lights are a drunken Christmas, stumbling and tumbling, puking photons into the idyllic atmosphere.
    I never thought falling would bring so much peace.

    ~
    My week has been traveling, stressing, relaxing, laughing, engaging, writing, reading and lastly smiling because my muse isn’t “kilt” yet. 

  15. And so it goes
    @geofflepard 100 words
    He had done tours of Iraq, dodging bullets and a dysfunctional home. Three times he’d prepared for Afghanistan, anxiety building in his chest as he packed away his family. As a sniper his kills numbered seventy, each bullet carving holes in another’s family. On his last tour he cracked, dropping his gun and weeping. They eased him home, bubble-wrapping his emotions and handing the pieces to his uncomprehending wife.
    The gun that had broken him was all he craved, a cancerous growth. Now it was pigeons in his sights. With each feathered death he found a splattering of peace.
    A week of acronyms: Thursday – MIL to stay – bleurgggh; Friday told I must pick up daughter and miss rugby on TV – fume before JK text from wife; Sat, phone in soup – LOL (not); Sunday MIL still here – bleurggh/OMG; Monday Son’s Mac eats work ‘dad can you help’ – RTFM; Tuesday took MIL home – TTFN; today wrote three chapters of book 🙂

  16. Shades

    Times have changed. I once wore a cloak and rowed all Shades across the Styx. Now there’s that damn bridge to the ethereal city.

    Luckily some Shades aren’t very smart at all. Some still believe me when I tell them that the ferry is the only way to the afterlife.

    The last group of Shades cheated me. They told me that they had to go to the bank before they could pay me. They left me for a fool, waiting on the river bank.

    These ones will give me the obolus they owe me, or they’ll never rest in peace.

  17. Statue

    @el_Stevie
    100 words

    He had not moved for many years. His prison a concrete shell, a statue at which people pointed and puzzled and wondered why. They could not remember that he had bridged worlds; that once their fury had driven him to kill and maim, had made him become living death. Neglected promises, lies and dissembling caused unnoticed cracks to appear in his fragile shell, allowing their poison to reignite the fire within. They had woken the sleeping dragon of war and soon he would be free. And with their forgetfulness, the darkness flowed, taking with it the last remnants of peace.

  18. @colin_d_smith
    100 words on the nose.

    This is how he wanted it.

    A soldier for twenty years—half of his life. At least most of the last twenty, the part that wasn’t eaten by cancer. He lived for his unit. The missions. The cause.

    And now he was home in his beloved Brooklyn.

    They dressed him at the morgue. I was grateful for that mercy. But he didn’t want a casket. Burial at sea. So we hired the boat and took him out on the East River, his favorite rifle clutched to his chest.

    I still remember his face before we pushed him over. Such peace.

    ———-
    My week’s going fine. Getting some writing done, and reading a good book too.

    • LOVE. Great story–and a perfectly structured, powerful last paragraph. –However, you can’t say “a good book” and not tell us which!

      • Thanks, Rebekah! Well, I didn’t want to make you all envious. I’m reading an ARC of Renee Ahdieh’s debut novel, THE WRATH & THE DAWN. It’s really very good. Beautiful, compelling writing. Sadly (for everyone else) it doesn’t come out until May.

  19. Antonymic

    “I hate her,” said the boy, trembling, “like you hated Mother.”

    “I didn’t know,” his father murmured, crushing him close. “What will you do?”

    Anguish infused the boy’s face. “Something wise.”

    “Does she know your plan?”

    “Of course.” The boy looked at the ground.

    “I won’t help you with this; her family’s too powerful.”

    “I don’t want your help.” Humiliating, treasonous tears.

    “After all, it’s not like I love you either,” whispered his father, opening first the chest with swords, followed by the one with jewels. “Which way will you choose?”

    Romeo drew out a sword. “Your way, Father. Peace.”

    *

    100 recalcitrant words
    @postupak

  20. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
    100 frozen, snowbound words
    @twinkieconfit

    I’m sorry. I can’t do this anymore.

    At first, you were stunning in your fluffy whiteness, with your cold, breathtaking heart. I loved those romantic nights beside the fire.

    Lately, though, you’ve become too intense, with your constant, inappropriately large gifts of snow. It’s overwhelming. I’m a prisoner behind your frozen walls. I need space—for parking in my driveway, for my 10K training.

    You’ve grown bitter. Your frigidity and constant storms have endangered lives and destroyed roofs. You’ve become a violent captor, tormenting your hostages.

    I’m getting back together with Spring. Please, move on and leave us in peace.

  21. A dish served cold

    Twice a week for as long as he could remember he had crossed that bridge. From one mother to the other, from one wretch to the other.
    While he’d suffered their competitive chastisement his father had watched, chewing on his pipe like the words he wanted needed a bit more work.
    He’d tried to end it – the jump (pulled back) and the truck (driver swerved taking out a cyclist). If he’d tried to gas himself they’d have force-fed him oxygen.
    The silence was deafening. Two texts, one each and two bullets. Let’s see who’d be first to break his peace.
    @geofflepard 100 words

  22. The Extra

    “Mister, did you fight in the war?”

    “No, I didn’t”

    “Then why do you have a gun?”

    “I need it for my work”

    “Do you shoot bad people?”

    “No, I really don’t shoot anybody.”

    “How come you have a gun then?”

    “I need it to make movies.”

    “Do you make movies about shooting people?”

    “I make action movies.”

    “Don’t you know, it’s not very nice to shoot people?”

    “Nobody gets shot, it’s just a movie.”

    “Are you going on the river?”

    “No, we’re just filming a scene.”

    “Why aren’t you wearing a life jacket?”

    “Why don’t we find your parents?”

  23. Alone
    100 words
    personalvapes@gmail.com

    I stand alone.

    They follow me, dogging my heels. They watch me with luminous eyes. Hot breath steams between long ivory incisors. I feel them always, fear them as well.

    I walk alone.

    They herd me toward the unsuspecting, the decadent, those fat with soft lives. They confuse my tongue to blur my voiced warnings of them in the midst.

    I weep alone.

    They cause the bridges to burn, the water to boil, and the people to turn on each other as they gnaw on the very rage they generate.

    I am the harbinger – I alone decimate your peace.

  24. Volunteers
    @rowdy_phantom

    Steadying the rudder against my calf, I aim at the underside of the bridge deck. Fawn pokes the floodlight into a nook. We got a drudgy all right.

    Me an’ Fawn take dawn patrol once a week cuz if drudgies are gonna try and cross, they’ll do it in the grey. None get past us, though. Don’t care what bleatings come out of the UN.

    Fawn grins as I haul the drudgy up to the trusses. An example to other runaways.

    Who else gonna do the ugly stuff? Me scrubbing toilets? Fern hauling garbage? That ain’t no kind of peace.

    ———

    We just came off a long weekend up here in Canada (Family Day). We found a twin bed on Craigslist so now the squidlet has her own room. We thought we would be gentle about it and let her come back to the family bed whenever she wanted. First morning, she wakes up early so we bring her back to our bed and she protests that she doesn’t want to sleep in that, she wants to sleep in her bed. So, there’s that.

  25. A Ritual at Nighttide

    Not far from the glimmering coastline of humanity, I and my partner stood stationed at the ship’s bow. Though outwardly confident, a glance at the dark churning waters of the harbor made me hesitate. What unseen horrors might lurk in our future?

    The stars were in alignment. Candles flickered. The cleric, in ritual vestments, opened the aged tome in which was written the text of the rite. I stood fixated next to my partner. The man in black recited the ancient words. Sweat beaded on my brow: for here approached the crucial phrase.

    “…speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

    100 words exactly. Not a lot going on this week, but I’ve been on a Lovecraft kick lately.

  26. First Casualties
    100 words exactly
    @CharlesWShort

    Midnight shift patrolling Long Island Republic was tough. Since the Great Dissolution, the brass feared the fiefdoms on the mainland. Smitty and I had been assigned this duty for the fourth night in a row, for disciplinary reasons.

    You can see bubbles in the channel as skates come in and disturb the weeds. This morning as the sun rose I had one pass right under the boat. I leaned forward for a view, as a bullet trimmed my ear. Smitty fell backward, dead before he splashed. I stretched for the alarm, but didn’t reach it before being dispatched to peace.

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