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: try out a new genre! Your choice, but it must be one you don’t normally write (and be sure to tell us what you normally do write, so we can be impressed!).

The Falconer. Central Park, New York City. CC2.0 photo by Matt Karp.

The Falconer. Central Park, New York City. CC2.0 photo by Matt Karp.


61 thoughts on “Warmup Wednesday!

  1. The Falconer: A Case Study in the Power of Fear

    The fastest animal on earth is a falcon, but fewer people know they are also one of the most patient.

    I signed up with the park and rec to take a course in falconry. The instructor warned us the birds can be vicious. He showed us his scars. He scared me to death

    On May 31, 1875 I was assigned this bird. I see malicious anger in his eyes and I dare not move.

    People mistake me for a statue, haven’t they noticed we’re the only statue pigeons avoid?

    Would you find the instructor and tell him I need help?

    100 words

    What do I write most often? Gibberish comes to mind.

    Well, seriously most often I write sermons. I have written and published one non-fiction book. I am about to have a flash fiction, mystery published in Splickety Magazine. I host a weekly Christian flash fiction challenge. (Which Rebekah, is judging this week) But what exactly do I normally write? A lot of SciFi, but I experiment with everything. Prefer for my writing to have a spiritual point, but often fall short of that, IE. that story up there. But I still think it’s fun. The power of fear, hunter and prey in deadlock when it should have been partnership.


  2. Unjessed

    There was a time I relished your captivity. Rules. Regulations. Proscriptions. Thou shalt not. It was safe. I was a bird in the hand, watching the world, unwilling or unable to fly.

    One blue day, I leapt and was carried, and the sky took me, and it was good. Better than had been promised. Things were different from up here. I called to you, but you couldn’t see. You wouldn’t.

    You wait for my obedient return, my bowed head, my supplication. I hear your voice calling, I feel the old pull, but my head bends only for the wind, now.

    100 words

    Perhaps this is somewhat of a cheat, as this tiny tale isn’t all that different from the kind of flash I ‘normally’ write, but I’m counting it as a new departure because I’ve been blocked for weeks now and I haven’t written a word of flash. So, this little story is different because it exists! Normally, I write books for children, as well as flash stories that can take any shape or form, and I love experimenting with style and genre. This one is fairly standard, but I’m happy to have written it.


  3. The Falconer

    I had rescued many. Trained many.
    I had seen many fall.
    But none had failed.
    Some were leader. Some were follower. All were gifted creatures- until now.

    Never in all my years as village falconer, had I come across a bird so uncoordinated. Never had I seen wings that could not beat the rhythm of formation.

    Alas, it was clear solo must be the way forward. It was imperative that we found this creature’s strength.

    Again, we marked the movements in silent concentration.
    Until, ‘From the top…with music!’ I shouted, and the music player belted out its tune:
    ‘Y. M. C. A. …’

    (I’ve gone for some lighthearted silliness as I tend towards dark themes. Hope the week is going well for you all!)


  4. Hearts Soar (100words)

    He waited for the shadow of the bird to slip off the benches and fly freely on the pavement. The two coworkers only had one hour for lunch and he’d decided today was the day. She loved birds and he loved her. They each had been divorced for about two years, and after a year of dating he was convinced she was the one for him. His mother’s ring was heavy in his coat pocket and the words were a clumsy lump in his throat. When the shadow of the falcon appeared stretched between their feet, he asked. Yes.

    This is my first mushy love story so I hope this counts as trying a new style. I’ll try to think of another one as I shovel the slushy mounds of snow around my house.


    • She loved birds and he loved her. I think its interesting that the bird’s flight is only ever described by shadow. Maybe you did that intentionally? Making it clear his attention was looking down at her and not up at the bird?


      • I tried to show how slowly and naturally their connection became right for him to pop the question. Birds in flight dart around so quickly, but their love moved as slowly and surely as the sun…all he had to do was be patient, have faith, and trust the process. Glad you liked it, yours was a hoot! (<–bird reference.. lol).


  5. Tamara Shoemaker
    Word Count: 100

    Black Bleeds

    It was the End.

    In the Beginning, Light spread splintering Rays of Color across all the vastness of this Thing called Earth. Color and Brilliance exceeded Shadow and Darkness.

    There was no Black, no Death. Only Light.

    When the Shadow crawled across the Life that breathed Color, Death came. Death and Stillness. Death and Statues. Frozen Forms stood in Blackness that disintegrated Motion.

    The Shadow triumphs. First, a Ripple – a Bird in Midflight. A Fish turned to Granite. Later, the Trees. The Clouds. The sweeping Grasslands, the wide Seas.

    Light cowers before the Shadow. The Beginning becomes the End.

    I have TWO days until a writing deadline, and I’ve been ignoring writing contests right and left, but the creative side of me was sobbing in a corner. So I had to stop in for a quick fling. 🙂 I normally write YA fantasy and/or mystery suspense, mixed with a little romance (in my novels). Flash usually is fairly poetic. I’m not sure what I would call the above. Any ideas? Sci-fi? Spec. fic? I don’t know. It was a brain explosion. 🙂


  6. The World’s Most Famous Statue

    People say that I’m crazy
    Some laugh as they scurry on by
    The way that I shudder, my phobia a-flutter,
    Gazing up deep in the sky

    People say that I’m loony
    I hear them whispering on phones
    Because I am weeping, tears slowly creeping,
    With delicate, sparrow-like moans

    People say that I’m bonkers
    Their mockery’s gone round-the-world vogue
    On Facebook I glitter, on Snapchat and Twitter,
    My dignity swapped for a joke

    People say that it’s hopeless
    No escape from my prison of dread
    A statue sublime, now frozen in time,
    With bird droppings piled on my head.

    100 words exactly

    I don’t write poetry. As my poet-heroes include Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, and Michael Rosen, I’m thinking maybe it should stay that way. But I am having a lovely week! Today I am tallying up and writing comments as judge for two flash contests. What a riot! You people are awesome.


    • And I appreciate that work on judging by the way. Can’t wait to see what you come up with at the entries are more widely divested this week than normal.

      As for the above poem, I think the Avianphobic references throughout are well placed, it reads with a nice cadence, and it ends with poop on the head. What could be more perfect?


    • I could picture this in any child’s poetry book – it just has that rhythm and humour. And bird droppings landing on you is supposed to be good luck.


  7. The Message
    (100 words)

    It was normally a job for a carrier pigeon. But this message was too important.

    A world rested on its contents. A life hung in its balance and sending a pigeon into a sky filled with birds of prey was too big a risk.

    Hours of thought went into the message. Tears were shed over words meant to provide a glimpse into a soul.

    Jason normally wore his heart on his sleeve. This time he’d poured it out onto a small piece of paper and attached it to the falcon’s leg

    It had to reach her.

    She was his love.

    I don’t really have a genre and tend to try different things, however I haven’t tried my hand at romance or a lot of science fiction, so i thought I’d add a touch of sappy romance to this piece. I’m having an OK week, still fighting off a cold but definately enjoying watching the snow disappear.


  8. The Bird

    Sarah’s bare feet slapped against the pavement. She ran from it as fast as she could. It chased her like it chased her through her nightmares.

    The bird.

    She had dreamed of it swooping from the sky to pluck blue jewels from her face. It devoured them and she could hear it but she could not see it.

    Blue eyes.

    The air was hard to breathe. Her lungs burned. She heard the bird overhead, cackling with strange laughter. What was it, and why had it chosen her?

    She tried to wake up.

    She wasn’t asleep. Her nightmare had come true.


    In general I lean towards fantasy and also parody. My flash fiction tends to be more real-life based humour. Horror isn’t my usual fare.


  9. Memories of Magic

    It had been decades since he’d seen Ladyhawke, but when he walked into the clearing and saw them there, his heart was transported through time.
    The romance and mystery stirred his heart, if only for a moment to believe again. He felt as if he could spread his wings and fly off to a land of wonder and adventure.
    And then the moment was over. The vision was nothing more than a pretty sculpture in a park. There was no more magic in the world and he would never fly again. Mary Wolcott made sure of that when she sealed the dragon in this human form over three centuries ago. In the end, it wasn’t his flames that burned the only woman with the power to set him free – the only one he’d ever loved.
    (Word count fail)


  10. You Will Meet …

    109 words

    I looked at my singleton’s hand, but still could not see what she saw. A tall, dark, handsome stranger, she had said, would enter my life … and soon. A no-doubt oft-repeated line but still I allowed myself that blissful daydream, my heart a-flutter as my imagined Romeo promised me love everlasting beneath sun-kissed skies.

    My fantasy had taken me to the edge of the fairground before I realised I had left my purse behind. Swiftly I returned.

    Yet I could not speak. In front of me was an Adonis, the man of my dreams.

    Here was my stranger. I ignored the gypsy’s warning that this was her husband.

    I don’t do romance, can’t be doing with heaving chests and fluttering eyelids (except usually when I’m killing them off!) so this is about as Mills & Boon as I can, or want, to get! This week I’ve still been battling a cold but managed to remain in writerly mode, have started having a go at the HeartSoup twitter challenge and am working on a novella length horror story for a Scottish-themed anthology call. (Would like to add that it wasn’t just waiting for Flash Friday results on Monday that kept me awake, the new Britannia cruiser had come into Southampton docks and fireworks were going off at the same time. Perhaps in honour of the announcements!!!) 🙂


  11. Island Extreme
    100 words

    The island of Muchan lies west of the Scottish mainland. It’s a relatively unknown destination for tourists, but is fast gaining popularity amongst the more adventurous birding community.
    I found the island, containing one hostel, a weekly, meagre, provisions delivery by rowing boat (which also acts as the transport bringing the tourists for their holiday), by word of mouth.
    Not believing the tales, and having more money than sense, I booked, provided my clothes sizes, then spent the week dressed in medieval garb, with a hawk for a companion.
    If we didn’t find and kill the prey, we starved.

    Written in the sky above Poland on my way home from Krakow, so I gave travel writing a go.
    I don’t like travel writing, and didn’t feel comfortable writing it today. I prefer tales with a twist, magical realism, mystery/crime and YA…. I did however make up the Scottish Island! So just a small cheat !


  12. The Smear
    (100 words)

    Search and destroy all that I see
    Those are my standing my orders
    Fly far and wide; hunt them down like the vermin they are
    Do not pay attention to arbitrary man made borders

    I will use my keen vision
    To pierce the dark veil of night
    They will all scurry and run for cover
    Squealing, running with fright

    I will use all the weapons that I have on hand
    But there is one that all truly hate and fear
    It has ruined paint jobs and made a complete mess of side view mirrors
    The acidy, disgusting white creamy smear

    I don’t do a lot of poetry, but thought I’d give it a go.


  13. Roman Falconer
    I was captivated by this Human. He was a Roman Falconer. His name was Gaius.
    Gaius lavished so much love, patience and kindness that I could not wait to be thrown up in the air to bring down Prey at his bidding.
    I was blindingly fast, erupting off of his arm. Straight to the Prey, faster than any arrow, more destructive power than a catapult. Rabbits, pigeons. and doves were our main target.
    Actually, we were pretty famous among the Nobles. We provided food for their tables and they gambled and won when we were in races or obstacle courses.

    I like to write about battles and romance. So. I guess this is a romance between a Falcon and her handler…


  14. Retiring
    100 words

    Tether twists and flaps
    I lift,
    My freedom spooled out by his hand.

    I hold myself aloft
    barbed wire across heart
    until the shrill of the Master’s signal
    releases me into my gyre

    catch, retrieve,
    to his weathered hand
    Tether retied, and a hood

    Oh, pinions that once traced script across the firmament!
    In sacred correspondence with the Wings of Twilight
    now clipped,
    I squawk for grubs

    Tether twists
    I lift and glide—no flap?
    Master’s shrill wheels me back.

    He draws aside his coat
    Bared skin across his breast
    Beckons me to strike
    And claw out my freedom there

    Semi-departure as I don’t normally do poetry, but have been experimenting with it over the past few weeks. Fingers crossed for dear hubby who’s making a first attempt at a driver’s test.


  15. The sky turned from black to grey as dawn approached. She still hadn’t returned. She’d never been gone this long. I strained my eyes in the gloom, hoping for some sight of her.
    She couldn’t know what would happen, but some instinct always brought her back to me before the first rays of the sun spilled over the horizon.
    We had to get inside, into the dark.
    At last, I heard her call. I stretched out my arm and she soared toward it, landing gracefully on my hand.
    Seconds too late. The sun rose, trapping us forever in stone.

    (I cheated, in that I didn’t try a new genre. I write speculative.)


  16. Foy
    WC: 100

    I love this challenge so much! For my part, I write sci-fi, spec. fic., YA fantasy and rarely venture into 3rd person POV, modern romance, or bright themes. With that in mind…


    A bitty.

    Starbucks Venti in her bangled hand, white-girl tan peeking out from under her “je t’aime” belly shirt, bronze aviators above bottle-blond hair, she was a born-bitty.

    Bryant’s diaphragm jolted under a dry laugh. She stood at the back of the University tour crowd, unsmiling.

    She prolly “can’t even.”

    So why was he staring?

    Forget it, Bryant, floozies aren’t your thing.

    He shoved his ostrich head into Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time.”

    “‘What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe?’”

    He looked up.

    Her shadow and smile cooled his skin.

    “Can I join?”


      • Young adult. Though really I don’t tend to write dragons and dwarves and elves. Too many brilliant minds have done it before me. I guess I write dark fantasy for a younger audience.


  17. Carried Away

    They all say I’m a fool to love him, that we are simply too different. I wish I could see things so clearly. When I look at him all I see is his majesty, he demands my attention. My gaze is drawn to him instinctively, so that when he hovers nearby I can’t help but stare. My friends think I am crazy, they are all scared of him, they run for their burrows at the faintest whisper of his presence. I just wish he’d notice me, swoop down, grab me in those powerful claws and carry me into the sunset.

    100 words

    So I never ever write romance, because I totally suck at it, plus there are sooo many writers who do it much better than i ever could! I tend to default to humour, because I enjoy anything that can make me laugh and I love the idea of someone reading one of my stories and chuckling away to themselves 🙂


  18. Shades of the uncertain

    Evelyn stirred the cube of sugar into her tea, the bone china chiming as she swirled her spoon around.

    “Tell me,” she said, eyeing her new companion. “You’re a rich, fabulously handsome, much sought after socialite but you’re still single. What gives? Why is there no Mrs Champion?”

    Adam’s lips twisted into a lazy smile. “Now we’ve become intimate,” he patted the bed’s counterpane, “I can be more open with you.” He chuckled. “My last beau called me ‘The Falconer’.”

    Evelyn’s jaw dropped, struck dumb by the sight of the leather hood and leg restraints laid out, waiting for her.

    100 words – Mark Morris

    I’m not usually a writer who dabbles with the more progressive romances, so I thought I’d give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? No-one’s going to beat me it it’s not good enough to win, are they?

    (It’s been a curate’s egg of a week. Some good and some bad. Maybe it’s time for an omelette? 😉 )


  19. Give Me My Hawk.
    100 words exactly.

    I have traded my home on the steppes for one of concrete steps; where the mountains that surround me are not made of stone, but of glass and steel .

    It’s a strange land, where people say I’m simple and uncivilized.

    Simple yes, but uncivilized? No.

    The two words are not synonymous, although I think here they are antonyms, for the people around me are complicated and not the least bit civil.

    Give me my hawk and my hound and I am home – even in this godforsaken place,; for a simple girl from the steppes is home wherever she is.


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