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 lovely!

 This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: In honor of Earth Day, destroy and/or save the planet.

Sapling. CC2.0 photo by Jason Scragz.

Sapling. CC2.0 photo by Jason Scragz.

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120 thoughts on “Warmup Wednesday!

  1. Little Miracles
    (100 words)

    Go ahead and pick me. I’m the only plant you’ll find for miles. Pray to your god; thank him for providing you with a miracle. Hold me in your mouth and suck the last bit of water from my leaf. As small as I am, I can provide you with a few nutrients. I’ll give the last few of you a moment of relief from your hunger.

    If only you knew my true purpose. I’m the poisonous little leaf that will kill the last of you and save everything else.

    Things will get better without humans messing it all up.

    • By the way, my week is going fine. I got out fishing with my son on the weekend so it’s all good. Now if it would only get a bit warmer and more spring-like in my neck of the woods!!!

    • Intriguing take! I was thinking about the fact that if they pluck it now they might have instant gratification but wouldn’t be able to grow other plants like it. And then I hit the 2nd paragraph.

      Glad to hear it’s going well with you!

    • Reg, I reeeeally love the tension between the first paragraph and the rest of the story. It’s an abrupt, unexpected shift, and when you get to the end you understand the beginning in a whole new way. Really wonderful work.

  2. Before the Flood
    (100 words)

    “Not worth it.”

    “Really?”

    “No point.”

    “Must be.”

    “Not even for ten.”

    “Why not?”

    “Rejected.”

    “Not all.”

    “Not enough.”

    “You made it.”

    “I’ll destroy it.”

    “Won’t look good.”

    “Don’t care.”

    “See the leaf?”

    “So?”

    “Save it.”

    “Why?”

    “It’s innocent.”

    “So it is.”

    “I’m sorry.”

    “For what?”

    “Mistreating it.”

    “You did.”

    “Have mercy.”

    “Why?”

    “I’m guilty.”

    “You are.”

    “No hope?”

    “See the leaf?”

    “Yes.”

    “I’ll save it.”

    “Why?”

    “I can.”

    “And me?”

    “You’ll live.”

    “Why?”

    “I’m merciful.”

    “Thank you.”

    “For what?”

    “Your mercy.”

    “And now?”

    “I’ll change.”

    “How?”

    “Love the land.”

    “And?”

    “Love you?”

    “Good. That’s what I wanted to hear.”

  3. Ah! The polyanthus! Like so many of the gifts I’ve given her has been allowed to wilt and die, unappreciated – pretty much like our relationship.

    “Be a man!” she says. “Stand up for yourself!”

    She doesn’t understand that my ‘standing up’ is doing battle for life on the planet, not pugilistic encounters. My fight is with the big polluters and they fight with lawyers not with their fists.

    In my battles, I need strategy, skill, lateral thinking. I need to get down and dirty my way. Chess is a far better life coach for me than football ever can be!

    (100 words)

  4. CHA CHA CHA CHIA (100 words)

    Producing enough food for every individual on the planet requires three basic components: water, nutrients and a healthy form on which roots can grow. Hydroponics have shown us that wet sponges are sufficient if the other conditions are present.

    Soylent Inc. has now introduced “You Grow.”

    Seeds are massaged into one’s skin and nutrients are introduced via protein drinks. Heat is provided for germination by the body’s internal temperature. At least three hours in direct sunlight is required for photosynthesis. Sun lamps with full-spectrum light can be substituted for actual sunlight.

    Harvesting is as simple as shaving.

    …………………………………….

    Good week on Cape Cod. I planted seeds (in the dirt) for this year’s bounty. Wish I could share extra veggies over the internet because my neighbors are usually overwhelmed by mid summer.

    • Oooo! Vivid images of plants growing out of and up my arm with this one. I liked the nod to Soylent as well. 😉

    • This story is absolutely disgustingly gross, and I LOVED EVERY WORD. What a clever, awful idea. May our planet never be so overgrown we have to rely on Soylent in that way! And a stark, brutal ending, simple but powerful. Well constructed and executed, start to finish.

  5. Word count 100 excluding title
    @susanOReilly3

    Overcome

    In a garden of neglect and hate
    a tiny seed of love and healing was sown
    Opinion was that it was too late
    the poor neglected garden too infested, overgrown

    The seed slowly blossomed
    its roots strangled, but for freedom fought
    over adversity it triumphed
    soon the leader’s heart was caught

    The black rose flowered into red
    the weeds a pretty, sunny yellow
    no longer hatred and death spread
    the atmosphere now serene and mellow

    A piece of heaven on earth, an oasis of serenity
    clear water runs, replaces muck
    flowers bloom aplenty
    one tiny seed is all it took

  6. New Hope
    Word Count: 100
    realmommaramblings.wordpress.com

    There seemed no hope for us, a dying people. Forgotten. Forsaken. The prophesy had long been buried. The rich heritage had all but dried up, leaving us with a future filled with death and sorrow.

    When he was born the story of the mark spread as fast as a rushing river.

    “In the darkest hour a child will be born,
    bearing the mark of new life upon his face for all to see.
    This child will crush your enemies and bring forth a new age of prosperity.”

    It was hard to believe, but a new hope filled our dying hearts.

    My week has been awful so far. But, what can I do? I will fill it with flash and hope it gets better.

  7. Eden
    @dizzy_diaries

    Looking out over the vast wasteland we created, I see nothingness. I have lost track of how long I’ve been searching for survivors of our terrible Holocaust. My throat is dry. I am so close to giving up. I am tired, weak, sunburned and filled with hopelessness. My feet are dragging and my eyes are gritty, full of sand. One more look around and then I think I will take my final nap. Then I see it. One single green shoot pushing its way up through the parched earth. And then I find my strength again. Life will go on.

    Week hasn’t been too bad. Got a bit of a headache but, eh.

  8. Green on Dead
    Stephen Shirres
    (100 Words)

    Captain Dyce walks across the dead land she is responsible for. The whoosh of nuke rockets and the whizz of bombs haunts her. The smell of incendiary fires are burnt into her nostrils. Inside her army issue radiation suit all she can traste is filtered recycled air.
    Dyce stops. In front of her is a small green plant, no more than a leaf. She wants to pluck it from the cracked ground and pin it to her radiation suit like a daisy on a summer dress. The smells and sounds return. She will destroy hope without the pyrotechnics this time.

  9. The Rogue Sapling

    She was surprised by that first fire storm. The heavy green boughs were charred, but many survived. She was grateful for all the moisture she had soaked up from the scant tributaries during those growing years. Sheer persistence and rogue insistence on the moisture had sustained her until now. But she was concerned about the fire. She gathered the boughs under her plentiful top and bowed to the ground, to survive. The other forest vegetation mocked her for her subservience.

    At last she perished, miserly spending her moisture.

    Today she emerges from the last few precious drops in her bosom.

    @needanidplease
    100 words on the nose.

    I am still recovering from all the excitement and busyness of the last month, and vowing to catch-up with my own writing. I wrote this little piece because it needed to be written.

  10. I am not sure what has upset WordPress, but it won’t let me “like” any posts since yesterday. I have liked the FF posts at least ten times, and none of likes have registered. Any ideas?

    • Did you accidentally sign out of WP? I’ve never been able to like comments unless I’m logged in. (I can, however, like posts themselves.) Otherwise no, I haven’t heard of any particular problem. Maybe check the WP help desk?

  11. Explosion After Explosion
    @hollygeely

    Spring had sprung, but little grew in the Pacific Desert. Food was in short supply.

    The thick smog grew thicker every day. Jake could remember when the stars twinkled. Were they still there?

    Why had the aliens targeted Earth? Why was the surface wracked with explosion after explosion?

    “Move!” Mary yelled suddenly.

    They couldn’t escape the final blast.

    Meanwhile, in a ship outside the Earth’s (late) atmosphere…

    “Good shot,” Flibgladimuz19 said.

    “Blast. I’ve broken the 8 ball. Explosive Planet Pool is tricky,” Mablieabx4 said.

    “We can get another. Let’s plot a course for the next galaxy, shall we?”

    “Yes, let’s.”

  12. Foy S. Iver
    @fs_iver
    WC: 100 BABY!

    Incarnation

    Ours was not a destruction of bombs and blades, famines or floods, science or science fiction. You might not even have seen it if you didn’t know where to look. But it was there.

    Beneath matter and awareness it hid, loving darkness more than light. Its form was small as thought, but its implications planet-wide.

    In the moment it takes to break the skin of fruit, our end began. Like a plague death spread without constraint, to man, to animal, to plant until the very core of everything lay rotting in secret.

    Then, tender as a sapling, salvation became flesh.

    ***
    My week is going leaps and bounds better than the last. It’s windy and a little colder but life goes on and does so beautifully.

  13. Emily Clayton
    @emilyiswriting

    Tcesin History, Page 4

    From beneath the ancient isle of Hawaii stirred our liquid path to existence. The volcano erupted, releasing spores that harboured each being, perfectly formed in subterranean mines. We gushed out in masses. Magma destroyed all surface green, readying the ground for stark, beautiful desolation.

    “There are rumours,” Hcaor Teacher hissed, “that some humanoids remain, but we routinely whip out the Actara and exterminate their hiding spots.” It looked around the concrete cylinder. “Green is a terrible thing.”

    From the back of the class, I spotted a small green leaf rising from the earth. I adjusted my fake antennae and smiled.

  14. Slowly, the shriveled yellow and brown fingers danced their final dance in the late summer breeze. Shel slouched on her rock, feeling as helpless as the fallen samaras. Every year fall came a little earlier and every spring began a little later. It was as if the land was tired of waking to find the smog and dust that settled so heavily upon the plants.
    Her body straightened as the thought struck; “Maybe it’s not too late? I could be Johnny Appleseed. One tree at a time.” She knelt down and began scooping the seeds. “Except, maybe I’ll plant maples…”
    100 words

    ***
    So, it’s very YAish, but with more state testing for my students underway, it’s been a very YA day 🙂 (Actually, I suppose most days are YA for me!) The week started out with a lot of frustration, but is steadily improving!

    • I didn’t even think of Appleseed but brilliant connection! This was my favorite line: “It was as if the land was tired of waking to find the smog and dust” Sad and beautiful.

  15. Last Chance
    Word count: 100
    @alliekosela

    A small, salty tear rolled down my cheek at the sight of green. It’s been years since any of our seeds sprouted above ground. This was my last chance to prove Council wrong.

    Green. I can’t believe it. I kneel down and bow to smell it. Careful. Don’t touch it. Deep breath. It’s real. Flashes of memories and smells zip through my brain.

    Fresh cut grass. Apple orchard in September. Pulling dandelions from the garden. How I miss pulling dandelions, seeing dandelions.

    Will one sprout be enough? We’re running out of time down there. Council needs this. We all do.

    ______
    My week has been going pretty well. Volunteering at a big fundraiser tomorrow for an environmental charity! Think good thoughts about lots of donations 🙂

  16. (100 words)

    BEEP BEEP BEEP

    “Did you hear that?” I asked my partner, the echo of both our breathing ricocheting in our bodysuits.

    “Hard to miss the obnoxious beeping noise.” He responded, surly as usual.

    “You obviously don’t know what it means, if you’re not more excited.”

    “Things ‘beep’ in our biosphere often.”

    “But, we aren’t in the biosphere.”

    “So?”

    “That means the Biological Plant-life Indicator triggered something –

    “In this wasteland?”

    “This used to be the largest National Park in the Southern Hemisphere.”

    “Well now it’s – “

    “Look!”

    There it was, breaking through the broken ground, reaching for the sun. Life.

  17. Reblogged this on asgardana • Where the stories live  and commented:
    My submission –

    (100 words)

    BEEP BEEP BEEP

    “Did you hear that?” I asked my partner, the echo of both our breathing ricocheting in our bodysuits.

    “Hard to miss the obnoxious beeping noise.” He responded, surly as usual.

    “You obviously don’t know what it means, if you’re not more excited.”

    “Things ‘beep’ in our biosphere often.”

    “But, we aren’t in the biosphere.”

    “So?”

    “That means the Biological Plant-life Indicator triggered something –

    “In this wasteland?”

    “This used to be the largest National Park in the Southern Hemisphere.”

    “Well now it’s – “

    “Look!”

    There it was, breaking through the broken ground, reaching for the sun. Life.

  18. Apathy
    (100 words)

    I don’t care whether this world will live or die. I can destroy it during day and bring back to life at night. No one will notice…
    When devil whispers in my ear: “Let’s destroy everything”, I reply – “Whatever”. When angel comes crying and begging to bring it back – my answer is same.
    I’m like a fallen autumn leaf in the river – it doesn’t care where the streams of water carry it. Neither do I.
    Once I was mint green full of hopes and dreams, but not anymore.
    Poisoned with apathy, life and death are a pointless tragedy for me…

    @gorgeous_jaan
    https://katsyarina.wordpress.com/

    My week so far was a mix of ups and downs – like I’m riding a merry-go-round, but I’m catching smiles here and there, fighting for brighter times.

  19. THE INHABITANTS

    The cake smelled heavy like a roast coming out of the oven. I couldn’t get the candles to stay. When I lit them they leaned over and dripped wax all over the icing.

    Eventually it split open and water poured from it. But we had to wait a long time for that to happen. By then I had forgotten about it.

    Each year I pulled it from the cabinet and placed it at the center of the table. We sang and danced a little and then put it back on the shelf until the next time we thought of it.

    @betsystreeter

  20. A sprig of hope

    I stare at the tiny sapling. Perhaps the world isn’t doomed after all! I mean sure, all humanity and plant life was wiped out by that crazy fungal spore outbreak, but here’s a glimmer of hope, proof that life will always find a way. I’ll cherish it, nurture it, bring this whole planet back to life. I turn around to find a suitable pot, and when I turn back the sprig is gone. It’s been replaced by a goat that’s chewing gormlessly.

    The whole planet, doomed by a stupid goat. On the bright side, at least I’ll eat well tonight!

    100 words
    @todayschapter
    Just got back from two days in Montreal, it’s nice to be home again, even if the kitchen is still inside out and back to front. Our daughter got sent home from daycare with pink eye, so now she’s the transmission vector for evil eye infections in our house. I’m scratching my eyes just thinking about it!

  21. A Brief Resurrection

    @el_Stevie
    #Flashdog

    Land-locked life lingers
    For a fragile moment
    Faces the world with its final failure
    To become more than what it is
    What it should be
    Whilst weak roots feebly
    Scrabble in the dark
    For the stuff of life
    Gaining enough for a brief resurrection
    Becoming the focus of prayer and hope
    Only to see all laid waste
    A crucifixion of nature
    Pock-marked stigmata
    Scarring the landscape
    Barren faith providing no place
    No fertile ground where others
    Can gather, become a crop
    Worthy of harvesting
    When man has already
    Reaped the wild winds
    And sown the seeds
    Of his own destruction.

    Really didn’t think I’d make this Weds so above was a bit rushed. Now back at day job but spent evening editing final version of anthology I’m hoping should come out soon; also received news that I’ve had a story accepted for another anthology due out in the Autumn, plus an HM over at Flashmasters. Currently re-discovering Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Not a bad week 🙂

  22. Whimper

    When the war ended, it had been going on so long, nobody knew for certain who’d won. Or, for that matter, who had started it.

    “What a relief,” said the President. “Nasty business.”

    “Truth,” said the Prime Minister, eyeing the president and dabbing at sweat. “Pity so many people died.”

    “Yeah,” said the President, kicking a rock on the cracked desert floor. “Wish you hadn’t started it.”

    You started it.”

    “Did not.”

    The rock skittered a few feet and crushed a lonely green sprout.

    “Wasn’t that the peace tree?” asked the Prime Minster.

    “No.”

    “It was!”

    “Stupid peace.”

    “Yeah. Stupid.”

    100 words
    @postupak

    Lovely week here in Virginia, with a few marvelous storms to break up all that bright spring sun. 🙂

  23. Okay so I may have missed Wednesday Warm Up but I’m posting something anyway, ha ha. I was in the mood to write and so I am dancing all over the timelines.

    Erin McCabe
    @Disturbiakiss
    100 words

    Subterranean Homesick Alien

    The desert miracle they called it; the discovery of a new crop that could thrive without water and feed the world. The scientists baffled at its structure, the pious proclaimed it God’s benevolence made flesh; a timely and divine response to a withering planet and sun scorched ear.
    They could never have suspected we put it there, for generations they gorged themselves as we waited. For years they have sheltered our young within them, silent, safe and undetectable. But the time soon approaches when our each of our children will burst forth to reclaim what was once ours; Earth Day.

  24. Sun scortched ear? *falls on floor laughing* That’s supposed to be sun scorched Earth! Whoops and I’ve spotted another mistake, that will teach me for writing whilst at work. Think I will post it again!

    • Hey, nothing wrong with a sun-scorched ear! though might I suggest sunscreen for next time?? bwahahahhahaa

  25. Okay so I may have missed Wednesday Warm Up but I’m posting something anyway, ha ha. I was in the mood to write and so I am dancing all over the timelines.

    Erin McCabe
    @Disturbiakiss
    100 words

    Subterranean Homesick Alien

    The desert miracle they called it; the discovery of a new crop that could thrive without water and feed the world. The scientists baffled at its structure, the pious proclaimed it God’s benevolence made flesh; a timely and divine response to a withering planet and sun scorched earth.
    They could never have suspected we put it there, for generations they gorged themselves as we waited. For years they have sheltered our young within them, silent, safe and undetectable. But the day soon approaches when each of our children will spectacularly burst forth to reclaim what was once ours; Earth Day.

    • Love this. I love how it seemed like you were going another way in the beginning and then surprised me with the second paragraph. I can only imagine what it would be like when they “spectacularly burst forth”. Great story!

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