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: Borrow a song title for your story’s title (note: please don’t include lyrics, for copyright’s sake).

Milton Manor, Sutton Wick. CC2.0 photo by John Turner.

Milton Manor, Sutton Wick. CC2.0 photo by John Turner.

60 thoughts on “Warmup Wednesday!

  1. Hello Rebekah,

    This is the first time I’m posting on your site. I love the prompts you send, and I’d like to participate more often. My week has been laden with work, but I’m trying to steal a few moments here and there, to write. I liked this prompt. It was a nice exercise for the brain, in the morning.

    My twitter handle is @patrakasturi. My website link is given below. Please feel free to visit and comment :).
    Thank you,

    “The peaceful façade of your mansion is similar to your persona. Underneath, both of you are similar too —hiding deadly secrets and unspeakable depravities. But I took a long time to figure that out. People thought I was a gold digger, but honestly, I loved you. Yes, I admit I appreciated your wealth. But you came first. So, I married you.

    But your house turned into my golden cage. Now, all my needs are taken care of, but I’m your slave. I have no contacts with the outside world. You devour my soul and your house is a silent onlooker.”


  2. Girl Who Got Away
    110 words

    The rowboat appeared on a gray English morning, as I dressed m’lady in the first of three dresses she would wear today. Dresses that cost more than a year’s salary. As she went down to breakfast and another day of leisure, I labored to clean her room for the third time that week. When the family retired to the library, I cleaned the breakfast nook.
    That evening, as the rain pummeled down, I laundered her dresses. I packed a satchel with two dresses and a bite of bread, and escaped to the rowboat. Before they discovered my absence, I was well on my way to a new village and freedom.


  3. Michael Row Your Boat Ashore (Pt. 1)
    (100 words)

    As bad boys go, Michael wasn’t even close. His life in the old mansion with Grandma caused more yawns than screams in his daily routine. That’s why he took to rowing on the lake.

    It helped him escape the claustrophobic goodness of her pious demands that prevented him from doing what other teenage boys did.

    The summer he turned fifteen, he saw her standing on the shore. She waved coyly to him. He rowed over. Their summer of love remained a hidden secret. Until that day Grandma returned early.

    Esmeralda’s screams echoed through the mansion. Michael cowered behind the door.


  4. Michael Row Your Boat Ashore (Pt. 2)
    (100 words)

    The old manor still stands, as straitlaced as ever. Just like Grandma’s corset.

    She shouldn’t have insisted I row Esmeralda on the lake. Grandma’s shrill cacophony harping forced me to the dastardly deed.

    She said Esmeralda died accidentally. I know better. I’d watched Grandma through the keyhole blaming Esmeralda for tainting her sainted grandson.

    The sight of the rowboat as I returned years later almost stayed my hand. But even that couldn’t stop me.

    The old manor still stands, windows gazing in mute shock upon my deed.

    The demolition is scheduled first thing in the morning. I left Grandma inside.
    I know I’ve stretched the rules here so you can flick me on the wrist with a dragon talon, Rebekah. I wrote Part 2 first, but wasn’t happy with it. The idea prompted by the picture refused to be told in a hundred words.
    As for my week, I received an honorable mention for a story submitted on last Thursday’s Micro Bookends site. I spent yesterday photographing a friend with his grandson and his dog, and then interviewed a family who went through not one, but two teenage pregnancies with the same daughter. It was a sad but uplifting journey. I will post that on my news journal blog.


  5. Steel Earth
    Word Count: 100

    “See how everything is green? It may be hard to believe but the whole earth used to be like this.”


    “That’s correct Thyis. The earth used to be filled with all sorts of terrain. But after The Great Disaster everything was destroyed. The Core rose up and built the great civilization you live in today. We owe them our lives. Without their great minds and perseverance earth would cease to exist.”

    “But why all the steel? Wouldn’t our society do better with some nature?

    “Thyis, I am going to pretend I didn’t hear that. Back to your history book.”

    My week is going great! I am pursuing some writing opportunities and getting involved in writing groups in my area. 🙂 Very exciting stuff!


  6. ALLIGATOR (100 words)

    They really can run as fast as horses. Not race horses, but average horses.

    The Dower House daughters, Emma and Suze, were paddling in the row boat waving to Papa who had just arrived home. The massive reptile broke the surface, upset the boat and swallowed the girls like two hor d’oeuvres. It exploded from the water and grabbed the screaming nanny. Chomp, chomp, gulp.

    Papa froze. The gator burped and galloped to him. Leg, arm, leg, torso, head, arm, shoe, spit out shoe.

    The gardener peaked around the rhododendrons and before he could lift the shears as protection…
    Good week here on the Cape. Summer tourists start to roll in bumping the winter population of 3000 to a whopping 30,000. I’ll miss the quiet but the town needs the business to survive. BTW “Alligator” is an obscure Grateful Dead song from the late 60s. Chomp chomp.


  7. Solsbury Hill

    Far away from city lights and honking horns, this country retreat allowed me a quiet respite from my busy life. If only for a moment I have blue skies, lapping water, buttery homemade biscuits and soft sheets all to myself. I’ve never felt more comfortable away from home.

    Today I took a walk and over the hill I could see the hustle and bustle I ran from. Despite all the luxuries this vacation has afforded me, it sinks in that I still have another life and another home where reality is waiting for me. But it can wait another day.

    Laura Romero

    I haven’t been nearly as productive as I want to be, but other than that, no complaints. 🙂


    • I think the last time I climbed a hill with my family we came across a horde of Brownies! Very few places to get away from any one in this country 😦


    • There is nothing better than a vacation in the countryside, far away from hustle and bustle. Beautiful and peaceful story.


  8. Country House
    (100 words on the nose excluding title)

    Gravel crunches beneath our feet.
    “We would have lost that foal. I owe you.”
    I cringe in guilt. When will he ask where I came from, how I arrived on his property in the middle of nowhere? Seeking to steal a horse, to replace a stolen car, evidence, abandoned on the road a few miles away.
    The path meanders around a lake, a duplicitous mirror in the dim light. From under the cover of trees, the house is revealed, a mansion. I lose count of the windows when I see my stolen car, dwarfed by its shadow. Does he know?

    Had a story published by The Ogham Stone, launched last week. Looking forward to attending the launch tomorrow of another book in which I’ll be published, Insplinters Anthology 2015. This scene is part 4 of a sequence of flash fictions inspired by photo prompts called Another State, Another License Plate. Feel free to read the previous parts on my blog.


  9. Rebel Girl
    by Ashley Gardana
    (100 words excluding title)

    Rebel Girl wants to burn it all to the ground.
    Explode the Mercedes in the carpark.
    Light the boat her father favors on fire.
    Even then she knows she will be trapped in this castle.
    Rebel Girl wants to destroy her inherited world.
    Let the ashes soot up the wall.
    Watch as the servants try to clean the remains.
    Even then she knows they will not kick her out.
    Rebel Girl wants to be free.
    Abandon her title.
    Spit on her privilege.
    Even then she knows the crown will fall on her head
    Because Rebel Girl will never be released.


    • Great picture of resignation to an inescapable destiny. It reminds me of the saying, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” There is actually a song title, “Weary is the head that wears the crown.”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Word Count without title – 100

    A House is Not A Home – Luther Vandross

    My imaginary
    Alternate reality
    in my head I’m free
    not chained to this sink
    not hanging on the brink
    don’t have to pay bills
    or wash windowsills
    clothes dry themselves
    hung up by little elves
    nothing needs to be cooked
    holidays already booked

    I sigh and quickly realise
    Truth right before my eyes
    The mess was created by my boys
    Innocent and bold
    But their hugs are never cold
    The hubby used every pot and pan
    But made my dinner because he can
    The holiday can wait
    The new bathrooms just great
    My real reality
    Is just fine with me


  11. Touch of Gray
    100 really depressing words

    Far below the leaden sky – objects mourn my pain.

    Water’s fingers stain to the gutters, indelible mark of tears from the sky.

    On the roof – a Touch of Gray.

    Windows sightless, empty stare, once full of life, dark now and dead.

    On the glass – a Touch of Gray.

    Saplings shed their autumn vestments, debris of life carpeting bare ground.

    On their trunks – a Touch of Gray.

    Millpond boat forgotten, seeping rotten wood downtrodden, brighter days of yesteryear reflected down below.

    On the water – a Touch of Gray.

    The world reflects my silent torment.

    On my soul – a Touch of Gray.


  12. The Dark Night of the Soul

    She called to me, her ancient voice carrying over field and pond to once again pluck at my heart. I crept from my bed. Leaving behind my slumbering family, I ran to her under cloak of night, bare feet skimming over dew-soaked grass.

    When at last I reached her, she opened her doors to embrace me.

    Overcome by desire, I lay upon her floor, my cheek pressed against her cold stones. Her timbers groaned softly. The whisper of her breath caressed my skin. My worldly cares fell away as she possessed me, filling me with pleasure and dark purpose.

    100 words
    @twinkie confit

    (“The Dark Night of the Soul” is a song by Loreena McKennitt in which she adapted and set to music a poem written by St. John of the Cross in the 16th century. I’ve always found it to be deeply moving and hopeful.)


  13. Atrocity Exhibition

    100 words

    Appearances can be deceptive.

    Look at me, look at the house, both perfect specimens … until you get closer, realise this is all just a facade.

    Do you know what I hide here?

    You must be curious to have come this far. For the price of a ticket you can gaze on nature’s follies, pay extra and you can have a private audience. I cater for all … tastes. I am a venal creature but then aren’t you?

    I see the gleam in your eye. Your reputation precedes you, a kindred spirit indeed.

    Quickly though, the show is starting. Hurry!

    Better paced week than last after the effort of getting that novella out for Friday! Subbed a few short stories to various magazines – fingers crossed. Enjoyed the bank holiday with a bit of reading time – currently Look Who’s Back – funny take on the return of Hitler – and fully intending to take part in my usual 3 Flash fiction challenges this week – sorry MicroBookends for missing the last one!
    (Atrocity Exhibition from the album Closer by Joy Division – highly recommend any of their music)


  14. I had this idea for three different, but interlocking stories, so I chose three different stories. (All written by candlelight thanks to not having electricity, but maybe it helps the ambiance…)

    Alas, you salt sea gods

    A sorrow-filled salt breeze curls around the house and pushes at the water where the child-sized boat stands empty upon the water. Beyond the grand house and manicured lawns a figure in white traces the edge of the tall cliffs where waves throw themselves to foam against the rocks. Her feet follows the path worn during long days of worrying and waiting. A gold locket with two photos polished bright by worried hands. The wedding dress worn the day before the ship set sail still catches in the salt air every day as she stands, weeps, and hopes.
    Flow My Tears

    A mother’s hands are never still. Today they busy themselves knitting a thick jersey the colour of the sea on a winter’s day. A cold day like today when foam washes and blows and cover the rocks like snow. When the mist conceals the great house and the sorrows it holds. A young bride left alone. A mother worrying and pouring every weeping breath and tear into the wool that will keep him safe from cold when he returns. If he returns.

    The yarn twists and knots like her mind and her aching heart. A mother’s hands are never still.

    Way to Go

    The romance of the sea soon made way for fear stretching its tentacles from the depths of the dark crypt that lie wherever they go. Fiery drink do little to sway the cold or the loneliness. He dreams of his bride waiting on the cliffs, guiding the ship safely home. He dreams of his mother sitting in a chair by the windows; her hands as busy as they always are.

    Many miles still stretch between him and home. But a figure in white and yarn the colour of the sea pulls him away from the crypt and takes him home.


    The songs used:
    Alas, you salt sea gods by Farrant (An Elizabethan song)
    Flow my Tears by John Dowland (Also Elizabethan)
    Way to Go by Thieve and Die Heuwels Fantasties (just a few years old ;-))

    My week thus far has been spent revising a short story and writing half the outline of another. The rest of my writing time was spent on writing two guest posts, a few blog posts and doing some research. And doing my day job, of course! So it’s been quite a productive week so far, yay!


  15. Dance of the Fairies
    “I said to myself, Marjorie, it looks cheap and nasty. And so began restoration. Shall we continue on?”

    I stared at the old lady who’d spent her fortune fixing up this place. “Mom?” I whispered, not bothering to disguise the whine. “How many rooms are IN this place?”

    “Kiersten, its England. During the school year. For education. Last place today, okay?”
    I was glaring at Marjorie’s teapots when I saw movement. I gasped, seeing tiny wings and human faces. “You have…”

    “African teapots? Yes. Moving on!”

    “But…” slowly I followed, glancing behind. Suddenly Milton Manor was a lot more interesting…

    I started with a completely different story, but it apparently didn’t want to be written. 🙂

    My week has been fair to middling. More testing, of course (most likely will last another full week and then we get to score! yay.) and it’s been tough, but we’ll make it through. Poor kids. Plus some heavy handed professional development activities. Took a break for impromptu home pedicures with my daughter yesterday, which was fun! And it’s Teacher Appreciation Week, which means we’ve had goodies at work!


  16. A Whole New World (100 words)

    I told you not to sing to her. See what you’ve caused?

    But you sang too. She said you sang “I can show you the world” to her yesterday.

    That was different. I was going to show her our world, Ire-Akari, not this wilderness.

    But you sang too. You sang to…to…too…

    You want to cry? Better stop. We have to be home by nightfall or mama will redden our buttocks like baboons.

    But all I sang was, “A whole new…”

    No no no. Not again. Wait. What is this place? They have a boat? Cool. Come Tunde, let’s go knock.



  17. Emily Clayton

    Grey Cloudy Lies

    Charcoal clouds descend to kiss my lips. I close my eyes, wait for the misty caress.


    Pursed lips morph into pouting puckers.

    My gaze falls upon the boat strapped lazily to the store. “If I can’t touch you, I’ll draw you.” Determination is a drug, and I’m riding the ultimate high.

    Painting supplies in tow, I clamber aboard the floating studio. I sketch, erase, sketch again. Now its time for colour.

    Paintbrushes perch upon the ledge, soft bristles awaiting my command.

    A piercing shriek as brushes slide. They plop, gurgle, slip away. Fluffy clouds chuckle, giving way to sunshine.


  18. Too far gone
    100 words

    Adam took in the large manor house. It’s stately and imposing frame had always felt as if it was judging him; finding him unworthy to live within it’s walls. He still felt unworthy.
    How many times had they tried to coerce him to come home? Ten? A Hundred?
    Everything, from the pond’s still waters to his father’s run down car, was tainted with regret.
    How many times had he said, “I’ll be home next week?” One time too many.
    He placed a hand on the door knob and turned the key in the lock. “Mom, Dad,” he whispered, “I’m home.”

    This is my first time posting something here, figured it would be easier starting with a warm up than a Flash Friday. It was a challenge to get it to 100 words exactly, but fun.


  19. Just Between You and Me

    “Look at me when I speak to you.”

    Your words slide down. I won’t hear them. I most certainly will not look at your throbbing eye. I continue to stare at the horizon through the small clearing between the gloomy clouds. I see Light. You can be certain that I won’t breathe a word to anyone. Your inebriated eruptions will remain a private affair just between you and me. Your mother’s royal pride in her cherished son will remain unaltered.

    The heaven beckons me through the clouds. The collusion of heaven and earth tonight!

    After all, I am a royalty!

    Rebekah, where is your story?
    Do people remember the Foreigner song “Just Between You and Me?” The song refers to “heaven and earth colliding.” I made them collude. Clever, ha!
    My week is going fantabulous. Good nees @FlashDogs, finally getting some writing done.
    Consider writing for The Literary Nest.
    https://theliterarynest.wordpress.com/submissions/ and


  20. Smells like teen spirt

    Milton Academy was just like all the other schools that Mildred had been expelled from. All she wanted was to finish her education, but no matter how hard she tried sooner or later she would lose control and get kicked out.

    This time it was the damn library. She only needed an A- or above in English Lit before she could finally rest in peace. Unfortunately she had newly discovered urges that were hard to control. Before she knew it the entire Shakespeare collection was flying towards the teacher. It’s tough to get ahold of yourself when you’re a ghost!


    I had a lot of fun with this one, who knows one day I may have to continue the adventures of Mildred the scholarly ghost 🙂

    Been another busy week this week, kitchen reno is almost complete so we can finally stop eating take out for every meal! The sun finally made an appearance, I even managed a beer on a rooftop patio, which has been a long time coming 🙂


  21. Taking the Fall

    “Sorry, what?” The Lieutenant asked the stranger.

    “You have been charged with Historic Genocidal Negligence.” The man in the silver suit repeated. “I was sent to inform you and to offer my services as a defense attorney.”

    “Sent from…”

    “The future.” The Suited-Man answered. “Very far in the future.”

    The Lieutenant was tempted to pinch himself. He had just returned to his quarters following a double shift. There was still plenty of cleanup to do following the crash landing. It was very possible he was overworked and seeing things. That was the logical explanation for the Suited-Man’s sudden appearance.

    “Okay,” He indulged the hallucination, “and I’m being charged… in the future… with Historic…”

    “…Genocidal Negligence. Yes.” The Man finished. “You were the officer on duty when the crash occurred. The event has been found to be a focal point of causality leading to the creation and implementation of the atom bomb.”

    “The what?” He started, but dismissed the question with a wave of his hand. “Why am I being charged for historical crimes? Shouldn’t you charge Hitler or Churchill or FDR?”

    The Man laughed. “Oh they’re far too high-profile. We couldn’t pluck them out of history and try them. We need someone that history won’t miss.”

    “Lucky me.”

    208 words


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