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, pretty please.

And a few words on how your week’s going would be so appreciated!

 This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: Include a line of poetry (if quoting from someone else’s poem, please add a note with the poet’s name & poem’s title to introduce us!).

Westminster Abbey. CC2.0 photo by Alex_MC.

Westminster Abbey. CC2.0 photo by Alex_MC.


28 thoughts on “Warmup Wednesday!

  1. Poet

    Katrine had seen him often, usually at night, in the shadows.
    The crew who frequented the Drunken Poet,
    her waterfront cafe,
    called him The Gargoyle.

    You could see why, she thought.
    The roughly etched grooves in his skin,
    the gullies of twisted flesh,
    the bent-angled nose,
    bittered up, cruelly warped;
    his distorted face would have haunted his childhood,
    driven him mad into the shadows.

    This night, he would not pass untended.

    “Come,” she extended her hand.
    He cowered from her touch.
    “Come. You are safe with me.”
    She took his hand. He followed.
    “We will be
    each other’s poetry.”

    100 poems

    At least three moments this week of modest insight. Two more than usual.

  2. Silent Observer
    (100 words)

    “To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.”

    Through these portals
    Year after year,
    The unseeing eye sees
    The un-hearing ear hears.

    Smiles of beguile
    Tears of fear,
    Blushing bride arrives
    Grieving widow cries.

    Babies birthed
    Parents laid in the earth,
    Kings crowned
    To world renown.

    Sinners turn
    Afraid to burn,
    Saints rejoice
    To hear His voice.

    The poet says:

    ”Man was made for joy and woe;
    And when this we rightly know
    thro’ the world we safely go.”

    (Auguries of Innocence, William Blake)

    I loved that opening line when I first heard it in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. It took some I-surfing to find the poem’s name. Also put the final touches on a flash-fiction piece that will be published in August.


    Detective John Barnaby sat in his car outside the iron gates of King’s Crossing cemetery waiting for Mrs. McDonald. Her husband was being laid to rest.

    “Excuse me, Ma’am. I was hoping you could tell me how you got your husband’s body from the hen house all the way to the barn.”

    “Yes Detective. I put Edgar in the wheel barrow and simply rolled him over.”

    He knew his one and only chance was to lift prints off the wet handles. So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.

    As we all probably know, William Carlos Williams wrote that last line. It’s nice to be able to quote an entire poem, but it helps if it is only one line long. He must have liked flash fiction as much as I do. Busy week here on Cape Cod. Our quaint New England town has two frenetic months to make money before the tourists leave and we can go back to a sleepy seaside village.

    • oops, just realized “wheelbarrow” is one word. In his poem WCW put “wheel” on one line and “barrow” on the next. Hmmmm…to make my piece 100 words, maybe I could change “Yes Detective” to “But of course Detective.” No big deal, it’s only Warm Up Wed. Cheers!

      • Good take on the prompt, Steven.

        I’m feeling very sad for you, if you guys on Cape Cod have to endure “Midsomer Murders” – one of the most dreadful murder mystery drama series known to man: on a par with “Murder She Wrote”, but at least Jessica Fletcher gets to travel to various parts of the world. In comparison, the inordinately large number of homicides encountered by one person in a very small county in the UK make you wonder why everyone doesn’t leave Midsomer so that they can turn it into a penal colony…

        I wondered why you needed to replace “Yes Detective” with “But of course Detective” until I realised that you have “wheel barrow” twice; but by that time it was too late and I had already counted the number of words in the original post and found it was 97!! Oops! But, as you say, “No big deal, it’s only Warm Up Wed.”

        [ My biggest gripe is that, like lots of people who enter our favourite flash fiction contests, you do not put a comma before (or after) a person being directly addressed: “Yes Detective” should be “Yes, Detective”. I always cite the difference between “Call me Ishmael” and Call me, Ishmael”. You know that it’s an education whenever I reply! 😀 ]

      • So I’m wondering whether WCW actually owned a wheelbarrow. Cape Cod sounds like a larger version of my neighbour Island, Hornby. The population quadruples at the least in July and August.

      • I was thinking about that comma, Prof. Ishmael. Thanks, I always appreciate your help. Keep it coming. As far as “Midsomer,” I thought you Brits loved that show because it was on for 16 series. But I agree, that picture perfect countryside is a death trap. As far as “Murder She Wrote,” even though I greatly respect Angela Landsbury, that show is banned in our house. At least if I’m within earshot of the insipid theme song. Any recommendations for good Brit telly, let me know. After trying to write all day it’s nice to lounge with the dog on the sofa. Or should that be “on the sofa with the dog?”

  4. Exposted
    100 words

    I used to look at buildings and see only stone: a heartless facade meant protect. I hadn’t really realized, that people were like that too.
    Now I see that the world flows around them. The living react to them, playing with them, growing up amid it’s marble bower.
    Water flows over them, smoothing the edges and soothing the insults of day-to-day living.
    If only people were like that, Then words would wash over you, and we would be all right.

    Marble, blazing white
    Protecting the tenderness within
    If only it were so,
    And not the tender flesh exposed.

    Morning. It’s Wednesday already and I’m looking forward to the week being over. Thankfully… that’s tomorrow. Stay Safe. I have to buy ‘da souse a new power supply (sometimes being house geek is more work that its worth)

  5. Nice extrapolation of the verse, MT.
    [ It looks like you are having a rough week, even just from your posting…
    * Should the title be ‘Exposed’?
    *You have ‘it’s marble bower’ instead of ‘its marble bower’; then, at the end, ‘more work that its worth’ rather than ‘more work that it’s worth’.
    Hope things improve for you – though Thursday being the end of the week seems a little ominous… 😉 ]

  6. Interview

    “No. Gar-Goyle.”
    “Ah! Gargle.”
    “Close. Gargoyle. Goyle…as in toil.”
    ”May I see some I.D.?”
    “Sorry. All ego.”
    “I lost it.”
    “Okay. Moving on! Work experience?”
    “Mostly, I was an architectural feature.”
    “That’s novel. What were your duties?”
    “Water management, primarily.”
    “Could you elaborate?”
    “I went with the flow.”
    “Okay, another tack. Do you want to stay in that line of work?”
    “No. Something more active. Poet?”
    “Pretty sedentary occupation. Do you have a sample of your poetry?”
    “Heart of stone
    Seer of time;
    Hold the phone
    And let me rhyme.”
    “I’ll get back to you.”

    100 job applications

    It’s Canada Day and I clearly have too much time on my hands.

    “Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown…”* tells the passerby he strangles within the buttresses of his decreed cathedral. He forces the world to know that he alone financed this monumental allegiance to God.

    But the builders, the common men upon whose backs the stone and mortar rode to heights unimaginable altered the plans. The naves. They sculpted the king’s likeness into a comely gargoyle, mouth closed, filling up with the waters of dissent and forcing those frown lines upon the perfectly chiseled brow. A head displaying perpetual water torture to speak of the chiseling the common men took.

    *Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

  8. The churchyard scared me as a child. Standing in the dark waiting to be collected, my imagination running wild. Wind rustling through the trees, whispering in the gloom around crumbling headstones while standing on the bones of long forgotten people.

    I couldn’t meet the unending stare of the gargoyles above me and their leering mocking gaze and weathered stone features. The masons who had carved them already dust. It was a matter of time. They’d seen it all. And they were right. Time will always run out.

    An easy path to take,
    sunlight warm the stone,
    forgetting dreams unborn.

  9. In The Stone

    Stony eyes silently gaze over the passersby. Tear-stains darken chilled stone, as his right eye drips. His face is forever immortalized in granite wearing a crown.

    His stony heart is broken. He wonders what’s happened to his Kingdom, his people. What’s happened to his countryside? The lush and unspoiled landscape and the purity of his people? All he sees is indecency, brick and mortar.

    Onlookers swear, while admiring the stonework, they hear muffled cries coming from overhead, and on sunny days, they say it rains. They don’t know, the King is crying. He wants to live and rule once more.

    • Oops! Forgot a comma after, ‘he wonders.’ 😀 Long week for me so far, but my tasks are finished as I turn my attention to words upon words.

  10. The Head
    Days turn to night and the centuries pass. Trumpets blare, bells ring, and horses prance. Countless Kings crowned in the Abbey while outside people cheer.

    Bloodied and battered, Cromwell’s head sits on a pole and crowds roar.

    Oh, I’ve seen it all ‘cause I’m on the wall. I’ve been whipped by the wind, pummelled by rain, gilded in sunlight and pitted with poo, it’s the pigeons you see they roost on me.

    Oh, if I were free, I’d dine on sausages and drink cola, have picnics by the sea and chew gum,
    Oh, and I’d never look glum.

  11. Missing Comma
    She read it again and chanced to see her sordid sin
    A missing comma!
    “No!” she shrieked, raking her face with fingernails.
    A missing comma!
    Breaking the silence of Westminster Abbey,
    The head shouted, “Off with her head, throw it in the bin.

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