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 please share a few words on how your week’s going! WE MUST KNOW!

 This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: Include a reference to your birthstone. (Don’t know what gem that is? See here.)

The Great Train Robbery; public domain screen shot from 1903 film.

The Great Train Robbery; public domain screen shot from 1903 film.

30 thoughts on “Warmup Wednesday!

  1. Road Agent

    “He was a slick jasper was old Bill Miner. My granddaddy was in the posse that tracked him, Shorty Dunn and Louis Colquhoun up near Douglas Lake after they stuck up the payroll train. Bill had the good sense to fling his hands up. Shorty, being a harder case, took a potshot at his pursuers. Granddad was a Rough Rider sharpshooter and sent a slug straight through Shorty’s good foot. Louis, I don’t know. ”

    “What happened to Bill?”

    “Prison. Then he escaped, crossed the line, continued his highwayman ways in between jail visits till the end of his days.”

    100 robbers
    + 2 in the title
    bloodstone (aka jasper)

    spent much of the week watching tennis and thinking about the canadian election
    and keeping an eye on Donald Trump.


  2. Railway Robbery (100 words):
    When Ma’s engineer license arrived, she cackled, “So long, boys.”
    Her menfolk gawped. “Who’s gonna keep house?”
    “You are.”
    “You need us moren’ we need you.”
    “Ha!” She packed her satchel, pinned Grandma’s alexandrite brooch onto her blouse, and beelined for the railyard.
    Pa sneered. “She’ll learn she needs a man to look after her.”
    Soon, an engine chugged past the house.
    Pa glanced out the window. “DAMMIT, Ma!!” He grabbed his laundry sack and dashed after the train.

    Tom grabbed his own. Henry’s was boiling in lye soap. He grabbed his gun.
    They never caught up with Engine 921.

    100 word story + my birthstone for June, Alexandrite
    The start of my week was really fun and I earned a gratifying sum of money, but now I feel bogged-down by details and tired, and I want an uninterrupted chunk of writing time.


  3. The Big Score

    “Hand me the bag!”
    Hanging from the footplate I snatched, swinging the harsh hessian load into the tender. It tumbled aboard, skittering gems cascading from it, sparkling seductively amongst their dowdy younger cousin, coal.
    Pete grabbed the handrail.
    “Gimme your hand!”
    I gave him my foot – stomping his fingers.
    He crashed, tumbling, to the trackside.
    The thundering locomotive outdistanced the remaining gang members.
    “So long, Losers!”
    I ducked, avoiding their churlish, steel jacketed replies.
    Lighting a cheroot, I planned my opulent future.
    Florida? No. Alligators.
    Canada? Too cold.
    German East Africa, Pete’s idea?
    Tanzanite, here I come!

    100 words

    Just moved house last week. Blithely utilising flash fiction as a means of avoiding the list of jobs left for me to complete by my lovely wife. I’ll have to say that the cat knocked the list down behind the fridge (again!).


  4. The Box

    His emerald eyes searched mine as he took the box out of his pocket. Looking for clues? A hint of my answer? He looked proud.
    “How could you afford it?” I asked.
    The jeweler’s box trembled in his hand. He looked down in—was it shame? I couldn’t believe Red would do anything to bring shame.
    “I got a job.” His voice was almost a whisper. “They asked me if I’d run for them. Oh, Lissa, I didn’t know what was in those bags.”
    I startled. “Do you mean—“ I hesitated. “I can’t accept this.”
    Outside, police sirens wailed.

    100 words

    The house is quiet, my family is blissfully asleep. I’m slowly getting back to writing after summer vacation. I’ve been incredibly focused on work lately, but my project should give me a break soon.



    Matt “Dizzy” Desmond and his half brother Gibby worked at the Opal Gem Mines outside of Albuquerque. They got busted for nicking a pocket full of the precious stones and were forced to spend the remaining part of the year following behind the coal car picking up pieces of coal that fell from the train as the engines were fed shovel loads of the black rocks.

    Always quick with a joke, and knowing a thing or two about geology, Gibby quipped that the boss man was such a tight ass that he should eat the coal and shit out diamonds.
    It’s Carnival Week here in Provincetown. Our sea-side village will see 100,000 tourists invading the town in search of flip-flops, funny T-shirts and the perfect lobster roll. Believe it or not, (or google it) between October and April the town’s population drops to under 3,000. Not soon enough for me.


  6. The Tide Gang

    They didn’t want money. They were not after fame. All they wanted was to do their laundry.

    Their boots were polished, their shirts pressed and their pants bought at a very fashionable shop in Paris.

    This was the last train that would bring them into town so they could do thier wash – they refused to do it in the local stream for fear of dirt or other unwanted elements.

    “Real men have clean underwear,” one of them said while running, his gun at his side like fabric softener for unwanted intrusions. #921, last train to Annie’s Laundry in Belmont, Wyoming.


  7. One more train then a horse ride away from home. All sand and shore before the land changes to forest and streams and then to hills and rocks and fields. What a great wide world we live in. And I’m tired of seeing it all.

    One more train then a horse ride away from home. Back to early mornings and long days and starry nights. Fresh milk and eggs and family meals. But first I have to make it back home.

    One more train and then a horse ride away from her. Back to my wife. Back to my Opal.

    Oh my gosh, so much going on. It’s good to get back to writing. I was in and out of town all of July. Had a health set back this month. My oldest is starting high school (high school!) and is in marching band. Lots of triple digit temps here in Houston!


  8. A Gurrrrllll’s Purrrl
    100 words

    Skillfully avoiding Officers and Guards, Penny slithered up the gradation blockades, silently bypassing the flimsy wooden barricade. Scaling cliffs of wood and metal, she crept upon the hoarded lockboxes cleverly hiding the treasures she held most dear. Slyly, she disposed of the worthless items preventing access and conquered the lockboxes to access the aquamarine she coveted.

    In her treasure-hunting ecstasies, she disregarded the sound of an encroaching Officer.

    “Penny! What are you doing? Get my necklace out of your mouth!”

    Out-maneuvering the Officer’s offensive weapons, she scurried once more to hide her prize where no Officer could ever discover it.


    Watching the Smidge rock out to PianoGuys…even though I’m supposed to be doing schoolwork  Nearly all done with my Professional Development for the summer, but currently working on scaffolding common core Language Arts to make it more accessible to English Language Learners. Yes, it IS that exciting… but I get paid, and it will hopefully be helpful for teachers! And actually, I don’t mind the opportunity to work at home!


  9. @firdausp
    Cat eyes
    She followed me from the dumpster. I tried hiding in the alley but found her circling my legs. She chugged along behind me like a tiny bogey attached by an invisible cord. (The truth was I could have easily run away but I liked her)
    Sad green eyes looked up at me, and the scrawny little thing quietly dropped into my heart.
    Mom was reading when I dropped her onto her lap.
    “I told you No-More-Strays!” She stressed each word.
    Then I heard a sigh…
    “Did you name her?”
    “Not yet.” I smiled smugly.
    “Welcome home, Emerald!”

    As a May born I love my birthstone Emerald.(and a sucker for green eyes) the weeks going okay. Looking forward to writing a lot more.


  10. The Great Sapphire Train Robbery
    (100 words)

    “Run Clyde! That last car is full of damn Pinkertons!”
    “Hell Jose, I told you this was a dumb idea!”
    “Shut up Clyde, it ain’t my fault they changed engines!”
    “I thought you said you could drive any damn engine!”
    “Well I ain’t seen this kind of engine before!”
    “I told you we should have used horses to do this!”
    “What…using the engine to get escape was a great idea!”
    “No, it wasn’t, I ain’t hanging for your stupidity!”
    Clyde swung his bag of Sapphires at Jose’s head.
    Both stumbled and fell, ending the great Sapphire train robbery of 1886.

    I was born in September, my birthstone is Sapphire.


  11. Sapphire Collared
    A.J. Walker

    The robbery went as smooth as a Rolex sweep. I should know, I picked up a couple in the First Class carriages; one for each wrist.

    Charlie did the business with the safe and we got us some bags of cash and bonds.

    I was worried Michael would go a bit mental but to my surprise he was the definition of cool efficiency. The whole gang was a well oiled machine.

    We hid the loot for collection later, after the heat had died down.

    Perfect plan; until that labrador walked down High Street with the sapphire tiara in his chops.



  12. “Shoot’em. They’re getting away.”

    “I can’t shoot those men in the back, Miss Larson. It’s not honorable.”

    “Who cares? They’re stealing my money. Shoot’em.”

    “The railroad police will catch them, and get the money back. In the meantime, I will gladly loan you the amount you need to wire your family.”

    “In the meantime they’re getting away. Give me your gun.”

    “Miss Larson, please. Ladies don’t handle guns.”

    “I’m not a lady, not anymore. And nobody’s stealing my money.”

    “Stop firing this instant, young woman. You can’t hit them at this distance.”

    “Bet I can hit you.”

    “But Miss Lar . . “


    • Forgot–@2notch. My previous posts were C.A. Crawford–realized as I hit “post comment” that it was my alias! Been busy the last few weeks so haven’t had much time for writing. I’m ready to get back to it.


  13. Buck and Patch

    “Hey Buck. Slow down. There’s something not quite right.”

    “Later, Patch. In case ya didn’t know, we’re in the middle of robbing a train.”

    “I’m …getting tired…of chasing… this train, Buck… consarned sack is heavier than a bag of bloodstones.”

    “Stop yammering, Patch. Keepa running. You’re wasting air.”

    “Here’s the….thing….Buck. We’ve got….the…boodle. Why…in the heck…we …chasing….the damn train?”

    “Patch….you’re thicker than a Georgia drawl. You know why. So we can get… away. It kinda…goes …with being train robbers.”

    “Buck…I know that…reason I’m asking….sheesh, I’m pooped…reason I’m asking…I know you like train travel… but why ain’t we riding our horses? “

    100 bagged bloodstones + 3 in the title
    ate a home made do-nut for breakfast-off to the gym to compensate


  14. Night Time Conversations and Stolen Hearts
    Word Count: 100

    “Tell me ’bout my Papa again.”

    “Again, Tourmaline?”


    “OK. One more time.” Opal held her daughter tight in front of the fire.

    “Your papa stole my heart the day he walked into the market, drenched from head to toe. He looked right into my eyes and said I’d like to buy a towel. When he took the towel he winked at me.”


    “And we were married that summer. He was the love of my life, your father. I was a train wreck when he died.”

    “Do you think you’ll marry again?”

    “Only the Lord can know that, child.”

    My week was pretty crazy. My Grandfather was rushed to the hospital early Monday morning(12am) with chest pain. My family and I happened to be visiting him (we live 10 hours away). They ruled out heart attack, praise the Lord, and sent him home Tuesday. We got back to Pennsylvania late last night and I am still worn out from the trip. Sorry that was a bit much to share but it’s still fresh in my mind.


  15. The Silent Movie Theater

    The Great Train Robbery, playing at the silent movie theater in Los Angeles. It’s 12 minutes long. I’m 12-years-old. Noon. Everyone applauded the film with one hand when it finished like gunslingers’ appreciating air.

    My father brought me. He loved old films. Also loved silence. “Children are meant to be seen not heard.” I came with subtitles before I could read.

    We were robbed leaving the theater by men wearing cowboy hats and amethyst belt buckles; they called themselves the “Amethyst Gang.” Suddenly, a whistle – the men ran into the theater saying they had a train to catch.


  16. *
    The engine was coated in dull black paint and grime from the miles of usage. It rattled along the tracks, ejecting thick, dark smoke from its chimney. A storm was approaching not far behind, and the smoke and ominous clouds melded forming a sea of darkness.

    “It looks like the train is bringing the apocalypse, don’t it?” Joker said.

    I nodded his comment off and stared at the passenger cars undulating in the lead engines wake, the motion appearing so perilous. Any abrupt deviation from the lead engine would cause the whole lot to topple.

    “Ruby, it’s time,” Joker says.


    Weeks going well. Wish I was writing more. In a bit of a slump (not from lack of ideas). Just lacking motivation.


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