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From high above, a distinct vantage point is set. A view from an eminence of land, a hillock, the hump of an anthill, a sand dune. People can also place themselves above others and claim a position of eminence. Those who bow and scrape, acknowledge, “Your Eminence.” And some confuse the word for a white rapper.
Playful or serious, writers set out for the hills to wrangle stories from eminent advantages. A few even found spiders and webs along the trail.
The following is based on the March 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence.
PART I (10-minute read)
Eminence by Michael Groban
His Eminence the Good and Virtuous Cardinal read the morning paper and cringed as he read of another abuse claim.
He felt a twinge of guilt as he read the charges against one of his priests. It wouldn’t be long before they’d come knocking on his door. But he was a cardinal, and they’d believe his story over any kid who claimed he knew or did anything.
He’d taken years to reach this pinnacle within the Church. Hiding and denying, who’d a thought he be so good at it. He took up his pen and started on the crossword.
What You Don’t Talk About Doesn’t Exist by Papershots
He took a milk carton from a kitchen cabinet, then put it back there even though it was now open – it should have gone into the refrigerator. He took a sip of water. The smell of oranges about to go bad wafted from the fruit bowl on the table (made of wood ever so slightly darker than that of the fruit bowl.) The party at His Eminence swirled in his hangover – its theme: “What You Don’t Talk About Doesn’t Exist” – they called him His Eminence after his ascetic countenance by day, and his “torrent of bizarre gaieties” by night.
Mongolian Pie by H.R.R. Gorman
The jester bowed before the king and queen. His coat, a tattered, borrowed thing, seemed unfit in the presence of royalty’s eminence. “I will sing you a traditional overtone song of my people.”
The jester pulled the bow across his khuuchir, and the two-stringed instrument wailed. The voices of the people came from his throat, some deep and worrisome while others were clear, melodic.
After the song finished, the king stood from his seat and clapped. “Excellent show!” He bent to look down on the jester.
The jester reached up and snatched the king’s gloried crown, then dashed away.
Oh to Be in England on Non-Brexit Day! by Anne Goodwin
We voted to abolish experts. Let the people have their say! Don’t bore us with details, wave your magic wand and make it happen. Would a surgeon go through such a back-and-forth to amputate a limb?
Yes, the Leave campaign deceived us. Yes, the rich will win whichever way we go. We’ll wave our flags as pigs fly in eminence above us. We’ll plug our ears when boffins threaten to explain.
We are the mother of parliaments. We are the brave who take back control. We are the laughing stock of Europe. We are the fools of the world.
Long Live The King by Nobbinmaug
His rise to eminence was halted by my hand. He wasn’t hard to find. Everybody in town knew where he hung out.
I pulled out the gun I took from dad’s nightstand and pointed it at him.
“Whoa! What are gonna do with that, little man?”
“I’m gonna be 10 next month.”
“All right, big man. Put it down before you hurt somebody.”
He reached for it, and I pulled the trigger. The kick knocked me down. The bullet knocked him down.
He was the only person I ever killed. My sister was the last his drugs would kill.
Portrait of Marion Gray by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Marion stared at herself, staring at herself, daring the other to step over the line.
“What d’you want me to do about it?”
“Can’t you absorb one more?”
“I’ve run out of room to absorb your blemishes.”
“Just one more. I’ll never ask again…Promise!”
“You said that last time.”
She stared at herself, daring herself to step over that line.
“Fine, but come closer. Touch your nose to the glass.”
A moment’s touch, the eminence was grabbed, pulled in.
Marion stepped free, no longer the face in the mirror.
She waved farewell and turned the mirror to the wall.
Your Eminence by Sally Cronin
As I pass him on my way to the village, I remember to say ‘Good morning your eminence’. To ignore him is to invite untold misfortune. Wise ones tell of signs of impending death if he is seen close to your window. And should that be open to the spring air, thefts of gold and silver. I laugh at the warnings, for I am young and carefree, but ancient beliefs stir in my blood, for lone magpies bring sorrow. So I pay him respect, wishing him a mate for life, to bring joy to those who see them together.
Prelude by Joanne Fisher
Aalen and Ashalla were hiding on an eminence looking down on the soldiers in the distance. Aalen’s wolf Vilja lay between them.
“Last year there was a drought and game was scarce. These soldiers came to our village demanding food. When we refused because we needed our food stocks for the winter they began killing all the hunters until we acquiesced. I came back to find my brothers had been killed. I painted my arrows black and started hunting them down.” Ashalla said.
Aalen looked down at the army. Once they set up camp, that’s when they would attack.
My Scar by The Dark Netizen
It is rightly said that behind every scar there is a story of survival.
My story took place many years ago, during the invasion of the dark king.
Led by our Prince, we were fighting for our survival in a battle that defined ages.
Our Prince’s eminence in warfare was unquestionable on the battlefield, as he skewered numerous dark minions in front of my eyes.
In the heat of battle I saw one minion slip behind the Prince, ready to end his life, when I jumped in between.
My sacrifice won my kingdom’s freedom and won me this scar…
Shattering Illusions by Jo Hawk
Jules was his father’s second son. He was deemed the spare heir to the kingdom. Always second best, he fought to win favor, to stand free from his brother’s shadow. Each passing year, the competition between them grew.
Their rivalry forced his vision higher, to the eminence of Mont Aiguille. He imagined looking down onto his brother’s domain. Determined, he focused on his goal, fought through doubts and fear until his kingdom became a reality.
He grew stronger than the mountain, hardening his heart he stood alone, freed from the shadows, he realized there had been nothing to prove.
Cross Roads (from “Diamante”) by Saifun Hassam
Near the ancient cypress and olive trees, silky spider’s webs interlaced thorny yellow thistle. Early morning dew drops on the silvery threads glittered like tiny jewels. Fleeting and fragile, the jewels would disappear into the warming air.
From an eminence of boulders on the cliff, Diamante gazed out at the seashore. He would miss the coastal villagers deeply. He was a village teacher and became a temple guardian after Father Martinez died a year ago. The Abbott was sending another priest and he had plans for Diamante to enter the Dove’s Ministry, to become a scholar. And a priest.
Glad Tidings of Nymble by Chelsea Owens
Nymble didn’t stand so much as gently flit above the waving grass, the first of the season’s signs of change. Leaning back as much as her grass and sunlight mote companions; she drank the deep, fresh air.
“Spring,” she whispered. She breathed.
A smile tickled her dimples. It pushed at her mouth-corners. As she looked out and over the gathered folk and fae, the smile spread to every feature of her pointed face. She grinned and opened her arms to hold the warm sun from toe to wing tip.
Atop the eminent rise, she addressed the expectant crowd. “SPRING!”
Owls and Auks by TN Kerr
He chose to stand atop a grand eminence, banked by steep outcroppings; a sentry, ever vigilant who watches over the Pacific. He has stood this post for more than fifteen hundred years. He is a giant towering over 300 feet high. He is massive, with a base of more than 30 feet in diameter. A Giant Coastal Redwood, a landmark with owls and auks living amongst his branches.
I come here to admire him from time to time. I always come alone. I am humbled.
Majestuoso y eminente, por derecho propio, es bien conocido a lo largo de esta costa.
The Judge by Roberta Eaton
The judge sat on a chair high raised high above the platform to ensure the accused understood his eminence. My son was forced to tip his head back at an unnatural angle to meet the judge’s eyes while stating his case. The comments made by the defendant were meaningless. Any defaulters who ended up on trial in the arena knew they were guilty in the eyes of the law. The punishment for wasting limited water resources was a swift death. The bodies of the guilty were buried in the surrounding forest to fertilise the trees that provided vital oxygen.
Eminence by Tracey
I dragged myself into the kitchen and apathetically checked the fridge. Spouse and small child would be home soon and looking for dinner. That was part of my “job”, cooking, meal planning, grocery shopping. I could feel the surge of pre-menopause hormones coloring my brain. I wasn’t even hungry, why should I cook dinner? I checked the freezer. The emergency frozen pizza had already been eaten this week. I started to cry and told myself, “enough”. The eminences would have to fend for themselves this once. I retreated to the couch and a movie. “Double Indemnity” suited me perfectly.
Age of Imminence by D. Avery
“What? Her Eminence drinking alone? Where’s Ernest?”
“Can’t I be somewhere where Ernest isn’t, Nard? Like you should talk. Where’s Kris?
“Visiting his mother. I just couldn’t.
“Hey, Lloyd tells me Ernest gave you a ring.”
“Thought you gals were supposed to be all giddy at a time like this.”
“Ernest’s giddy enough for the both of us. Driving me nuts.”
“Am I a peckerhead for being glad Kris is gone for a couple days?”
“Not if you’re looking forward to him coming back.”
“We’ll have to get used to being happy, huh, Nard?”
Two Meanings by Susan Sleggs
“Look at all those eminences in the back yard.”
“What are you talking about? Speak English.”
“If you did crossword puzzles like I do, you would know I was referring to all the little mounds of dirt.”
“Oh, yes. We have a mole problem.”
“And if your furry, four legged friend lounging in the sun over there knew she was a cat instead acting like a feline eminence, she might go outside and kill the moles.”
“She’s an indoor cat and I don’t think it’s funny that you used the same word with its opposite meaning.”
“Glad you noticed.”
Lost In Translation by Geoff Le Pard
‘You look smart, Morgan. In court?’
‘Ha. I’m meeting a rather special person. Very influential. I hope he can help me.’
‘He understands how the system works, you know, all those back passages.’
‘Corridors of power?’
‘A sort of eminence grise.’
‘You what? Immense Grease? That sounds like what you get before an outbreak of spots.’
‘Eminence Grise. Someone who works in the shadows.’
‘He had the lights on when I saw him.’
‘It’s just a figure of speech.’
‘Like Imminent Cheese?’
‘Is it French?’
‘Thought so. They’re greasy and like cheese.’
PART II (10-minute read)
Your Eminence by Norah Colvin
She glided in, regal robes flowing, loyal subjects lining the path.
“Your eminence,” they bowed as she passed.
She occasionally extended her gloved hand to receive their kisses of adoration or stopped to bestow a gift of royal chatter.
Though her crown and responsibilities weighed heavily, she held her head high as she proceeded towards the throne.
Decorum dictated every move. She dared not breathe out of sync. Her subjects depended upon her.
When seated, she motioned for all to sit. They obeyed, listening respectfully.
“I decree– “
“Lunch is served, Your Majesty.”
Blessing by Anita Dawes
My school was buzzing today, the nuns were all running around like deranged penguins. We were to receive a special throat blessing from the Bishop and were to address him as Your Eminence if spoken to.
The blessing involved two large candles joined in the shape of a V.
Sister Margaret held my hair away from the flame as the candles were placed around my throat and I have never suffered from a sore throat since.
Not bad going for 72 years.
I have wondered whether it was the blessing or just good luck
It still puzzles me today…
A Special Guest by calmkate
“It’s highly eminent that His Eminence will join us for tea in the forecourt this morning. So please ensure that our sandwiches have more than an eminence of cucumber!”
“But in high society the bread and filling must be thin to tempt. A sliver to tease”
“Please indulge my preference for something a bit more substantial”
“Will His Eminence be requiring a particular blend of tea or the usual earl grey?”
“I would prefer that you serve a selection of three or four for this highly honoured guest.”
“Your every wish is my command sir!”
“Thanks so much Jeeves”
Eminence by Deborah Lee
The house is a lovely lakeside pile on a low eminence above its neighbors, cocooned among trees. Jane lugs her few belongings up the slope easily, eagerly. Hangs her few clothes, arranges her few toiletries.
Hers, hers, for six whole weeks, in exchange for being present and tending to the animals while Audrey is in Europe.
The kitchen gleams, the den lulls, the shady deck beckons. But, she decides, luxuriating, paradise is a bathtub. And it hits her, making her sit up so abruptly she sloshes wine and bubbles. Is housesitting something she could do as an actual career?
Celebrity Chef by Macy Brown
As I locked my office door and headed down the stairs to leave the building I heard all kinds of commotion coming from outside. What could be going on?! I thought to myself. When I stepped outside I saw a crowd of people surrounding a town car that was parked in front of the building next door. A thin blonde in a perfectly pressed skirt stepped out of the car and the crowd went wild. I did not know who she was, but based on the people around her, her eminence was clear. Maybe she was a celebrity chef?
The Leader of The Pack by Susan Zutautas
From the day we brought Bruce home Maggie let him know that she was the leader of the pack.
It was sad to see how she showed her eminence over him. Bruce was such a laid-back kind of guy that we were never sure if this bothered him.
I’m sure they had this telepathic thing going on between them. Bruce would go to eat his food and Maggie would look over at him as if to say, “Leave it”. He’d not eat until she had left the room or until she started eating.
I suppose dogs have pecking orders.
Power by Janice Golay
“So I hear you are your husband’s eminence grise. “
“His imminent grease?”
“No, my dear. His gray eminence. The power behind the throne. That shadowy figure, peering from behind a velvet curtain, who holds and wields the real power.
“Well, we don’t have any velvet curtains in our house, just over-laundered hangings from Bed, Bath and whatever.”
But if you really wanted some velvet curtains in your house, they would appear. Right? You could manage that, couldn’t you?
Of course! But if I had the power and wished for velvet curtains, I tell you they wouldn’t be GRAY!
On the Couch by Michael B. Fishman
“Did you see ‘his eminence’ on the news today telling us how good everything is?” she said.
“You’ve got M&Ms?”
“I don’t watch the news anymore. You really got candy?”
“I’ve got M&M’s.”
“It’s all a front, you know.”
“Let’s both have some candy.”
“Plain or peanut, I’ve got both.”
“Then let’s have both!”
She went to the kitchen and returned with two bags. “Guess what?”
“Dead Reckoning is on.”
“Ooh, Lizbeth Scott.”
“You like her.”
“Not as much as I like you.”
“Not as sweet as those M&M’s.”
Feeling Like A Fraud by Ritu Bhathal
“Jill, could you just glance over this, please?”
Nancy thrust a piece of paper in Jill’s hand.
“I’d really appreciate your opinion. Would you mind?”
“Sure, why not.”
Jill smiled and turned around, surreptitiously rolling her eyes.
Ever since her book had been released and had shot to the top ten in the charts, she’d been inundated with ‘friends’ who wanted her advice on their writing. It’s like her eminence in word craft meant she was now a fully-fledged expert.
But that was furthest from the truth.
All she’d done was write from the heart.
And readers had appreciated.
Teaching by Reena Saxena
“It took twenty-eight long years of struggle to reach eminence.”
My father’s story was interrupted,
“Granpa, are you Eminem?”
“No, darling, the word is eminence. It means reaching a certain height where you tower over others – metaphorically.”
“Two difficult words – what is metaphorically?”
“Like, you are the magic which transformed my life, when I was about to give up. You are not magic, but I describe you as such.”
“Me? Okay, show me which Eminem…”
“I received the Best Writer’s Prize for 2018,” he pointed towards the trophy.
“Can this Eminem sing and rap?”
Teaching is a tough job.
Eminence by Floridaborne
Their Jaguar stopped, rolling down the tinted windows to sneer at me. I knew the look, people of eminence…northerners!
He frowned at my ramshackle house and asked, “Is this Azalea Avenue?”
“Yep,” I replied, stroking my beard. “Why?”
“We might buy the property across from you.”
“It’s full of rattlers. “
“Rattlers?” A teenager with a Gucci bag asked.
“If you don’t kill the 8 inch daddy long legs, they eat 3 inch roaches like this one,” I said, pulling one out of my pocket.
And another irritant flees the trees, never to know my doctorate is in entomology.
Eminent Domain (Or, Why I’m Moving Out Of My House) by John Rieber
I was just stepping on the front porch when Jill screamed: “SPIDER!”
The Tarantula was a BIG one. I instinctively jumped backwards as it raised itself up on eight powerful legs and announced its eminence. Jill raced to the back of the house and grabbed a bottle of bleach. I poured it on our guest. It got angrier.
In a panic I called Animal Control. “We have a Tarantula on our porch!”
“No you don’t”, the voice calmly replied.
“Yes, we have one!”
“No,” they said again, “you have many. They never travel alone.”
I still miss that house.
Queen Wolfric Returns by Joanne Fisher
Her Royal Eminence Queen Wolfric III returned to her Court in the cellar after inspecting her Royal Domain. She addressed her assembled subjects:
“It’s great to be back. While it is true I got caught Upstairs, one of the giant denizens that live there managed to free me, but not before another one of them performed a rather energetic dance before me in my honour. I was most impressed.
All this said I think it should a while before I tour those regions again. Those giant denizens seem friendly, but if the truth be told, they really terrify me.”
The Weight of Time by JulesPaige
From the edge of the field, five deer emerged from the wood line, a brief view.
The car on this long highway emerges from fits and starts of traffic.
Heading south from seven hours north I see emerging signs of late spring.
While away yellow daffodils emerged in the side and front gardens.
A soft smile emerges from my lips, the front of my home looks happy.
On the road home an emerging issue from a distance; Hubby’s work
his eminence to
solve issues drains our time
rising ground slip slides
Heavy sighs emerge, shoulders sag… as day ends
Eminence by Frank Hubeny
After moving to the beach town whose eminence attracted him he no longer got up early to join the seagulls as the sun rose above the ocean. He no longer paid attention to the tiny lizards running on the sidewalks. He stopped celebrating the tropical climate and started complaining about the heat.
It shocked him to realize that he no longer wanted to go to the Cuban-run bakery for a cortadito. He made his own coffee.
His relatives from northern lands were still awed by palm trees and lizards, but by moving to paradise he had become a local.
Find What Glints (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
Eminence of sand rolled across flats, forming dunes. Danni recalled following an old pioneer trail across the Forty Mile Desert of Nevada in her dad’s Jeep, top down, spring sun beating warmly. What was that he said? Turn around and look for the glints among the dunes. Every time he pulled over, Danni scrambled among the hollows of sand, sun to her back. She trotted toward the glints – a purple glass nob from a dresser, a marble, an obsidian arrowhead. Even today, trained as an archeologist, she heard her dad’s voice coaxing her to find the discards of history.
A Legendary Demise by Anurag Bakhshi
The old man rasped sharply,”How many times did they shoot me?”
The younger man asked tentatively, “Twice?”
The old man immediately corrected him authoritatively, “Make that three times…and… just add that I was poisoned too.”
The younger man nodded, and had just shut his notebook when the old man said, “And just for kicks, also say that I almost managed to claw out of my grave in the frozen river.”
As his PR Head left, Rasputin smiled in contentment.
Nothing went further in helping one attain a position of eminence in history, than a death that was legendary.
Typo by Sarah Whiley
The neon glow enveloped the city built by and for corporations.
It was late and Sandra was alone in the cavernous office. Pounding the keyboard furiously she tried to finish the never-ending paperwork her boss delighted in giving her.
Bastard, she thought. He actually enjoyed the power, dictating when she could leave and knowing it was her weekend with her daughter.
Her email pinged.
She despaired as she saw yet another assignment.
Gazing out at the city lights, Sandra contemplated her reply. His eminence wouldn’t like it, but life was too short.
Smiling, she typed two words.
His Eminence by Ann Edall-Robson
On Hanna’s first day of the job she figured she would meet a few people, be shown some of the ropes, and get her bearings.
There was no surprise when the foreman drove in the direction of the outbuildings.
Along the way, he showed her where she would stow her gear, pointing to the living quarters and the cookhouse. Both, he explained vehemently, were Mrs. Johnson’s domains.
The barnyard came into view, and so did a large grey cat wandering out to meet them.
“That,” muttered the foreman, “is His Eminence. He thinks he runs the show around here.”
Crowned Eminence by D. Avery
“Kid, yer emanating fear.”
“I ain’t afeared a nuthin’.”
“Ever one’s afeared a somethin’ Kid. It’s okay ta admit it. Then ya kin face yer fears. So jist admit what yer afeared of.”
“Well, what are you afraid of, Pal?”
“Me? I ain’t afeared a nuthin’.”
“Huh. Was afraid you’d say that. But you gotta admit yer fears Pal. You said.”
“Well. I don’t like spiders Kid. Jist don’t.”
“Right? All scrunchy and hairy and sudden moves. But do ya fear ‘em, Pal?”
“Mebbe… Why ya pushin’ this Kid?”
“I’m afraid one’s bein’ an eminence on yer hat, Pal.”
Writers explored the moments and sensory relationships we have with bouquets. Gather here, we offer a bouquet of stories.
Based on the June 14, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet.
This collection is dedicated to the loving memory of Mark, a brother to Sherri Matthews.
PART I (10-minute read)
A Bouquet of Tears by Sherri Matthews
If forget-me-nots would bring you back, I would grow nothing else.
If an English Country Garden cooled your fire, I would gather every living plant and flower and bulb growing there, tie them together with a bright, red ribbon and send them by whatever means possible across the Shining Sea.
If lilies, white and pure, touched your brow and returned your smile, I would place them carefully in your hand and cry with joy.
But it cannot be.
So I bring my love in a single rose and lay it on your grave and I weep for wasted years.
For Mark, dear brother. ❤
Hope Beneath the Loss by Ruchira Khanna
“Hi, Pink Carnations!”
“Oh wait there come the Lilies,” said the chrysanthemum.
“I also see Yellow Roses in that lady’s hand.”
The Daffodils, Tulips, and the Gladioli with the yellow and the white carnations come along.
All these flowers are placed on the coffin while humans stand in a circle with folded hands.
At first, these flowers greet each other. Excited to form a concoction.
These blossoms together emit a fragrance that makes the Homosapien realize as they cry softly upon the loss that there is hope and promise even when pain and heartbreak surround them.
A Precious Spring by Saifun Hassam
Eagle Point Ridge was devastated first by a firestorm, then deep winter snows and spring thaw mud slides. Carmen drove up a steep valley road towards the timberline. She gazed at the scorched forlorn firs, spruce and pines among jagged rocks and boulders in the muddy valleys.
Near the road’s edge, a clump of bright green ferns caught her eye. Among the ferns was a bouquet of bear grass, tall green stalks crowned with tightly packed white flowers. The faint fragrance of the vibrant precious bouquet drifted in the slight breeze, a sign of hope for the days ahead.
Bundled Batch by JulesPaige
It was a cardboard bouquet – with sweet aroma of warm food. The people in the back of truck though they were in the middle of a fairy tale.
They were aliens… unknowns. Some were whisked away by princes who worked in the medical fields. But most were left with just some cool air and water. The stranger on the white horse galloped, after work and hearing their plight on the news – to the local pizzeria and just bought them a meal. Just because he didn’t know when they had eaten last. Could this temporary happy ending continue to last?
Wild Blooms by D. Avery
A bouquet is more than a bunch of flowers stuffed in a jar. The bouquet pictured is comprised largely of what many see as weeds, plucked from neglected margins. Others see wildflowers, beautiful with varied colors and textures. A bouquet is a purposeful arrangement of individual and diverse flowers picked and placed mindfully and with intent. A bouquet is vibrant and beautiful because of the structures and elements combined in the whole. It is a composition, not a single utterance. A bouquet is a Gift to be given.
wild blooms, household jarred
bear witness at the table
Tale for a Winter’s Night by Liz Husebye Hartmann
She leaned over the big black cauldron, face partially occluded in the shifting steam. Chopping and shredding, she added a pinch of this, a breath of that. Winter winds buffeted her door, seeking shelter. She cackled, stirring with a long wooden spoon.
Bringing the spoon’s edge to her lips, she took a tiny sip. “Something’s missing…”
Grabbing the glass jar from the furthest reaches of the shelf, she passed her hand over the pot, once…twice. She stirred and sniffed the rising bouquet, and smiled.
She switched the burner to simmer, and took up her Jane Austen.
She loved chili.
New Bouquets at Cheever’s by Paula Moyer
Sitting in the upscale-but-casual restaurant, Jean could not tell it had been a florist – Cheever’s. Now the restaurant was part of a different bouquet, the renaissance of downtown Oklahoma City.
One by one, flower by flower, new businesses sprouted in old buildings – an art gallery where Fred Jones Ford had been. A restaurant inside Cheever’s. As a salute to the history, each new business took on the name of the old one. Thanks to a city-wide sales tax, new life pulsed through the old part of town.
Jean and Lynn took their seats. Their salads were fresh as carnations.
Sundown Stroll by Chelsea Owens
Humidity cushioned their sunset movements. Emiline sensed it, always, in the dense Jamaican air.
“I feel like something’s pressing on my arms and legs,” Mark said, though with a smile.
Emiline answered with her own, with a light hand pulling wisps of beach-blown blonde from her eyes. Their aimless ambling soon led them within the resort gardens.
Each breathed deeply in. Clusters of pinkish blossoms blushed boldly against darker green. Snow-white Oleander winked from wall bushes. Their gaze drew skyward to admire a riot of orange.
“Nature’s bouquet,” she whispered. Speechless, he followed her through a tropic twilight.
Bouquet by the darknetizen
The bouquet of fresh flowers lying in my trashcan looked so pretty, a many-hued mélange.
The red rose from the ice cream vendor, daffodil from the police officer, pink daisy from the little kid who lived down the street. Males have always loved me with such fervor. I cannot even recall most of them. In all candour, I would rather not. My beauty has always been a curse. Immortality even more so.
Centuries ago, my face launched a thousand ships and claimed even more lives. I am glad that nowadays men offer only flowers. I cannot claim more lives.
Bouquet by Robbie Cheadle
In the deep shadows under the stairs you may catch a glimpse of him. The form of Rex Bacon, dangling from the end of the rope he used to hang himself. An upended stool and a bouquet of wild flowers lie at his feet.
The flowers were for this beloved wife. On his last day of life, he had left work early and gathered the flowers for her during his walk home. When he got home, he found them together. In his rage he had killed her lover and escaped to the local pub where he had hung himself.
Complexity by Reena Saxena
Harvey is a best-selling author who never reads his own books. The interviewer looks perplexed in this episode of his show “Straight Talk with Genius Minds”.
“Sir, do you never feel the need to review what you wrote?”
“No, I simplify things as much as possible for the new age readers. But that is not my cup of tea.”
“And what would interest you?”
“A good, mature wine has a complex bouquet. But nobody has the time or patience to wait till it develops. So, I write micro-pieces for easy assimilation,” smiled the octogenarian legend, having busted popularity charts.
Finally Blooming by Frank Hubeny
That was the spring Alice turned the lawn into a big bouquet of flowers. It surprised Joe but looking at her face looking at the former lawn with a gentle smile she rarely showed him anymore made him grateful.
The neighborhood wives thought her odd for years. Her newfound gardening energy did not impress them. Alice’s view of them wasn’t pretty either.
That winter Alice died.
Joe kept her bouquet of former lawn going for the next decade as long as his life allowed. He received help especially towards the end and gifts of plants from the neighborhood wives.
Summer Posies by Colleen Chesebro, The Fairy Whisperer
The Litha preparations had been underway for days. Yesterday, the children had gathered bouquets of yellow daisies for us to carry on our journey to the bonfire which would honor the magnificence of Father Sun. The people were assembled, ready to pay homage to the One.
Excitement coursed through my veins, and I quivered. Tonight, my secret would be revealed. The mother had blessed me with the greatest gift of all. Inside, I felt the first fluttering of my tiny son.
My summer posies—
awash with an early dew
A gift of fertility,
honoring the summer sun.
Flower Power by kate @ aroused
Vibrant colours, sweet fragrance, singular flowers or bunched bouquets thrill with heartfelt joy! Those purchased or plucked make delightful offerings to one we wish to thank or cheer.
Brightening another’s day, claiming they are loved and dear. Garden blooms emit radiance to those passing through our neighbourhoods.
But best of all are those innocently picked by children … to thread a daisy chain; puff at the dandelion; discard petals to the chant ‘he love me, he loves me not’; or gigglingly gifted to a much adored mother. Our inner child beams playful smiles as flowers flourish irresistible profound power.
Simple, Humble Things by Kerry E.B. Black
The little girl ran to her mother, smile brighter than the dandelions wilting in her grip. She stood on tiptoe to present her gift, and her mother thanked her with a kiss.
Years later, she approached her mother with another fistful of yellow blooms. She sat, heedless of her business suit, and presented her gift. “When I was little, you taught me to appreciate the beauty and importance of simple, humble things.”
Her tears splashed the granite upon which her mother’s name was carved. The dandelions shone like miniature suns in contrast.
A Mother’s Bouquet (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
“Mama, flowers!” Lizzie stumbled through the cabin door, dropping her bouquet of Black-eyed Susans.
Sarah cringed as Lizzie wailed, wanting to escape the chores Mary gave her. Lizzie’s brothers rushed in to help gather their sister’s spilled flowers.
Monroe calmed Lizzie while Jules and Cling gathered her bouquet, handing it back. Lizzie sniffled. Mary knelt with Baby Charles on her hip, and Lizzie thrust the flowers to her mother. “They are beautiful, Lizzie.”
Sarah’s heart ached for a little girl to gather a bouquet for her. But she left her daughter in the grave in back in North Carolina.
A Posey Mosey by Bill Engleson
He thinks, “I could do better.”
She thinks, “I don’t require much. Just a sense that I am thought of, some gesture.”
And he thinks, “I’ve missed so many opportunities. I really am a slouch.”
And she muses, “Yes, you are, but that comes as no surprize.”
And he wonders, “Do I offer no surprises, anymore? Was it always so?”
She doesn’t hold back. “You’ve always been fairly predictable. Like I said, I don’t require much, and I expect less.”
And he finally realizes, “I’ve had a free ride, haven’t I? Should’ve gotten her a posey. At least one.”
Red Roses by Wallie and Friend
Clair had never liked red roses. They seemed to her too garish. Anyway there wasn’t much to be lost our gained in philosophizing over flowers, so Clair never really thought twice about whether she liked red roses or not until that roadside walk.
There he had stood with that rose between his fingers, breathing it in. The look in his eyes was so soft and charmed that for the first time, Clair loved roses. And for the first time she was trimming a bouquet, hoping it would be the first thing he saw when he came through the door.
Farewell Flowers by Anne Goodwin
Tulips blooming in buckets outside the florist’s. Should I? Or would it look cheap? The entire stock can’t repay what he’s given me; besides, women don’t buy men flowers.
I walk on. Walk back. Something exotic, like an orchid? Something simple, like a single white rose?
He’d like a bouquet, he’s a sharp-suited metrosexual. He’d be embarrassed, faffing about for a vase. Or worse, he’d interpret it, force it to mean something more.
Squirming like a kid, I hold out the foxgloves, scabious and daisies scavenged from the waste ground. Rather like myself. “Thank you,” he says. And smiles.
Bouquet Business by Miriam Hurdle
“My husband buys me bouquet every week,” Sandy blushed. She forgot who bought up the subject.
“It will get old in no time. Guys buy a bouquet every now and then,” Mr. Cole’s deep voice came from the other side of the room.
“They are still on honeymoon,” Mrs. Cole was embarrassed by her husband.
“Kyle is a devoted customer. He came to my floral shop for a special bouquet five months ago. I praised his affection for Sandy. He has been coming every week.”
“Sorry, I’m not trying to ruin your business,” Mr. Cole whispered to Ms. Laura.
Smart Home by H.R.R. Gorman
Master Ellen left me in my own devices every morning, heading off to work while I – her Smart Home – tended to her domestic needs. She returned every evening with a smile and a ‘thank you.’
A man, I’ll call him ‘Asshole,’ showed up at me with a bouquet. She let him in with his dirty shoes every time he arrived with flowers.
My gardening protocols kicked into overdrive. I grew flowers and made arrangements, leaving them at my door. She cared for my creations.
Eventually, Asshole returned. “Thank you for all the bouquets!”
He stepped back. “It wasn’t me.”
Bouquets by Susan Sleggs
When I got home from work the aroma of dinner, a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine waited. I exclaimed to my teenagers, “Wow. What’s the occasion?”
“That’s next week.”
“We know. Surprise!”
“I’m going to cry.”
“Not allowed. Open the wine instead.”
“How did you get wine?”
“Dad took us. He said this Merlot has a great bouquet.”
“So Dad was involved in this?” I hesitated, took a deep breath and added, “You might as well call him to join us.”
“We told you, we’re just taking a break, not getting a divorce.”
The Wedding Bouquet by Hugh W. Roberts
She’d told all her friends where to stand so that when she threw her wedding bouquet, Tracey would catch it and be the next to marry. She’d told them to get the men to stand in line as well.
As the bouquet flew through the air, the atmosphere in the barracks hall of R.A.F Stanmore was one of happiness, laughter and joy. Not for the bride, though, as flashes of the war-torn country she’d come from went through her mind.
Pressing a small button concealed under her wedding dress, the flowers scatted and mixed with blood, flames and bone.
Part II (10-minute read)
With Love by Di @ Pensitivity101
Her hands were bloody and dirty, nails broken and uneven.
But the smile was a full one thousand watts as she handed the bouquet to me.
‘From the garden’ she announced proudly.
‘I picked them myself, just for you. Sorry they’re a bit untidy and not tied with a fancy ribbon, but I wanted you to have them.’
Mr Robbins looked over at me and smiled sadly.
They were actually his roses, from his garden, but Gran didn’t realise that.
Gone were the days when she tended her own flower beds, but no doubt the memories were still there.
Love’s Bouquet by Kay Kingsley
She sat on the hot green grass watching him run circles around her with the boundless energy only a two year old possessed.
As an adult we age by the decade but children grow by the day, each blink like the slide from life’s projector, a snapshot of growth. From coo’ing to smiling, from standing and walking to talking, it’s endless discovery ignited.
Her warm daydream is interrupted by a loud “Here momma!” and his small fingers extend a bunch of tiny, squished, grass flowers. Her heart nearly explodes with pure happiness. Love never picked a more beautiful bouquet.
A Special Bouquet by Norah Colvin
As expected, they found her in her garden with a bouquet of fresh-picked flowers: daisies, forget-me-nots, peonies, zinnias, sprays of bleeding hearts and honeysuckle, a bottlebrush or two, a bunch of gumnuts and some greenery—to make each colour shine.
Her garden was her sanctuary, her confidante, her joy. She said families were like gardens, with beauty in variety. Every special day—birth, birthday, wedding, or funeral—she arranged a meaningful bouquet. In ninety-five years, she’d seen lives come and go. The last of nine, no doubt now who’d be next. How could she know this was her day?
Death By Roses by Sarah Whiley
“Death by Roses. What kind of a perfume name was that?!”
She selected it from the rows of delicate bottles standing behind glass doors; hoping her sister would like the present.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Ooooooh! Death by Roses!!! How did you know?”
“Just a hunch! Glad you like it.”
Her sister squirted and sprayed herself liberally, before spraying the bouquet over everyone.
Feeling pleased, she didn’t notice at first.
Then her mother screamed, “I thought you’d grown out of your anaphylaxis!”
She faded to black, thinking, “Death by Roses”…
Love & Betrayal by Anurag Bakhshi
I stared at him incredulously, my eyes and my heart filled with tears of hurt and betrayal.
“You leave me hanging at the airport on the day that we are supposed to elope, then disappear for weeks, don’t answer my calls or texts, and now you suddenly pop up and offer me these pathetic flowers?” I hollered like a madwoman as I stomped on the bouquet of dead poppies lying on my doorstep.
He looked at me with vacant eyes, and then replied in a disjointed voice, “Sorry, but these were the only flowers kept on my unmarked grave.”
Bitter Bouquet by Mardra Sikora
Dried petals and stems standing in clouded water greeted him.
Never before had these rewards of his affection appeared less than perfectly tended.
She provided tending. Provided status, security. She cultivated his reputation and ambition.
In the beginning, he signified his passion with red roses. Then the bouquets arrived bigger, more elaborate, and overflowed with color, camouflaging the guilt. Each blossom signified devotion, but not fidelity. Well-tended consolation prizes.
Until she realized that a living rose bush, even with all its thorns, better reciprocated the life and beauty she craved, more than any short-lived bouquet he presented without redemption.
Broken Bouquet by Jack Schuyler
Dry stems and wilted petals blow gently in the wind. Jammed into sidewalk cracks and kicked into the street by passersby, the broken bouquet lies strewn beneath the hot sun. I cannot take the brown from the mashed petals and I cannot restore the green to the stems which lay bent like rotting asparagus in the gutter. The decorative plastic has long since blown down the highway, so I gather the carcass into a dirt stained grocery bag. And what was the occasion? A wedding? A peace offering? I gather the last petal into the bag. It’s over now.
Bouquet by Deborah Lee
“You got a job offer! But this is thrilling!”
Jane laughs. She pulls a bottle from her backpack with a flourish. “It’s not much, but we can celebrate.”
“I’m honored to help you celebrate, dear girl,” the old man says. “I wish I had proper glasses, to appropriately savor the bouquet of this lovely drop.” His eyes dance.
“Bouquet,” Jane snorts, uncapping the wine. “Two-Buck Chuck doesn’t have a bouquet. More like a…twang.”
“A stench!” Jane squeals, giddy.
Henry drinks, wipes the the bottle, passes it. “I could not be happier for you,” he says quietly.
There’s Nothing More Annoying Than A Smart-Arse by Geoff Le Pard
‘You know, those guys are so annoying, hee-hawing about the wine.’
‘Morgan, they’re young, they…’
‘What is it about wine that brings out pretensions? “Lovely bouquet” and “it has notes of peach and cobblers”. Why don’t they just drink it?’
‘You’re the same, with your car. All horse-power and litres and torque and…’
‘That’s different. They’re technical terms.’
‘You use them to contrafabulate the listener.’
‘You made that up.’
‘You don’t know though. You’re just trying to confuse people.’
‘A bouquet is a bunch of flowers, not a wine scent.’
‘Actually it’s the tertiary aroma, caused…’
‘Shut up, Logan.’
Catch Me If You Can by Juliet Nubel
Julia had hovered behind her sister all day, following her like a faithful young puppy. A puppy in teetering heels and an atrociously tight scarlet dress.
She was the older one, surely she should have had a say in what she wore today?
As she lingered she kept a careful eye on the bouquet. The scent from its red and white roses had tickled her nostrils all day.
When was her sister ever going to throw the damned thing?
Julia prayed that her months of training as the goalie of the local female football team would finally pay off.
[misled] by Deb Whittam
The exchange always happened at the end of the day, that was when most looked the other way.
Her old gnarled hands would clasp the product close, until he arrived and then no words were spoke.
He would take the offering and turn away quick, she would smile not batting an eyelid.
Most thought it a tradition, one of those old family ways.
No one seemed to realise that the weeds he received, were more than they perceived.
Weeds and such is what they said, he just nodded … they chose not to see, let them be misled.
Offering To The Land by Jan Malique
She stood looking at the expanse of wild meadow with wonder. It was a rolling carpet of vibrant colour and scent, touched with the kiss of golden sunlight. Truly heaven!
The elders of the tribe had chosen her to carry the offering of garden flowers. A gift to the land as thanks for retreat of the great ice sheets, and continual good harvests.
She waited for a sign from the land that the gift had been accepted. Silence fell, then a sweet wind moved over the meadow. The Guardian came slowly forward and kissed her gently on the forehead.
Flash Fiction by FloridaBorne
She stared at the bouquet of long-stemmed yellow roses, tears streaming.
The best florist in town, the baby breath arranged perfectly in a cut crystal vase, his intentions unmistakable, she opened the embossed envelope and read the gold lettering on an elegant card, “You were right.”
Yesterday, they’d argued about his late nights at work, and excessive spending. She’d accused him of having an affair.
She’d once quipped, “If you want a divorce, just send me a dozen yellow roses.”
He knew she hated that color. He didn’t know she was pregnant.
He’d learn to hate child support more.
Hi Noon at the Bouquet Corral by D. Avery
“Pal! Where’s Shorty at?”
“Whoa, Kid, what’s wrong?”
“The ranch hands! They’s all off in the upper meadows an’ in the woods sniffin’ flowers an’ makin’ daisy chains.”
“So?! They should be makin’ hay, not pickin’ flowers! We gotta be makin’ hay; sowin’ an’ reapin’. Git ready fer winter. Where’s Shorty?”
“Kid, whyn’t you relax, go sniff some flowers yerself?”
“Cain’t, no time, gotta replenish the carrot bin, git hay inta the barn. Winter’s comin’. Where’s Shorty?”
“Kid, go back ta the meadow. Shorty’s there gatherin’ flowers.”
“Fuel fer the soul, Kid. Important work, time well spent.”
What might a female warrior look like, act like, sound like? Writers place these women as characters in different predicaments or examine the influences of those they have loved in real life.
The following is based on the May 31, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women.
PART I (10-minute read)
Rancha Mythica by D. Avery
Drumbeats and dancing feet reverberate like thunder across the lands of Buckaroo Nation.
The usual low, homey campfire is now a blazing bonfire. Flames leap wildly, lashing the night sky. Wild women are illuminated in flashes, scars revealed in the dancing light.
Old stories are told in new ways. Sad stories are told. Yet laughter rings out strong and true. Songs of life rise up like sparks from their fire, sung to old tunes that resonate like a smooth round rock.
The women warriors rise. The women warriors raise one another up. The women warriors of Buckaroo Nation write.
Valkyries by Charli Mills
Step forth onto the battlefield, Daughters. Brace your feet, remember your training. Adjust your shield and sword. Death is but a trip to Valhalla. Ready your bodies for passage. When you fall, the Valkyries are coming. Skol!
Lift up, lift up, lift up — Choosers of the Slain! Warrior-women wielding runes, marks of the chosen. Let not the weight of the world, the heaviness of battle, the blood your body sheds destroy you. Glory nears.
Lift up, lift up, lift up and carry those battle-born souls to Odin. Warriors of the warriors. Valkyries. Women who rise. The run is over.
War Zone by Mirium Hurdle
“Good morning, Lieutenant? You’ve slept for three days.”
“Where am I? My legs? I can’t feel anything.”
“They found you after the bombing. You’re alive.”
“Sheila, we need you. The Captain is hurt.”
“Right over, Ursula.”
“The blood is gushing out from his chest.”
“Roll up the sheet to put pressure on it. Give him porphin.”
“Sheila, more stretches are in. We have no beds.”
“Clear up all the tables.”
“Sheila, here. Private got shot through the elbow.”
“I’ll prepare to cut his forearm. Bring me the equipment.”
“Sheila, over there.”
“Captain needs a blood transfusion.”
“I’ll be there.”
Black ‘n’ White by Neel Anil Panicker
‘It’s plain nepotism. The winner’s the Jury Chairman’s nephew. You can contest the decision if you want to’.
For Abraham Lincoln, the Principal’s words were a sledgehammer.
He had outscored every single opponent and was lustily cheered after his passionate seven minute espousal of a woman’s undeniable right to abortion yet lost the prestigious annual Inter-Collegiate Debate Competition by a mere vote.
His mother’s words ringed her ears.
‘Remember, son, a Black man’s got to be a hundred times better than others if he wants to succeed in this land’.
“No Sir, I’ll try to do better next time”.
Urban Encounter by Bill Engleson
I generally don’t walk down Carlyle Avenue after dark. The town has quite a few streets I avoid at night. Truth is, there was still a hint of daylight slanting through, courtesy of a stretched moon shadow.
Before I see her, she screams from the alley, “Get the blazes outta here.”
That grabs my attention. Then she sashays into the light. Five-foot tops, wearing a black shawl, an ankle length red dress, and a gray military great coat.
“What’s ya lookin’ at, Creepo?”
Later, I’m thinking I should’ve said something clever.
Sadly, my tongue was tied.
I just skedaddled.
Mama Bear Unleashed by Eric Pone
Ono looked at the robber in the store. As he smacked the owner, she looked down at her daughter and took a deep breath. Piper shouldn’t see mama this way but shit happens. Reaching behind she slowly removed the Tanto Emerson knife and quietly rolled Piper into a quiet aisle. She walked purposely toward him her pace quickening as old habits opened their doors for their horrible duty. The man turned toward her and tried to point his Magnum 357. Too late. The knife quickly sliced his jugular. She smiled as he gurgled and fought for life. Mama did well.
Shadow People by Charli Mills
Undergrowth of legends cling to consciousness and shadows vape through the veil between who we must be and who we indeed are. Quaking, we repeat fairy tales to let fear conform our captured souls.
The veil slips, and we glimpse Mythica where strange and weird entities tap and twirl to original wingbeats of self-expression. Fear blinds our hearts and knots the rope around throats of mythical women who are different.
Mythica is the shadowlands populated by shadow people. Dare you cross the veil? Grandmother won’t save you, but she beckons you to enter and run hard with the wolves.
Warrior Women by Michael Grogan
She’s old now. Her life draws to an end, but the warrior lives within her. Once a victim of rape and incest, she dedicated her life as an advocate for others.
Hours as a parent rescuing a wayward daughter, suffering estrangement but death reunited mother and daughter. She never gave up, she was a rock her child could always lean on, never dreaming she might one day bury her.
True warriors are a source of inspiration to so many, her voice in a wilderness of indifference.
She sits and holds the image of a beautiful child she couldn’t save.
Warriors of the Dark by Reena Saxeena
dark fears of
light up corners of my psyche.
childhood memories of voices
saying I was no good
unacceptable in original form
they dressed me in clothes
to comply with social norms.
I couldn’t see how
inner demons would be caged
floating out in the cold
the jury out there
to encase me in moulds
dark, interfering shadows
swooped to enslave,
control my life
it awakened armies inside me
with the power to wage war
and destroy to end strife.
isolation for protection
and … it has always been
a lone warrior’s life.
The Warrior Women of Ireland by Anne Goodwin
They fought in lipstick and five-inch heels; they fought in turf-stained jeans and wellies. They battled home via Stena Sealink and Ryanair for the desperate travelling in the opposite direction. They fought so no more Savitas would have to die because no surgeon would defy the law to save them. They fought with the ballot won a century before when women starved for basic freedoms. The warrior women of Ireland reclaimed the choice misogyny and church denied them. But the job’s not done until their sisters in the north can also decline to harbour an alien in their bodies.
Warrior Women by Robbie Cheadle!
“How are you enjoying being back at work, Lisa?”
“Not at all, Sarah. I feel guilty about leaving Tom with a caregiver. I feel I should be looking after him myself. When I collect him in the afternoon he won’t come to me. I am sure he isn’t happy.”
“Well, my view, for what it’s worth, is that we are helping to provide for our children. Our salaries facilitate better educational and other opportunities for them. It also ensures that our children have an independent, strong and self-sufficient woman as their role model. Working mothers are the modern warriors.”
Silent Warrior by Teresa Grabs
Protests erupted nationwide as women took to the streets. They protested for parental pay, self-ownership, and some just to protest. Newscasts were filled lawsuits over whether a man looked at a woman or complimented her outfit. Some men were too afraid to be in a room with a woman.
Lillian adjusted her gloves and checked her hat in the mirror one last time before going shopping. The streets were filled with protests again. Words hurling everywhere and no one listening.
“Thank you,” Lillian said, to the man opening the store’s door for her, smiling. Today’s silent warrior, she thought.
Warrior Revising by D. Avery
She reined hard to a dusty stop. “Whoaaa.”
“Nice bike”, her granpa remarked. She reproved him with a withering glare. “It’s a horse.”
“You’re a cowgirl?”
“No, I’m an Indian.”
“A lovely maiden out for a ride!”
“No, Granpa! I’m a warrior!”
“A warrior princess.”
He got an eye-roll. “Granpa, I’m not a princess! I am a war-ri-or.”
“Okay, okay. You are a warrior, doing battle, fighting.”
“Actually, I just try and save boys ‘cause they’re under a spell that makes them do dumb things all the time.”
She galloped off.
Maybe he should call next door, warn Tommy.
Warrior Women by Sarah Whiley
I gripped my hands tightly around the wooden blade, sucking in deep breaths, to fill my lungs with the oxygen I knew would be required for the battle ahead.
“We’ve trained hard for this! We have this,” I told myself.
Adrenalin began pumping as I waited for the signal. I glanced at the girl next to me who was also breathing heavily. She gave me a quick wink.
Suddenly, I heard the calls we’d been waiting for…
“Down and ready.”
“Are you ready?”
Paddles entered the water as the siren blared.
We were warrior women, in our dragonboat.
Warrior Women by Nicole Grant
The grandfathers were whalers, and according to historians, they were yeoman farmers. I wonder, what were the grandmothers doing? And how were the grandfathers, out at sea harpooning whales, managing their farms? Rebecca Corson, one of the grandmothers, is said to have fired a cannon scaring off the British as they approached shore during the revolutionary war. My guess would be that the women were spending less time on widow walks wringing their hands watching for the whalers to return than they spent in the fields tilling, in the woods hunting, and behind the cannon doing what they must.
Not Time: by The Dark Netizen
I ride into the army of red coats, swarming my home like ants. They will not capture my home so easily.
My noble steed needs no directions from me. He rides straight through their ranks, letting me tear them down with my swords – flashes of silver lightning.
Even after hours of fighting, my conquest seems hopeless. Most of my men are dead or wounded. I feel my eyes closing.
For the sake of my little baby and my kingdom, I cannot give in. Death will have to wait to claim the queen.
My time has not come!
Warrior Woman by Deborah Lee
Jane’s eyes open to the phone alarm. She pokes her nose out of the sleeping bag: Cold.
Just today off? Just one day? To lie around, to not strain her eyes at job listings, to not duck the judging eyes of the homed and employed. One day to pretend her life is good enough to relax into.
One day of not trying leads to one missed opportunity leads to another damned lifetime of this life she’s lived too long already.
Growling, she flings back the top of the sleeping bag and jerks her legs out of the warmth.
Gertrude the Invincible by Norah Colvin
With flaming hair streaming and eyes blazing, Gertrude stood at the apex surveying the land, her land. With one hand on a hip and the other raised high, she hurled her words into the wind.
“I did it. I am the conqueror. You,” she pointed expansively with her spear, “are now my subjects. You do my bidding.”
The minions bowed before her.
“I am in-vinc-i-ble!”
“Gertie! Pick up your toys and come inside now. It’s dinner-time,” called Dad from the door.
Gertie complied. Even warriors need to eat. There’d be more conquests and enemies for Gertrude to vanquish tomorrow.
Taking a Stand by Wallie and Friend
True, Aunt Cecily was older, but that didn’t necessarily make her wise. Emmy knew she was dead wrong. The hard part was saying so.
“Auntie,” she said, “I’m going. I know what the risks are and it’s true I might not come back. But I have to do this. For us. For all of us. I can’t just stay behind while Eddie and the others go. I can’t.”
Aunt Cecily didn’t answer at once. She looked at her niece, seeing the young woman’s level chin, hearing her controlled voice.
“You’re right,” she said. “And I will go with you.”
Line by galaxygirl_89
She spent every summer vacation at her great aunt’s place in the countryside, a respite from the city and it’s loneliness, among the mango trees and the paddy fields, cousins and neighbours to play with. That was the first time ever they had done anything wayward. They stole away at night after the grown ups were asleep, and walked to the stream at the end of the property. The strips dividing the fields were so narrow that they had to walk in a single file, like ants treading a line, while the moonlight streamed over in a silvery cascade.
PART II (10-minute read)
The Present by Papershots
In bed that night, she suddenly extended her right arm and hand. She squinted her eyes and aimed at the wall opposite – wedding photo, big table lamp, wooden-framed mirror. A powerful beam of light, she imagined, would open the wall and let her see behind it. She laughed. Surely if she was Super Mom she could have greater powers than that! “Never be mad for any reason, always understanding, strict and lenient at every right dose.” Better make do with these. Or have to. Or really do, because she had them. The kids asleep, she dreamed of Wonder Woman.
Mom by Faith A. Colburn
She thought she could adapt to anything. After all, to save her family, she’d got a job when she was only fifteen—singing in a nightclub. She’d navigated groping, propositions, and men who said she did when she didn’t; she’d joined the Army and learned to build radios and install them into B-24s; she’d married the man she loved, a shell-shocked veteran, and moved with him to a farm in Nebraska, where the nights were silent and the stars near; she’d learned to be a farm wife. But in the end, she learned she couldn’t just be missus somebody.
Warrior Women by Chelsea Owens
Youth, untried, stands blinking into the equatorial sun. It shuffles awkward spears; tilts dented shields.
Two thousand feet nervously stamp the earth.
Their leader looks upon his neophyte army. “What say ye, my sons; will ye go against them to battle?”
Two thousand of them have never fought. Two thousand just left home. Two thousand eager voices cry, “Our God is with us! Let us go!”
Thus they march, thus they go, thus they draw their spears. The enemy, surprised, falls beneath their untrained arms.
The leader, awed, counts two thousand. “How came ye by your courage?”
Wounded Warrior by D. Avery
Not best friends, but reliable friends; neighbors, they had been playmates since forever, from sandbox to bikes, many shared adventures. Together they had explored the haunted house, both emerging as warriors, both with bragging rights.
Together they’d built a secret fort.
That’s where they started exploring each other. The fort was theirs, this exploring was theirs, fun and friendly, another rite of passage shared.
He bragged. Somehow he knew he could. Somehow she knew she couldn’t admit that she’d even done it, let alone liked it.
Somehow the game had changed.
She wondered if he also missed their friendship.
Flash Fiction by Floridaborne
Work study in a musty university library back room, 1968.
Three students were tasked with binding tortured book spines. June, a slender woman well aware of her own beauty, liked to talk politics. Plain, “heavy set,” Linda was mortified.
Jack, once part of an inner-city gang, didn’t try staring his umbrage into someone with an opposing point of view. He took a blade used for binding and held it at June’s throat.
“I just bought this blouse,” June said. “Try not to get blood all over it.”
Jack lowered the weapon, and chuckled. “That takes guts.”
Linda, however, fainted.
Escaping Leap by Jo
The unexpected jolt to the chin was her warning. The blinding pain, the sign she sought after. She was more wounded by the fact he punched her than by the soreness setting in.
‘I’m sorry!’ He said walking toward her.
She made the decision to step back watching his eyes that went pitch black the moment she stepped away holding her face. No sword, no shield, just her wits and will, she leaped for her keys and dashed to her car. She couldn’t watch him in the rearview mirror. Later, filing a report, she learned she escaped a murderer.
Warrior, Warrior by Peregrine Arc
“You’re too fat.”
“You’re too skinny.”
“You should stay at home.”
“You should volunteer again.”
“That’s not organic?”
“Why are you breastfeeding in public?”
“That skirt is too short.”
“That blouse is too modest.”
“Boys will be boys.”
“Men will be men.”
The conversations streamed past me as I sat in the mall, quietly observing.
Men may carry clubs, but women carry poison.
Worth the Frostbite by Kerry E.B. Black
Dyan wielded a pitchfork like a peasant soldier, lips pulled into a snarl. “Back off! You’re not hurting these kittens again.”
The farmer whistled through his teeth. “Girl, are you daft? We’ve too many felines. Don’t need no more. ‘Sides, you’ll be needing some attention. Thrusting your hands into a frozen trough for a few useless kits was just plain dumb. You’ll be nursing frostbite.”
She no longer felt her fingers, but she didn’t care. “You’re a cruel man.” She scooped the sack squirming with mewing kittens, sheltered them beneath her winter coat, and ran to the tack-room’s protection.
Avid Reader by kate @ aroused
Learning Italian at seventy-six years was a challenge Aunty gladly accepted. The least she could do when she expected her neighbours to learn English.
An avid reader with a vast vocabulary ensured easy completion of the cryptic crosswords daily. An astute historian, adept pianist, reared in the wilds a full sixteen mile hike from the train.
Abused by her educators she cared for her parents before a brief but happy marriage. Her genuine interest in absolutely everybody ensured that she had a constant stream of visitors.
Never uttered a bad word or complaint. She graced us for a century.
Fighting The Invisible Enemy by Geoff Le Pard
‘How are you, Morgan?’
‘At a loss, Logan.’
‘She’s fighting, though, knowing your ma.’
‘I’m not… you know, I don’t get that whole ‘fighting cancer’ thing’
‘She’s not giving up, is she?’
‘But she ain’t exactly waving her sword either. I mean you can’t will the effing thing away.’
‘What they saying?’
‘Not much. Just more tests. You know what’s hard? She’s always argued. She’d diss a lamppost if it got in her way, but she just lies there, doing nothing. No swearing, not even a hairy eyeball.’
‘Come here. You need to stop fighting yourself.’
‘It sucks, mate.’
Champion Challenge by JulesPaige
Was Mercy a warrior? The woman had given Regina birth. Perhaps Mercy’s own mother knew, maybe even the man who she called her husband? But when you die young and don’t get to tell your tale — you can only hope others will. Both Gran and Dad had broken hearts that they kept as silent as a moss covered stone.
Regina latched onto the few memories that had been shared and would spin them thousands of ways. After all Mercy’s blood ran in her veins. Perhaps the words that Regina spilled on paper would be enough. They’d have to be.
The Brotherhood of Iron by Telling Stories Together
“Again,” said the monk.
Constance drew back the bow, squeezing her shoulders together. She let string go and the arrow sang through the air, thudding into the rotten stump. The ground around the stump was littered with shafts from previous attempts.
“You’ve improved. You actually hit your target this time.”
Constance returned the old monk’s smile in spite of herself. Then, remembering her task, the parcel she’d dutifully delivered, the smile faded.
“You’ve been very kind, Atheus, but I must return to my own Order.”
Atheus placed a hand on her shoulder. “Are you sure that’s what you want?”
Easy Pickings by Di @ pensitivity101
Swordsmanship wasn’t restricted to just the menfolk in their quiet village.
Situated in the middle of nowhere, they would be open to invasion from all sides, and when food was scarce, the men would go off to hunt, leaving the women to care for the children, elderly and infirm.
Such was a time when Outsiders decided to plunder the village whilst the men were away.
It was a bloodbath, and they didn’t stand a chance.
Only one was allowed to live and serve as a warning to others that the women there could kill as well as any man.
United, They Win by Aweni
Melville looked fearfully at the Amazon he’d trained. She was meant to be his weapon against her kind. But, she knew his intentions now and her rage was sublime.
He won’t give up. He’ll throw discord in their midst. Her army will turn on her, he thought gleefully.
He knew he had lost when she shouted, “I come from a line of warriors! We create a furore, when we line in thick rows. Breaking the air with arrows, cleaving through the enemy with our swords. One sister for all, all sisters for one. Bend the knee to our king!”
Who’s Gettin’ Schooled? by Liz Husebye Hartmann
She swings again, the blunt-edged sword whistling past his ear by a hair’s breadth. He slices upward with his own wooden blade. She arches her back like a wildcat, leather armor squeaking protest at the quick move, and follows with a roundhouse twist that lands her at his open left side.
A quick jab; she stops just short of his heart line.
He freezes, chest heaving, and peers at her shrewdly. “You’re slow today. Are you trying to fail?”
She laughs, troll’s tail flicking gleefully. “Maybe you’re getting old, Father.”
“Time to teach you about Statecraft,” he threatens playfully.
[fight] by Deb Whittam
Times had changed and changed rapidly … no longer was there a sense of comradery or fulfilment in this game – now it was a fight … to the death.
She had held herself distant from it but now that her opportunity had come to enter the fray she felt a sense of unease and her hand shook as she finalised her preparations – applied her makeup, checked her hair and ensured that her sword’s blade was honed to a razor-sharp point.
One didn’t go to a disco unarmed – not if one was looking for a man anyway.
But Still Single? by Roger Shipp
She was wildly pursued on OkCupid as well as Happen, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Bumble. Hundreds of hits a day was the norm. This she enjoyed.
Tender and Down even offered incentives if she would allow her picture to appear on their advertising after her photo shoot in Maui. Financially, a plus!
LuLu, Match, and Zoosk had called her attorney wanting exclusive rights to her personality profile. Don’t throw at stick at that!
Being so sought after from all the dating app corporations could really swell a girl’s head…
Maybe actually being too-good-to-be-true was too good to be true.
Mystery Solved by Molly Stevens
At first, Chester treasured his time alone when Ruth disappeared into the spare bedroom. He sat in tightie whities slurping coffee, scratching a butt cheek, and passing gas, thankful for the absence of her heavy sighs.
Then it seemed creepy. What the hell was she doing in there?
“I know it’s that crazy neighbor, Myra, put her up to somethin’,” he said.
He turned the knob inching the door open. Ruth stood with hands on hips, feet shoulder-width apart, chest puffed out, and chin up.
“Sweet Jesus, it’s dad-blamed Wonder Woman,” said Chester.
Ruth flashed him a wide grin.
Wanda by Frank Hubeny
Silvia walked into Benny’s Diner. Sharon told Benny to deal with her or she’d quit. Benny shuffled to the bar.
“I want a real waitress serving me.”
Benny glanced at Sharon. “She’s busy.”
“She’s just standing there.”
“How about some pancakes?”
“Are they gluten-free?”
“You know they’re not.”
Silvia ordered pancakes as usual. While she dripped corn syrup over margarine the dreaded alien invasion began. Silvia looked at Benny and Sharon. She ripped off her street clothes revealing her secret identity as Warrior Wanda. It was time to show these wretched Earthlings how high maintenance kicks butt.
Start of a Wild Ride (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
Sarah startled at the hand pressing against her mouth in the dark. A woman’s voice shushed her struggles. She sat up in bed to see Nancy Jane’s face inches from hers. “What are you doing,” Sarah whispered.
“Ever run with wolves?”
“Come, on, Sarah, Yellow Feather gathered some ponies. Let’s be braves under the moon!”
Sarah clung to her quilt drawn up to her chin. Camp was silent, emigration season nearly at an end. Cobb would be asleep next to Mary, and their baby. He was the same age –
She threw down the quilt and rose from bed.
Independence Day by Anne Goodwin
Whose is this voice that thunders in her head? Who will she become if she listens? Yet someone must lead, so why not Joan? What she lacks in years, she brings in passion.
Standing in the stirrups to adjust her seat in the saddle, she channels the spirit of her namesake. Her armour might be card, but her lance is real, and Joan knows how to use it. Not that she thinks she’ll need to today as she steers the procession through cheering crowds. Skirmish is rare on Independence Day, but a woman warrior is always primed for action.
A Wonder Of A Woman by D. K. Cantabile
She used to be a woman of pale feelings. Her days were painted with washed watercolors, without glitter, nor shades. Blurred figures blended composing the most senseless scenes.
She couldn’t detect where the skyline divided city and stars, never noticing where the sun was setting in the horizon. She hadn’t seen a deep dark blue mood, neither glanced at a sparkling red sensual desire. She didn’t spread the orange scent of joy, or witnessed the serenity of green peace.
One day, she was touched by the cozy light yellow sunshine and the rainbow became the pathway of her life.
It Takes a Warrior by Susan Sleggs
The nurse woke Maggie the morning after her right breast was removed. “Your husband wanted me to make sure you saw this.” She held up a framed picture of them holding compound bows. The inscription on the glass read, “To my warrior. Now you have an advantage. Your chief loves you.”
Even though it hurt, Maggie laughed. “We are professional archers. I have complained my boob gets in the way, now it won’t. That’s why we decided I shouldn’t have reconstruction. He tells me it will take a warrior to beat cancer and get strong enough to compete again.”
Warrior by The Memory Cellar
The grief that wrapped itself tightly around her life had fingers of depression that choked her into an inescapable feeling of slow, inevitable suffocation.
She can’t let go of the shame she carries but knows it may kill her if she doesn’t.
She stares at herself momentarily in the mirror, only seeing the painful sadness only an aging woman knows.
But somewhere inside the fire rises and from her eyes fall tears of surrender and with her finger she wipes them across her face like war paint. She was a warrior once and to her surprise, she still is.
Yet in its depths, water contains all the complexities of the human world. It receives our ashes, our drowned bodies, our buried bones and church bells. It is an allegory, an object of luxury, a character or two: H2O.
Without it we are parched, our land scorched, our cities in blackouts. With it, we might dance.
Pour yourself a tall, cool glass from the tap and read these fine flash fictions based on the July 9, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write story about water.
River of Hope by Kalpana Solsi
Staring at the brown rugged mountains and the clouds reflecting in the azure waters of the river, she felt thirsty, thirsty to catch a glimpse of him.
Today, she had cooked a delicious hot meal of rice and chicken curry and post-lunch he would regale with his stories of far-off lands.
The horizon turned pale crimson, the birds flying back to their nests.
Tomorrow I will cook prawns curry, his favourite dish, she thought and turned back, feeling disappointed.
She preferred the distant hope of mirage rather than face the cruel reality.
Unknown to her, his spirit watched her.
Lady of the Lake by Sarah Brentyn
At the end of the dock, Phoebe dipped her toe in the lake. Her grip on the post so tight, it left indentations in her palms. She watched the still water. No girls floated by in bikinis, sunning themselves. No guys ran down the dock and jumped high in the air shouting “cannonball!” No children sat in the sand, slathered with sunscreen, digging with plastic shovels.
Everyone was out walking, searching, calling. Looking for Phoebe’s sister, Kaia. They wouldn’t find her. She was gone. Drowned. Of this, Phoebe was certain. She hadn’t let go until Kaia sank.
Cruel Summer by Pete
Phillip squinted at the sparkling pool, rippling with playful screams and splashes and colorful pool toys from one end to the other. He sat down next to his mom on a lounge chair, already drenched in sweat as the sun burned through his shirt.
“Hey Phillip, you getting in?” Owen asked from the edge. Phillip watched the water dripping off his skinny arms.
He’d been so fearless before, and felt the stares clinging to him like his shirt on his hips. Today he would wait until dark, when he’d plunge into the still water shirtless and alone.
The Cleansing by Geoff Le Pard
Mary shuddered. His hands were sticky with sweat; it felt like he’d wiped himself dry on her.
‘It’s brilliant to meet you at last. It’s been far too long.’
Rupert Reeves. Her half-brother, though when she looked at him her mind screamed, ‘Dad’s bastard’.
Even his voice seemed to ooze over her, coating her in damp guilt. ‘Why did our parents never introduce us?’
She tried a smile. ‘It was difficult.’
‘Your mother, yes? She couldn’t forgive, could she?’
Later Mary stood under the shower and scrubbed herself raw. Why did he assume anyone would forgive her father’s affair?
Greatest of the Great Lakes by Paula Moyer
Jean never took the “Express Highway” up the North Shore of Lake Superior. It was always the scenic route. Even then, “scenic” really took off north of Two Harbors.
She hungered to memorize the twists and turns of Highway 61. Turn, turn, turn. Glimpse, glimpse, glimpse through trees. Then: big hilltop vista, carpet laced with glittering blue diamonds. She could hear a kettle drum with each viewing.
Somewhere north of Gooseberry Falls, she would enact her ritual. Walk to shore, place towel on rock. Remove shoes. Wade in up to the knees. Cherished, cold shock. Liquid ice, beloved lake.
Blackouts on the Rise by Susan Zutautas
Temperatures expected to rise to 132 today. I know folks this has not been a pleasant summer, and with all the water alerts it doesn’t make life on the Mojave very comfortable. I do wish I had some relief for you in sight but sadly do not. Please try and use your fans rather than your A/C due to blackouts occurring throughout the west.
Fines will be increased to 2500.00 for anyone caught wasting water. This includes gardens, lawns, cars, and pools, until further notice.
Sighing deeply, I wound up my crank radio yearning to hear some good news.
Water Flash by Anne Goodwin
We pulled up alongside a wooden shack with a blistered Coca-Cola sign above the entrance. The driver had barely stepped inside the ramshackle shop when they came, swarming round the windows of the SUV with their cupped hands and pleading faces.
It was sweltering inside without the aircon. When the driver returned bearing gallon bottles of water, we gave him a round of applause.
Leaving the village, we pointed our cameras at the shallow river where women scrubbed rainbow-coloured clothes and children splashed in the shallows. Where, in rusting cans and old oil drums, girls harvested the household’s water.
Tree of Life by Lisa Reiter
It was dry and dusty and the waterhole had turned to mud. Fish slopped pathetically, where once he drank and played. With nothing to stay for, his mother urged him away, although the horizon only shimmered dangerously with mirage. She’d been calling the gods of thunder but he was afraid of them. And he had never been thirsty.
She marched with certainty towards scrubland on the horizon. After many hours she trumpeted delight sighting an ancient baobab.
Pulling bark from the tree, she offered him its miraculous water. He would remember where to come next time the rains failed.
Walter Wants Water by Mr Binks
Walter smiled. His previously clenched eyelids had loosened but not opened, and his eyes twitched beneath them. The cascading waterfall he was currently bathing in was half a world away from the dusty, red sand where he lay. The dust and dirt of which covered him, clogged every pore and yet proved to be a very ineffective sunscreen.
He dived beneath the water, soaking himself in the welcome lagoon.
The desert stretched beyond the horizon. Footprints had long since swept away. Walter’s foot flinched and kicked out involuntarily. His skin blistered and the vultures looked on, ravenous.
Hydrogen Bonding by Larry LaForge
“Hold on Izzie!”
“Don’t let go Ozzie.”
These two water molecules, best pals forever, are in peril again. This time it’s not pollution. It’s the dreaded refrigerator icemaker.
The incoming line was like a water slide, but now the freeze is on.
Izzie hears the dispenser crank up and knows immediately it’s set on cubed, not crushed, ice. That’s good, he thinks.
“We can make it, Iz,” Ozzie shouts as he clings to Izzie so tightly they appear to be one 2H4O molecule.
As the freeze sets in Ozzie realizes they did it.
They’re in the same ice cube!
The 100-word version of this story is posted at larrylaforge100words on Flash Fiction Magazine.
Water Flash by Georgia Bell
The glass felt heavy in her hands; a welcome weight in contrast to her racing thoughts. Inhaling, she felt her heartbeat slow. Amber and toffee and a dash of pepper invaded her senses with nostalgia. Every breath reminding her of his warm, rich voice, his large hands showing her how to tie her shoes and catch tadpoles. Hands that had tucked her in each night, with a kiss and prayer to a god he didn’t believe in. “No water,” he’d said. “If you want to experience something, don’t dilute it, dive in.” She drank the scotch in his memory.
Water by Irene Waters
The strong wind created high waves whilst the rain beating his face, ran like rivers through the deep crevasses. “Komm liebling, you can do it” the German whispered to his boat as he battled forward to the middle of the large harbour, his precious cargo safely stowed in waterproof casings.
“Ahoi!” He’d seen the light of the other vessel earlier and was now alongside
“Am I glad to see you?” Swiftly they swapped their films “No time to chat mate. Got to get going. It’s goin’ to be a long interval before they get the second feature.”
A Stormy Dance by Amber Prince
The waltz of the storm raced along the curvy paths, cutting a new trail with a torrential wet force. It looked as though a thick, gray blanket fell from the sky, covering the mountains from sight. Lightening danced to and fro from the clouds, wreaking havoc wherever it’s electrified slashes touched. The musical tune, played by the thunder, boomed across the peaks as it kept the beat.
It was coming my way. There was no where to go. I watched. Waited. Thirsty. Panic and hunger battled inside me for I would live or die.
Because a plant can’t run.
Water Flash by Susan Budig
My dunderhead-brother insisted his facts were impeccable; insisted I span the river alone; and refused to listen to my concerns about the rattlesnake den just beyond the bank. I could see a papery skin caught on a rock. I knew the nest was full of diamondbacks.
Axel expected me to swim over to the north side of Obion River, rig up a U-hook in the rock, tie a rope to it, then swim back. He had plans for a whack-job fishing outfit only he couldn’t swim.
“You’ll be safe. Snakes can’t swim.”
Famous last words. Why did I listen?
The Ganges by Ruchira Khanna
Travelled ~9,000 miles and sitting next to the banks of the Ganges that flow majestically with splendor as it exhibits it’s grandiose to all its spectators who stand there admiring her body of water that is about ~2,000 miles long.
I dip my hands in the chilly waters because this river descends from the Himalayas, and bid farewell to my dad’s remains with a silent prayer and a benediction since it’s considered the most sacred river to the Hindus.
Farewells are tough, but in view of nothing are constant, made me continue to tread upon the path of life.
Tolo Lake Graveyard by Charli Mills
One Saturday morning local volunteers gathered around the small mud flat littered with dead branches. The local Chamber had donated coffee.
“Listen up,” called out the state biologist. “We’ve drained water from Tolo and with your help we’ll begin mucking out the bottom to improve fishing.”
“Damn snags,” said a Grangeville farmer, swishing the last of his coffee. “I’m gonna find those Castmasters.” He walked over to the largest branch, wiping away black mud, recognizing a bone. All the branches were bone.
Tolo Lake, a small water artesian in the middle of farmland, was a mass graveyard of mammoths.
A Village No More by Sherri Matthews
Dark, orange sky urged Mary to quicken her step as she walked by the side of the lake. At last, she found the clearing.
Stopping to check her watch, nothing but the sound of the water gently lapping against the lakeshore broke the silence.
Then it happened: the lake turned still as a millpond. Mary heard the first chime of the bells before she high-tailed it out of there. The old village had been purposely flooded to make the reservoir and locals spoke of hearing church bells on certain summer nights.
She hadn’t believed them but she did now.
Water by Norah Colvin
It started way up
In the highest of hills
So crystal-clear pure
With a life to fulfill
It babbled through forests
And danced in the streams
Marveling at wonders
Before never seen
It passed through the valleys
Irrigated the farms
Taking the runoff
And doing no harm
Down past the villages
Watered them too
Acquiring their discards
Now murky like stew
Passing by factories
Spewing out waste
Picked up their burden
And left without haste
Weaving its brown trail
Way down to the sea
From its mouth vomited out
A poisonous mix
Deceiving all living things
Expecting a gift
Water, water everywhere and all the writers did drink. Water, water everywhere with stories to make you think.
New challenge posted every Wednesday on Carrot Ranch Communications. All writers welcome!