Robin Hawke

November 6, 2011, 3:14 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: , ,

Empty—his thoughts worn out empty blather, he whistled flashes of songs. Old stuff. James rolled over in bed, knocked the glass on the floor. The amber liquid leaked through the wide floor boards. He felt his rib cage constrict his heart. James began to panic. Familiar with the pressure, he rolled on his back, waited for the attack to dissipate.

Anxiety kept him in bed another day, except for occasional forays to the refrigerator. The dog. He threw on a robe, walked the dog through the  shaggy winter wonderland hired to inspire him. Beauty failed him; inertia claimed him.

I’m late with this…couldn’t get my act together until I realized flash writing must precede NaNoWriMo goals.

Flash Friday

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10 Comments so far
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Oh wow, I felt the sense of paralysis and didn’t like it much. Anxiety is a powerful force. I interpreted the last line in a couple different ways – it could mean simply that he went back to bed after the beauty of the winter scene didn’t motivate him, or it could mean he died from exposure and anxiety. Either way, I liked it.

Got a laugh about the flash preceding Nano goals – glad you gave in and let that happen!

Comment by Madison Woods

I’ve made some huge bloopers trying to keep up flash during this month. But it’s all part of the experience of NaNoWriting. I’m glad I wrote this too. Thanks Madison!

Comment by Robin Hawke

Wow, you are 37% through Nanowrimo, well done! Oh and nice story too! 🙂

Comment by Louise Jaques

I think this is great and nothing like mine….I love how you describe the feeling of his sickness and reiterate it when the amber liquid leaked between the wide floorboards. I felt it was it was a metaphor for his soul leaking out of him as well…..

Comment by susielindau

I love the title–Quarantine. It was a black & white day in a very gray world. The only word that hung me up was “shaggy” in describing the winter wonderland. Mentally, I associate that word with Scooby’s friend, or Austin Powers 🙂

Comment by Russell

Good catch…it was a late addition in an attempt to become more faithful to the prompt. Robin

Comment by Robin Hawke

Well, that was a totally different take on the prompt! Interesting. I felt it was about a writer procrastinating – malingering in bed, so he wouldn’t have to get up and write!
NaNoWriMo – and acronym impossible to type!
I wanted to do it and started a novel immediately, but it takes too much of my life and my other work is suffering. what to do?
I love my new novel and don’t want to stop, but I have too much other work.
Any suggestions?
Keep it up,
Linda Lindaura

Comment by Lindaura Glamoura

You are right about the writer procrastinating. Gee, I wonder why that story appeared during NaNoWriMo?

For you: Set a different word count. Whatever you can manage…walk instead of run, you’ll get there; if you don’t–know that you took care of what was most important, Robin

Comment by Robin Hawke

As far as I recall, your ultimate goal is to write a less than six word story (less than the six words our beloved misogynist called Hemmingway wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”). Julius Caesar said (and quite possibly some scribe wrote down for him) the shortest story of all: Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Some languages may allow for such three-word stories, but in English it will be very difficult to do in no less than six.

I like your current story though.XO

Comment by Tracy Hutchinson

This was written in response to a 100 word challenge…my six word stories are posted at

Comment by Robin Hawke

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