Let Battle Commence – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s photo by The Reclining Gentleman is a peaceful shot of a lovely flower.
My tale features less tranquil happenings.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© The Reclining Gentleman

© The Reclining Gentleman

Let Battle Commence

They study the enemy across the level sward.
They are trying to spot the danger, to prepare themselves for the inevitable strike.
The invaders are from a country with ten times their numbers.
They are powerful and threatening.
They have not come to offer friendship.
They plan to crush us.
On the surrounding heights non-combatants shuffle their feet nervously.
Everyone is on edge, waiting for the first attack.
The silence is almost overwhelming.
Then the hairs rise on a hundred thousand arms.
The skirl of the bagpipes fills the air.
As one the voices are raised.
O Flower of Scotland

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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59 Responses to Let Battle Commence – Friday Fictioneers

  1. rogershipp says:

    a great tale using the prompt!


  2. What a great take on the prompt.It stirred my heart.


  3. Margaret says:

    Such tension as the two sides wait for battle – and the climactic skirl of bagpipes. And there’s a new flower for Scotland – that’s interesting.


  4. Margaret says:

    The bagpipes will do it – every time. What a climax to the tension of waiting for the action to start.


  5. Lori Carlson says:

    Oh I love this! All of the sights and sounds of an incoming battle… and the Scots🙂 delightful!


  6. mjlstories says:

    A sward and skirl…both educating and entertaining. (My ignorant spell checker wanted to change skirl into skirt).


  7. Such a powerful story and after reading the poem, it stands even stronger.


  8. jellico84 says:

    Reminds me of the old testament battles.


  9. rgayer55 says:

    I’m not educated in Scottish history, but this must be akin to a Moonshiner with Revenuers breathing down his neck.


  10. Great build-up of tension – the hairs on my arms rose with those of the hundred thousand in the story


  11. gahlearner says:

    This gives me goosebumps.


  12. liz young says:

    Excellent surprise ending, and setendipitous that I have just read about a competition for the prize if a Scottish writing retreat!


  13. ansumani says:

    National anthems and patriotic songs do raise hair on several occasions. Nicely done.


  14. I’m not sure exactly what it all means but I think Mel Gibson and I are on the same side in this one. “Then the hairs rise on a hundred thousand arms” and it seems almost anything might happen next.


  15. Penny L Howe says:

    Simply excellent composition! And for those who truly want to understand the depth conveyed with your words:
    O Flouer o Scotland,
    Whan will we see,
    Yer like again,
    That focht and dee’d for,
    Yer wee bit Hill an Glenn,
    An stuid agin him,
    Prood Edward’s Airmie,
    An sent him hamewart,
    Tae think again.

    The Hills is bare nou,
    An Autumn leafs,
    Lies thick an still,
    Ower land that is tint nou,
    That thae sae darlie held,
    That stuid agin him,
    Prood Edward’s Airmie,
    An sent him hamewart,
    Tae think again.

    Thir days is past nou,
    An in the past,
    Thay mun remain,
    But we can aye rise nou,
    An be the naition again,
    That stuid agin him,
    Prood Edward’s Airmie,
    An sent him hamewart,
    Tae think again.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. lillian says:

    WONDERFUL! And strikes “home,” so to speak. We are two months in Bermuda (Feb and March) and shall attend a Skirling Ceremony — bagpipers. Enjoyed this very much — excellent and unique take on the photo!


  17. What a wonderful heroic tale… love the way the bagpipe works into this… you are a poet my friend.


  18. Hmmmm. Must be celtic vs Rangers.


  19. paulmclem says:

    …and then we went and lost again. The only thing we are assured to beat England at these days is tennis i.e. not Rugby!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Reblogged this on anelephantcant and commented:
    AnElephantCant pretend he’s a hero
    Sometimes he looks at the opposition and quails
    You see he’s not grinning
    He does not see Scotland winning
    This Saturday we head down to Cardiff to play against Wales

    Liked by 1 person

  21. MythRider says:

    Proud Edward’s Army,
    And sent him homeward,
    To think again.

    I looked up the song “O Flower of Scotland…” I figure it meant something. It did.
    A song like that would rally the troops to victory.


  22. The Voice says:

    Beautifully written. You make me lament that I was not able to visit Scotland years ago when I visited Europe. Thanks for this wonderful contribution.


  23. Vividly described scene. And I, too, was much taken with these lines:
    “Then the hairs rise on a hundred thousand arms.
    The skirl of the bagpipes fills the air.”

    I happen to like bagpipes, though at a distance of fifty feet.
    I must confess that I thought at first that the invaders were weeds, ready to kill the flowers. Was I wrong?


  24. Dale says:

    I’ll nae say it as it’s already been said… that phrase was great! Couldn’t help myself!
    Love the build up and of course, I must root for the underdog!


  25. oldentimes says:

    I ken the feel as the tension builds! Well done!


  26. ‘Then the hairs rise on a hundred thousand arms.’ An amazing line!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Sandra says:

    I must confess, the skirl of the bagpipes raises the hairs on my arms too. Not in a good way – sorry. 😉 Stirring stuff CE. And full of suspense and nervous anticipation. Well done.


  28. Dear C.E.

    The skirl of bagpipes made the hair on my arms stand at attention as well. There’s an almost poetic rhythm to this story as only a Scotsman could write it. In fact I heard it in brogue. Lovely.




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