Wednesday 6 May 2020

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 156

This week's photo is actually a Banksy photo - he took it himself. The Bristol based graffiti/street artist has become stupidly famous and his art chronically overpriced, but such things have given him leverage to speak out and be heard, hence this piece of art, which was done in the Gaza and he did a whole doco piece about it and life in Palestine. 

I think the piece doesn't just speak of Gaza but of all war and the general state of our world - particularly at the moment, and the emotion of it. And although I was unsure about whether to use this picture, I feel that it offers a lot of inspiration for writing.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.


It was dead, it was decayed, and he could no longer do anything about it. Murphy retreated, he couldn’t stay out here; he had to find a safe place, as much within as without.

He found an opening in the rubble, an old doorway that led down into a cellar. He set up home there thankful for his survival pack, bringing out a windup light and a bed roll, and chewing on an old dried fruit snack. It was a good find.

After placing a few strategic pieces of debris across the opening, he was sure he could ride it out down here. A couple of good scavenges of some abandoned homes had rewarded him with enough to stay holed up.

He lay in the dark in his cellar, only using his light when necessary. He imagined the world above, the shit show that was going on. The killing, the death, the ravage of war – well they called it war, but it really it was annihilation.

They’d come in their droves out of the sky, with weapons that had never been imagined, let alone seen. And what had baffled everyone is that they’d been human – the same species. You couldn’t spot them once they were on the ground; they could be anyone. Murphy wondered how they knew who were them and who were us – but they did know, they seemed to know exactly.

There’d been no negotiation, just action, and they’d known about all the secret bunkers in all the countries. There was no place left unturned – in fact they’d gone after the politicians and leaders first, coupled with the religious factions. That was why Murphy had lasted so long; he’d been a part of neither at any point in his life and had no intention of being. He’d kept his head down and done his time in the service, learning all he could about survival. Some would say he’d gone AWOL now, but there was no such thing anymore, the military had fallen. When you couldn’t tell who the enemy was, you ended up recruiting them into your ranks. Then they’d taken it part from within.

It had been a detailed and specific attack. Murphy was sure they’d been observing them for a long time, they knew everything, and they’d known how to destabilise. Murphy’s plan was to wait it out. They were almost at the end; there were few native humans left, and they weren’t planning on staying once they’d achieved their aim.

Murphy heard a shuffling sound. He sprang to his feet ascertaining that it came from the opening. He had his knife at the ready as he moved to the wall closest to the steps. Was it animal or human? He heard footsteps: human.

He could see them in his mind’s eye coming down the steps, then he heard a click and the cellar was flooded with light. He blinked rapidly but couldn’t get his vision to adjust before he was on the floor facedown with someone on top of him. It was one of them.

He heard the crackle of a walkie talkie, and the words ‘got him’ whispered into it. He was surprised; they normally executed people, they didn’t waste time capturing them. Another person came into the cellar and together they manhandled him back to the surface. His eyes adjusted enough for him to see the open transport truck waiting for him. They cuffed him into the back and two more sat either side of him.

No one spoke as the van moved out through the shattered war zone, and Murphy watched the debris reduce and turn into open swathes of land. Eventually a town came into sight, one that was still intact, and the truck pulled up in front of a large municipal building.

Two men in white coats were waiting at the entrance.

“Oh good, you’ve found him. Let’s get him inside.” The one on the left stepped forward. “How you doing, Murphy? Unfortunately you’re going to have to spend some time in the quiet room. We can’t risk you escaping again.”

“We found him in a cellar on the old housing estate they took down last week,” said one of his captors as they handed him over. “By the look of it he’d managed to equip himself with a few things along the way.”

“He was a top ranking marine; he knows how to survive,” the one on the right said. “It’s just awful what shellshock can do to a person. You’re safe here with us now, Murphy.”


  1. Just enough words to get the idea on paper. No more than that. It's a bare framework. And I'm worn out by the SARS-CoV-2 thing. Here.

    They Reaped The Storm

    1. Gosh as you say, a great outline, and it works well with the current world status.

  2. I like this one a lot, Miranda. It's got a powerfully strong image of what the wars really are and great ending that leaves you wondering what's going to happen to Murphy. Nice job.

  3. Well, I was waiting for this weeks prompt and decided to look back. Here's my go at this image for you. Raphael's Earthquake Hope you enjoy it.