Holed Up – Mondays Finish the Story

Due to family circumstances I’m a couple of days late with this week’s Mondays Finish the Story. This is a flash fiction writing challenge involving writing a story of 100-150 words from the photo and first line prompt kindly provided by the host, Barbara Beacham.

If you fancy having a go at this yourself, just click on the link above and get typing! Instructions about how to post your story are on the page.

Here is this week’s photo . . .


and this is my story, including the first sentence prompt:

Diamond Jack had his hideout next to the Rattle Snake River.

‘He’s holed up in that thar’ shack,’ Billy murmured to his brother as they unstrapped the Winchesters from their saddle packs. ‘Almost a month, ol’ Jesse reckons.’

Casey swept his brow with his sleeve, squinting into the blazing sun. ‘Way I see it, we go in and get the varmint now.  He’s taken two good men down already – two too many, I say.’

They crept towards the old prospector’s shack. It made an ideal hideout: good hunting in the scrubland and a ready water supply. Billy checked his rifle. ‘We shoot on sight. If Jack’s as wily as we’re told, he’ll be a waitin’ fer us.  And we ain’t taking no chances.’

Casey frowned. ‘So why’d Jesse call the varmint Jack?’

‘Reminded him of his Pa, I guess.  Real big guy, he said, fast as lightning and a killer bite.

Biggest Diamondback Rattler he’d ever seen.’

Word Count: 147

Other entries can be read here.



46 thoughts on “Holed Up – Mondays Finish the Story

    1. Thank you Barbara. I was in the middle of editing my story when you commented earlier. I’d only forgotten the sentence prompt! So sorry for the delayed reply.

    1. Hi Scribbley. No, my sympathy’s with Jack, too. He’d be no problem to anyone just left alone. We’re all OK here. I’m just really behind with everything on WP after having three days away at a funeral over the weekend. Thank you for asking! Hope all is going well with work and your writing. You fit so many things into your days. Take care to rest! 🙂

      1. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you’re doing okay ☺
        I had my last mock today so I’m resting for the next while! Looking forward to getting a chance to write more

      2. That sounds great. I hope the results are good when you get them. I know it’s just the mocks, but it’s always good to know you’re heading in the right direction for the real thing. Rest and write sounds good. 🙂

  1. Nice, succinct story with lots of flavor, Millie. You’ve got the Old West lingo and imagery down. Hope doing this challenge didn’t pull you away from your novel for too long. 🙂

    1. Thank you for liking my first-ever attempt at cowboy style anything, Mara! My only experience of the lingo is from watching old Westerns. Thank goodness for John Wayne! As for my novel . . . I’ll get gack to it soon.

      1. I’ve got too many followers from the UK to try my “over the pond” accents. The closest I’ve come is to include a “shite” in one of my novels. 🙂 Hummm. Maybe I need a trip to UK to do some research for my soon-to-be-published-novel-maybe…that could be a tax write-off I think. 😉

      2. Shite is such a descriptive word, Mara! I bet you’ve used it beautifully. I’m sure I could find you several more colourful ones. Ha. You’re right, though. There are so many regional dialects here. I’m a ‘Northerner’, so I’d probably struggle to get the Cockney rhyming slang right. And I wouldn’t even attempt a Geordie dialect without prior tuition!

  2. Poor Jack! He only wants to be left alone, I’m sure the two who died disturbed him. Maybe he’ll slither out of a dark corner and get the drop on these two.
    I love your Wild West lingo!

    1. I hope Jack gets away, too. I agree, he’d be no harm to anyone just left alone. It’s my first ever attempt at the Wild West lingo, so please make allowances for inexperience! Thank you for your kind comment, Ali.

  3. You are leaving us in suspense. Surprise for poor Jack too. Your description of Pa and Jack looking alike is very clear. I enjoyed your writing

    1. Thank you for both your lovely comments about my story and your kind words about my loss. It was my 89 year old uncle who died. he was a lovely old man, but had been quite frail for some time. Anyway, it was very thoughtful of you tocomment on it. 🙂

    2. Thank you for both your lovely comments about my story and your kind words about my loss. It was my 89 year old uncle who died. he was a lovely old man, but had been quite frail for some time. Anyway, it was very thoughtful of you to comment on it. 🙂

  4. A clever twist, Millie. I think it would be more powerful if “Biggest Diamondback Rattler he’d ever seen” was written as “Biggest diamondback rattler he’d ever seen”, as this would add more emphasis to it being a snake and not a person. What do you think?

    The twist was really well done for me because, with the reference to Jesse’s Pa, I thought Jesse might have set them up to shoot his father! The snake took me by surprise.

    1. I really expected at least a few others to pick up on the name of the snake and was quite surprised to find that no one had. I’m glad you weren’t totally disappointed in the endThank you for commenting, Ted. 🙂

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