Yeah Write #160 Gargleblaster – Spoils of Defeat


Impaled flags stiffen in the pungent summer breeze.

A single, riderless mare bolts for home.



Distant, snow-peaked mountains sink slowly beneath a bloody red sunrise.

Crimson framed silhouettes swoop and circle through the tremulous horizon.

The glories of battle await.

These 42 words form my entry into this weeks Gargleblaster challenge over at Yeah Write. The words were prompted by the question ‘Why do birds suddenly appear?. I hope you enjoy where I went with it.

Pleased to say that this story won the top spot in the voter’s poll. As ever I am flattered that people saw something in my work.

36 thoughts on “Yeah Write #160 Gargleblaster – Spoils of Defeat

  1. theinnerzone

    A couple great phrases in here, Paul. My favorite: Crimson framed silhouettes swoop and circle through the tremulous horizon. i also liked the last line, ties it all so well.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks Inner. Yeh, I originally had “shimmering” horizon but that’s almost a cliche. A quick spin through the thesaurus came up with “tremulous”, which is much more funky 🙂

    1. paulmclem Post author

      The fun of these pieces, and all writing I suppose, is coming up with a fresh way to describe something relatively routine – tremulous is another word filed away for just such purposes 🙂

  2. Kir Piccini

    Pungent …I had that word as part of my piece before I cut it down. It’s the perfect word when I think of birds and they way they clamor around. The smells have to be intense.

    this piece felt like a calm before a storm, the quiet before the fight and I felt the nervous anticipation of that in every word.

  3. momma0

    I enjoyed this. It was very visual and exactly what I thought of when I first read the Gargleblaster. thank you for putting it into words. I wanted to do this, but when I couldn’t I went a different route. Well done.

  4. Madhura

    Oh lovely imagery here… I love ‘crimson framed silhouettes’ and ‘tremulous horizon’… the horse rushing back home is portrayed vividly, and the last line explains it all beautifully! I loved the whole thing!

  5. Shailaja /Doting Mom

    I am stunned! That last line knocked me on my back. I have never understood the need for war. How eloquently said in just under 50 words. You had me tearing up here…

    Shailaja’s post

  6. Christine

    Ah, nice! I love the way you describe carrion birds (“crimson framed silhouettes”) – that’s just inspired. This is a fantastic answer to the question. Thanks for linking it up!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers, Christine. Originally I did have the word ‘carrion’ but I felt it a bit obvious i.e. preferred something more vague. Glad you liked it.

  7. Pingback: yeah write #160 weekly writing challenge: gargleblaster winners | yeah writeyeah write

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