#SwiftFicFriday – Week 135 Prompt

#SwiftFicFriday – Week 135 Prompt

Welcome to the new and improved flash fiction writing prompt series – #SwiftFicFriday!

I’ve changed the rules, so if you didn’t see my tweet, check them out!

The gist:

  • You have THREE DAYS (AM Friday-PM Sunday on the east coast) to submit your entry.
  • Include social media links/handles/anything you want to promote (Twitter, FB, etc) & word count in the comment with your submission.
  • Submission must be between 150-300 words.
  • All stories are property of the authors.
  • Winner will be determined via reader votes on Mondays.

Ready, set, write!

Prompt: Happy September! This week, the prompt will be the month’s first word of the day!


Umbrage is a formal word that usually refers to a feeling of being offended by what someone has said or done. It is often used in the phrase “take umbrage.”

Happy writing!


9 thoughts on “#SwiftFicFriday – Week 135 Prompt

  1. Taking Umbrage: Covent Garden 1878

    Lady Redford was warm, though the fan she sent back-and-forth in front of her helped. She’d declined the offer to go with the others to the lobby for refreshments at the second intermission after struggling with the crowd during the first. The Mozart was enjoyable but her main objective of coming to her usual box at Covent Garden was accomplished. She had been seen by those who she wanted to see her and had seen those who she wanted to see.

    As she scanned the few still in their seats below her, she happened upon Lady Glendale, the awful Lady Glendale, gazing up at her. When the latter knew she’d caught the former’s eye, she smiled and rose.

    Oh Lord, Lady Redford thought, please do not have her come here.

    She braced herself for the horrid American, who had no class and used her father’s money to buy a title and who now seemed to be heading towards her ladyship’s box. She knew the upstart didn’t know her place in society but surely she could not be so stupid as to waltz into the box of someone to whom she’d not been introduced! Umbrage of the highest sort would be taken and made clear to “Lady” Glendale and her ladyship could only hope it would not reflect on her.

    Suddenly the curtains to the hall opened. Lady Redford was forced to look at the interloper. She hadn’t realized how striking she was. Almost androgynous, but the face of the purest of women. Her ladyship said not a word as the American sat beside her. Their eyes locked. The young American lifted her ladyship’s hand and placed the slightest kiss on her ladyship’s glove and Lady Redford didn’t care if anyone saw it or if she was scandalized for it.

    299 Words @JPGarlandAuthor

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The Wee Hamlet of Umbrage

    We were weaving our way through the Hills of Hassel, a small range of mid-sized bumps that shot down from the Rockies into the flatlands of the Prairies. It was all so invigorating.

    Four weeks earlier, Marge had said, “Let’s get out of here.” She was not prone to effusive escape jargon, so I asked, “Where…and why?”

    “Covid, you lout. We’ve been cooped up for over two years. Let’s boogie. As to where, wherever our noses point.”

    This burst of travel bravado initially frightened me but in a couple of days…this was early August, I succumbed. We got old Bessie tuned up, closed up the house, got Louise from down the block to care for the plants and the two budgies, and we hit the road.

    Four weeks later, I had had my fill of asphalt, as well as our share of dusty off roads that aspired to be more than they were.

    I wanted to go home, to feel the comfort of my favorite chair under my tush.

    Marge had another idea. “Umbrage!”

    “That place where your mother grew up?”

    “ Until she was in her teens. Never talked about it but I’d like to see it.”

    “Some of those old prairie towns simply shriveled up, blew away,” I suggested.

    “It’s here on this map,” she said, and that was that.

    And we found it. What was left of it. A hitching post, a donkey, and a general store. And oodles of closed-up shops.

    “Satisfied,” I asked.

    She stared me down, got out of the car, and went into the store. An old fellow, ninety-plus, was behind the counter.

    “Help ya?”

    “What happened to this town?” Marge asked

    “Well,” he said, “Folks used to say, don’t take umbrage…and damned if they didn’t.”

    300 mostly inoffensive words

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The first person who hammered this truth into my brain was my 6th grade teacher. I can’t remember their name, but that doesn’t matter. “You have to speak to your audience! Use language they understand!”

    It’s a simple concept, but it’s ludicrously difficult to perfect, and execute consistently.

    I paused to translate everything into words Jim would understand before I spoke. I had to simplify my words, dumb down my content, so the testosterone based brain that filled his pants, and rested between his legs, would not want to urinate on me.

    My brain cells translated, “I see you have taken umbrage with another article of news” into words that would not anger him. Words I knew he would understand. Next, they ran those words through a filter, multiple times, to remove any content that his anatomy might mistakenly assume was an insult of his intelligence.

    “So. I’m guessing another lie from the liberal media has pissed you off.” I paused, and deliberately scratched the side of my head. “Is it the one about gas and oil causing the wildfires in our state?”


    He glared at me.

    “Help me out here, Jim. I’m trying to understand. I know you’re angry. But I don’t know why.”

    “The government wants me to set my AC to 78 frickin’ degrees! Just like being outside! Asking me to sweat in my own home!”

    “Did they tell you it was to lighten the load on the power grid, so the grid could keep working?”

    “Lies! That’s what it is! Lies!” He stomped a foot on the ground, “They need to burn more oil! Make more power! Stop using that wind and solar power crap that doesn’t work!”

    It took everything I had to not laugh in his face.

    294 Words

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “So, you’ve seen things like… Martin, before, right?”

    Dalton mentally reminded himself to use the less frightening code name the group created for their adversary. Myra nodded her thanks as she climbed past the branch Dalton held aside.

    “Not exactly. Large corporeal cryptids? Yes. But like Martin? Not so much.”

    Dalton shouldered his way back into the lead. It wasn’t that Myra couldn’t forge their way through as well or better than him. It just felt like something he could contribute.

    “What’s the difference?”

    The team leader could see his gorgeous companion’s lips purse thoughtfully, even in this moonless forest night. They could create light, but that’d be risky. They wanted to see Martin before he saw them.

    “The rage? I’ve seen cryptids that feed on humans, but with Martin… I don’t understand his destructive drive. It doesn’t feel like any amount of killing would satisfy him.”

    “Scary,” Dalton whistled.

    “I wouldn’t take umbrage if he returned to the deep wood and we don’t find him.”

    “Heh, you say weird things.” Dalton laughed, then felt a twist in his stomach like something bad was in that last taco. “Hey, which way is the deep woods?”

    “It’s—” Myra started to point one direction, then swept her finger around to the opposite. “That way.”

    Right. On their left. Like it had been the entire time they had been sweeping the area for Martin.

    On their right. No. Wait. Dalton put a hand to his head.

    “Ugh, could that crummy cryptid be messing with our minds?”

    A heavy snort overhead. Myra pointing behind him with her mouth moving silently. Dalton groaned.

    “I hope HE doesn’t take umbrage at the crummy cryptid thing.”

    280 Menagerie words

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Misunderstanding

    Pardon me, sir, I need your assistance please.
    For I do not understand
    This last statement that you made.
    You indicated in your highbrow way
    That you took umbrage with me.

    Yet I do not have any umbrage to take
    Nor none to lend you if that is what you seek
    Perhaps it is an invitation
    Like sitting down to tea.
    No, not that? Then I am lost you see.

    Maybe taking umbrage is like
    Taking communion with another man
    Though you do not strike me
    As a religious sort of soul
    Ah, your scowl confirms my suspicions.

    I think I’ve got it, I just might know
    What you mean when you say
    You take umbrage with me.
    It must be a place you wish to visit
    With a companion by your side.

    Good sir, why do you walk away
    With such disdain upon your face
    I simply seek to understand
    This turn of phrase you use.
    Alas, he has disappeared upon his highbrow way.

    165 words

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The Silk Gauntlet

    I don’t know why Zachariah slapped me across the face with his glove. His intent was clear, demanding a duel barely moments after the pain arrived in my cheek. I felt telling him he was merely meant to throw the glove at my feet would only annoy him further. The expression is throwing down the gauntlet, not being slapped by it. At least his was silk rather than metal.
    His umbrage was clear, but why was not. I don’t have a high opinion of his sister, mother or indeed any member of his family, but I’m a gentleman of proper education. I would not be stupid enough to make my views public in his hearing.
    Whatever the reason, we wait for the sun to paint the dawn sky in the furthermost patch of Zachariah’s garden from his house. He chooses guns for this folly, a nihilistic weapon which will leave at least one of us dead, probably both. My choice would have been the sabre; then we could have enjoyed some good sport before going inside for a make-up breakfast and a story we could share for years.
    We stand back to back, our hair almost touching. Tompkins, my opponent’s number two, counts down in a roar of a voice, “five.”
    I close my eyes and step forward.
    I keep time with his numbers.
    I open my eyes, spin and fire.
    Bang! Bang!
    Both our shoots silence the dawn chorus. They fly off, leaving the stillness behind them.
    Zachariah falls to the ground, his white shirt turning red. Mine stays its original colour.

    266 words

    Liked by 3 people

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