E is for Eagle Expose’

Day 5 of the challenge!

My theme is NIFTY NUGGETS. Little nuggets of writing based on a photo, a phrase and an object, which is designed to encourage lean, tight writing. I’m aiming for a word count of under 300 words.

Thank you to L.Diane Wolfe for providing the beautiful photo prompts.  You can visit her blog to check out more pictures.



PHRASE – dead men tell no tales

OBJECT – envelope

Perched in his regular spot.

He studied his prey with knowing eyes.

It was all a matter of judgement.

Timing had to be perfect.

In the world of espionage, he was ‘The Eagle’. That reputation had been earned over an extended period. A cool demeanour and watchful gaze served him well after three decades.

His trademark? A white embossed envelope, always hand-delivered by special courier at the close of each assignment. Inside, a feather belonging to a rare species. But just like the critically endangered Philippine eagle, his time was coming to an end.

His record? 100% success. The word ‘lose’ was not a part of his vocabulary.

His final assignment loomed.

The price on his head had attracted many assassins.

Rumour had it that an infamous assassin had been lured out of retirement. The Eagle relished the thought of the ultimate face-off with a worthy rival. They both harboured a set of highly developed skills, which had been honed to perfection. Both knew the trade inside out and harboured indepth knowledge that none of their counterparts would ever learn… not in this lifetime, anyway.

Two well-matched adversaries.

An undisclosed location had been chosen.

A fight to the bitter end.

Dead men tell no tales.


  1. emilia m. on April 7, 2015 at 11:06 am

    love the idea of getting inspiration from the photo 🙂 usually I work the other way – get the idea and match the photo(s) 😀

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Isn’t it amazing how creativity differs for each individual?
      I’ve discovered that photo prompts really get my creative juices flowing… 🙂

  2. L. Diane Wolfe on April 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    You set it up well for a showdown. Who will win?

    That Golden Eagle perches on our deck railing or fence often.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      I love the “showdown” perspective. I need to explore the concept via a longer piece.
      That Golden Eagle is such a beautiful creature.

  3. Mary Aalgaard on April 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Oo. Very Tom Clancy. International intrigue and danger.
    Well done.

  4. Debbie D. on April 7, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Interesting idea for using prompts. Something to try for the future! The assassin with a price on his own head made for good reading. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      I’ve discovered that my best writing is via photo/word prompts.
      Thanks Debbie! 😀

  5. Liz Young on April 7, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Great bit of flash fiction. I write one most weeks prompted by a photograph, as do scores of other members of Friday Fictioneers. Adding a phrase and an object – I’m not sure whether that would make it easier or more difficult.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      For me, the phrase/object provides direction, but at the same time I’m still free to work other ideas around the given prompts.
      Easier… I think. It can be a bit restrictive at times, but not too much.
      Thanks Liz.

  6. Alex Hurst on April 7, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Cool, dramatic flash today! You’ve got a lot of energy when you write action and suspense! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Your comment simply confirms that suspense IS my genre! I LOVE writing it.
      Thanks Alex! 😀

  7. Doreen McGettigan on April 7, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    What a great photo, he’s beautiful and I love the story and the crisp writing!

  8. Clare Flynn on April 7, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    What a great idea to use prompts this way. I enjoyed reading it

  9. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 7, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I just watched John Wick this weekend and this has the same feel! Awesome, Michelle,

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Confession – I have NO IDEA who John Wick is. 🙂
      I’ll have to google him. Probably a TV show/movie…

  10. Tyrean on April 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Nice set up for the showdown! Love the imagery that you used from the prompts. 🙂

  11. C. Lee McKenzie on April 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Beautiful picture. That guy’s quite a talented hunter and fighter.

  12. Patricia Lynne on April 7, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Oooo. That sounds like it’d be quite the battle.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee’s Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  13. Thru His vessel JB on April 7, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Interesting photos. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Maggie Pinque on April 7, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I *love* the use of your photo prompts! So much fun.

    Thanks for stopping by MY blog. Much appreciated!


  15. Beverly (@Bevimus) on April 8, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Sounds like the premise of a great action movie. I can see Pierce Brosnan in the lead.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Pierce Brosnan? Yep. He’ll definitely fit the role… after Jason Statham, that is. 😀

  16. Nas on April 8, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Sounds like a fun theme and your story is exciting!

  17. Rosie Amber on April 8, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Great assassin piece and I love the eagle too.

  18. Hilary on April 8, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Hi Michelle – I love eagles and always remember the fish eagles in southern Africa … and I’m sure dead men tell no tales … but perhaps leave clues … cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      I doubt these two would leave any clues… they’re at the top of their game… too experienced for that… 🙂

  19. Julie K Pick on April 8, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Bravo on another excellent story, Michelle! You are the mistress of suspense!

  20. Sara C. Snider on April 8, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I’m getting a movie trailer vibe from this story, which is pretty cool. Kind of western film meets espionage. Crazy, but interesting! 😀

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you!
      If it’s captured your imagination in that way, then it means my job is done. 🙂

  21. Nadine Feldman on April 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Fun story…sounds like an interesting premise for more!

  22. Julie Flanders on April 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Wow this wasn’t the story I expected just from looking at the picture. Very creative and an awesome read. As usual I want more.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 9, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Thank you, Julie!
      I need to visit your place…. 🙂

  23. Susan Gourley on April 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Cool to have an eagle as your nickname. I betting on him in the coming confrontation.

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