Flash Fiction Challenge: Feeding Frenzy

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Feeding the seagulls can be fun at first.Then there are too many. More and more come. They become more daring, more aggressive.

Then you run out of food…

In 250 words or less, tell me a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time on Tuesday, September 25th 2012.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted.

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16 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Feeding Frenzy”

  1. The sign reads “Do not feed the seagulls.” Below that, in large white text over a red background, “They are vicious.”

    Ted scoffs at the absurdity of the cautioning sign, tossing bread pieces into the air and watching the seagulls fight over them. He laughs as two engage in a standoff, wings outstretched, a third hopping forward to claim the spoils and flying off before they even realize what happened.

    Dozens of the birds start dotting the ground and sky, closing on Ted’s position. Ted isn’t concerned. He has seen Finding Nemo. Seagulls are just opportunistic annoyances, not vicious animals.

    The dozens become hundreds. Ted gets a bit uneasy and starts backing away, chucking his last bit of food. All the seagulls on the ground focus their beady little eyes directly on him. They look hungry. Very hungry.

    Ted’s unease turns to panic. He turns and is met with another crowd of seagulls on his other side. He is surrounded.

    Suddenly, one seagull swoops down from flight, snatching Ted’s wallet from his back pocket in one smooth motion. Ted starts towards it, but the grounded seagulls rush forward in warning. Ted swallows.

    Ted screams as a seagull by his feet flies up to his shoulder. Ted warily turns to look into its shiny, black eyes.

    “Bring more food next time, tubby,” it warns before flying away, the others following.

    Now alone, Ted walks away sullenly, broke and self-conscious about his weight. The sign was right. Seagulls are vicious.

  2. It was a snowy Sunday, quite chilly, but it was his day to feed the seagulls. Feeding the birds once a week was the peaceful, relaxing stage of his life he enjoyed since the day he retired from commercial fishing almost 20 years ago. And at the age of 77, it was his one day he looked forward to out of his days living in the Pioneer Home. Although it was a slow walk and many painful steps across the street to get to his usual bench at the edge of the harbor, he would feed them come hell or high water, rain or shine, snow or wind.

    It relaxed him so much, sometimes he would fall asleep, until the Seagulls got restless and flew away. But on other days, they would come closer to him and take food right out of his hands. He often wondered if some of them remembered him from his days at sea on his boat—the Odette—when he fed them crab and shrimp scraps; he hated any part of food to go to waste. He wondered if he would be wasted.

    This particular day was bad for his aches and pains. He wondered how long he would be able to stay. Suddenly, something startled them, scaring and alerting him to sit very still, scarecrow-like because all the birds landed on his whole body. They must have known it was his last day; he was ready to be recycled to the sea he loved.

  3. Title: Gullible

    It was a cold winter day and the convertible was not holding the heat.

    Dad said he would return in just a few minutes, and did what Mom said he never did—ask someone for directions.

    It was late afternoon. I was hungry. Everyone knows teenagers never stop eating. I looked and found the only thing left—a box of animal crackers.

    That lonely seagull looked cold and hungry too. What harm would it be to give him a cracker?

    I rolled the window down slightly throwing a cracker towards him. He jumped on it instantly with wings spread. He downed the treat in just a second. He took two hops closer to the car and gave me three loud thanks.

    I rolled the window down and threw him another cracker. Two white blurs flew past, one of them catching it in mid air. This was a game. Now I wondered which gull was smarter.

    Soon, I was getting dizzy, unable to count the gulls. Many were now on the car hood. I threw the box of crackers and watched the resulting feeding frenzy.

    Then, there was a loud rush of wings with a deafening screech of a hundred hungry gulls; they were diving at the windows. I heard the sound of drums overhead. I looked up to see several holes with yellow beaks.

    Dad was running towards the car and yelling, but I couldn’t hear him. I’m glad.

    “Dad is there such a thing as being gullible?”

  4. Eric watched the gulls as they cart wheeled and catapulted towards the ground where the large pile of food had been. It hadn’t taken them long to demolish it this time.
    “Sorry guys but you’ve eaten the lot. I have got one last treat though for you,” he shouted to the screaming birds who continued to circle and flap dangerously close to his head.
    Eric loved the gulls. When his beautiful blue-eyed wife of twenty years had told him he was a worthless freak and she was leaving him, he had come to this very spot to end his life.
    It was here however, that he met his salvation. Just as he was about to launch himself into the murky depths of the swell, a huge grey gull had alighted on the rail he was about to take off from. It looked at him intently. Eric was certain it spoke.
    “Don’t jump, Eric. You have friends who can help,” it said. Looking into its intelligent eyes Eric understood exactly what he should do.
    Eric descended from the rail and later the next day returned with food for his new friend. There was so much food that the gull brought its friends. Eric came daily with a large bag which he scattered on the rocks below.
    “Thanks for everything guys!” he shouted as he plucked two large blue eyeballs from his bag and hurled them onto the rocks where they were carried away by a large grey gull and its mate.

  5. A blustery autumn, followed by repetitive snowstorms made life miserable for man and beast. Minnie watched the hungry gulls from the enclosed porch. Their desperate, cries tugged at her aching heart.
    She thought back to the evening, four years ago when she and her husband rode their tandem bike up the winding road from town. Stone, their next door neighbor, took a curve too fast and struck them. Her husband died instantly and Minnie left wheelchair bound. Though more than generous, the insurance settlement didn’t keep her warm at night nor ease the pain of broken heart and body. The sea gulls brought solace when she sat on the patio of her cliff top home overlooking the ocean. Feeding them brought joy.
    She ordered a case of herring to feed her friends. The fishmonger delivered it to her back door an hour later. She wheeled a foot from the door and tossed fish to the gulls. They swooped and caught them midair.
    The excited cries brought every gull to circled and fight for a meal. The box emptied sooner than expected. Minnie flung the last fish over the terrace wall and retreated into her home.
    The ruckus brought an angry Stone stomping out of his house. Minnie couldn’t have aimed more perfectly. The eight-inch herring smacked the back of his head and slipped into his parka hood The gulls dive bombed after their treat. Stone’s heart failed and he sank beneath the battling gulls.

  6. Kara forced herself to remain still, waiting for just the right moment. The seagulls squawked and fought over the diminishing scraps of bread. More of the feathered scavengers circled above, waiting for a chance to dive into the fray. They were pests, brazen creatures who snatched food right out of people’s hands. Kara’s hand to be exact and it had been only inches away from her mouth. She had been too stunned to react then. Well, not today. Today she was ready for the greedy creatures.

    Stealing food in the dead of winter is never good, especially from someone like Kara. Kara was human, but her heart was wolf, part of the pack that had sheltered her after the collapse. The only human she trusted was her mate, Ethan, who crouched on the far side of the snow pile. The two of them lived somewhere between the wilds and the occasional human village. Kara’s nose flared in distaste. The villagers were too wasteful; their refuse drew vermin for miles.

    Nearly twenty birds now fought over the last few crumbs. Signaling Ethan, Kara sprung from her hiding place, moving with the silent precision of a hunter. By the time the gulls noticed the soft hum of the nets it was too late. Ethan and Kara pounced on the birds with small clubs until all was still. Meat to eat, bones for soup, feathers for fletching and pillows, and nineteen thieves who would never steal again. It was a good hunt.

  7. “Stupid birds,” Thomas said to no one.

    But then, there was no one around to hear, his dad in the pub as per usual, leaving him waiting in the freezing cold in the parking lot. So cold that the can of cola he’d brought out of the trunk for him pretty much had built in ice. Yes, he could hear it when he shook the can; but at least there was none on the road now the thaw had come, safer for bald tires. And the car itself, the lemon; the thermostat never having worked; all they could afford since the insurance wouldn’t pay out for the one dad had totalled. ‘Didn’t pay drunk drivers’, they’d said. Not an issue now though; dad banned for life after he got out of jail. Shouldn’t even have a car.

    He hated salt and vinegar chips; burnt his tongue after a while, but the stupid birds didn’t seem to mind. Plus they made his breath smell even worse. Rancid. If mum were still around she’d have made sure that he brushed his teeth.

    “Why don’t you fly away to Hawaii or somewhere?” He said. “I would if I had wings. Stupid birds.”

    Drawing an airplane on the window that insisted on misting up, he wiped it to oblivion, a bleary smudge, and rolled it down, the handle resisting, squealing into submission, and poured the chips onto the tarmac just as dad staggered up and fell.

    “Maybe they’ll peck his eyes out.” He said.

  8. The enticing twitter and distinctive call of the “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee” in amongst the flowers is suddenly drowned out by the raucous squawks of a seagull. He’s found a stale french fry beside the picnic table.


    Getting no response, he begins to scream. Once. Twice. Into the rhythm of a jack hammer, he produces deafening sounds disproportionate to his small size.



    Gulls, homing in on Gilbert’s screams of frustration, begin to gather. The air is now full of sound and flurry. Bird poop and feathers rain down on the picnic table, the lawn chairs, the grass. Wheeling and soaring, they fill the sky with acrobatic stunts, screaming warnings as if their tiny bird brains can really process nutritional needs, aerospace technology and community awareness simultaneously.

    We know better. They are eating-flying machines, fighting for scavenged scraps of anything edible. We take their warnings as seriously as we do the back-up beepers on delivery trucks–we give the machines their space.

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