Flash Fiction Challenge: Watching the Watcher

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Kit Rivers, celebrated wildlife photographer, watched and waited from her vantage point on the low, wooded ridge near the water.

It had been a good outing. She’d gotten great pics of bear, elk, foxes, and wolves. This moose was a bonus shot. Unfortunately, her camera’s batteries were running low.

It was unfortunate because this was the last picture she snapped before she turned around to realize the whole time she was watching the wildlife, she was also being watched.

In 250 words or less, tell us 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 Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time.

On Wednesday afternoon, 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 afternoon, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Then, at year end, the winners will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms.

Author: Administrators

All Indies Unlimited staff members, including the admins, are volunteers who work for free. If you enjoy what you read here - all for free - please share with your friends, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don't know how to thank us for all this great, free content - feel free to make a donation! Thanks for being here.

9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Watching the Watcher”

  1. Kit wasn’t even aware that her camera had slipped from her hands as she gaped open mouth at the beast watching her from the tree line. He was perhaps seven feet tall, covered in reddish brown hair, and had deep set large brown eyes which seemed intelligent – almost benevolent.
    Before Kit could speak, the creature brought his hand up to his mouth as if he was indicating a wish for her to remain silent. Nodding his head in an almost conspiratorial manner the beast pointed toward something downstream. It was a crew from Discover TV filming a special on the wildlife of this area. As kit watched the group trudging along the bank of the river she was startled by a huge hand on her shoulder. Slowly she turned to face the creature who now held her camera in his other hand. Gratefully she took the camera and mouthed, “Thank you.” The beast gently removed his hand, turned back toward the tree line, and loped away at a surprising speed, disappearing into the thick forest.
    As the film crew approached Kit inquired about the results of today’s shooting. “Got some great footage today,” replied a member of the crew. Another asked Kit, “What about you? Any good wildlife sightings?”
    “Pretty much the usual,” Kit answered with a broad smile. As the crew headed back to the trail Kit scanned the tree line for any sign of her friend. There was none, but she waved goodbye just the same.

  2. “Ma’am, this is private property.”

    The young woman gasped as she turned around and almost into the arms of the stranger who had been watching her. She stepped back a pace to extend her hand. “I’m sorry. I’m Kit Rivers, wildlife photographer. I’ll pack my equipment and leave.”

    He smiled and kissed her fingers. “I’m Marcos Ingram.”

    “Is this your land? It’s beautiful with the river and woods and all the animals. I was just shooting the moose—” She pointed, but the moose had disappeared.

    “Shooting without a rifle, fortunately.” His eyes crinkled at the corners. “This property has been in my family for generations. And its beauty is eclipsed by yours.”

    She blushed. How delightfully old-fashioned and charming he is. If I weren’t already married—

    Marcos helped with her gear. “Have you heard the legend of the moose?”


    “Ancient lore says that the moose is magic, with the power to bestow long life and stimulate the great feminine force.”

    “Like the promotion of fertility?”


    “My husband and I have been trying to have kids. Maybe we should invite a moose into our bedroom.” She giggled.

    He loaded the tripod into her truck and they trudged back up the hill for one last look at the river. The sunset sparkled off the water, bestowing a magical quality to the scene.

    “Good-bye, Mr.—” Marcos was gone, but the moose had reappeared and was watching her from the river.

    Nine months later, she delivered a baby girl.

  3. Kit froze. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Her photographer instincts kicked in. But – no battery meant no picture – no record of seeing the Yeti. Then she realized she had her cell phone. Slowly, she reached for it – not wanting to alarm the beast with any sudden movements.

    Phone now up in front of her, she zoomed in on the creature. Kit gulped over a dry spot in her throat when she realized he was covered in blood. She snapped the picture. Zooming in a little more, she cocked her head. It seemed as if he was scooping his giant hands towards himself, beckoning her.

    Kit scanned the area. No one else was within sight. If she went, was she going to her own death? After slipping her phone back into her photographer’s vest, she started forward. He did not run.

    What the hell am I doing? she asked herself, heart pounding. But his eyes – when she gazed up into them – she saw sorrow. “I’m…Kit,” she struggled to say, softly. “Do you need help?”

    Again he made the scooping motion. This time, however, he turned and began walking away. Kit took one last glance over her shoulder before following. She noticed drag marks in the dirt, and blood, which led to a cave hidden by the skirt of a large spruce.

    Kit’s breath faltered. Surely, walking into the Yeti’s lair was idiotic.

    Once inside, the creature knelt down and tenderly took the hand of a smaller Yeti. He lifted a blanket made of woven grass to reveal a wound.

    Kit nodded. The field survival classes she’d taken would come in handy.

    With the wound patched and the patient now peacefully sleeping, Kit quietly rose. The male held the tree skirt aside so she could leave. Kit glanced down at the picture on her cell phone. She smiled, then clicked delete.

  4. Kit marveled at the gracefulness in which he moved through the water. She raised the camera, focused, and held her breath. When the red blinking light signaled “low battery”, she took the shot anyway, hoping that she had captured the beast’s delicate dance across the river.

    Peering into the viewer, she clicked the icon to see if she’d been successful. The screen went dark. Her breath caught in her throat. Inside the black frame was the reflection of a shadowy figure!

    She dropped the camera and searched behind her for the man in camouflage clothing. But he had ducked behind a tree.

    Was that a rifle scope shining in the afternoon sun? Was he aiming at her? Would he squeeze the trigger and end her life? Questions like these rushed through her mind like the river washed through the valley below.

    Crouching, she searched for an escape route. She crawled toward the bank of the river, ignoring the rocks and jagged limbs that tore at her hands and knees. When she reached the water’s edge, she slipped into the liquid sanctuary and took a deep breath before sinking.

    Opening her eyes, she saw the murky shadow of the moose’s legs through the current. As if he was her savior, she swam toward him and hid on the other side of his massive body.

    Raising her head, she looked toward the man’s hiding place.

    There he was! He stood in plain sight, pointing what looked like…a…video camera at the crazy woman!

  5. At first she thought it was a bear. The visage shared human qualities, while still wild, feral. The creature stood at the edge of the woods, blending into the tree line.

    The creatures eyes were what drew kit in. If not for the eyes she would have missed it entirely. She side stepped to move around the creature, though it blocked the path back to her car and supplies.

    It circled with her, mirroring her movements. When she went left, the creature went right. Right, left, a dance they performed together, Kit took the lead. She took a tentative step forward. the creature retreated. Not once did their eyes break contact.

    The thought entered her mind that if she moved toward it directly, the beast might see it as aggression. The circular path sounded safer, though it would take her longer to reach the new batteries.

    She circled away to the right, only breaking eye contact when she reached the treeline. A mental note to where the trail was and she took off. The race to the car was on, the entire run she repeated, “Don’t be scared, don’t be scared…”

    She made it to the car and found the batteries. The beast was still behind her. It followed. The rumble of the ranger’s truck scared it away just as the shutter clicked on her camera. No one believes a blur.

  6. I’m CIA, covert operations sharpshooter, which has put my baby-girl at risk all her life. More than once I was glad I’d taught her sniper survival skills; never more so than when a gang of degenerates targeted her and my grandbabies.

    Operation Watch the Watchers began. We bugged her house then settled back watching them watch her. I counted heavily on her spotting us and knowing what to do, incommunicado. Wasn’t long before the group’s top “Richard Cranium” arrived.

    Sundial Rider, militant slime-ball, he’d slipped our Missouri net and was currently sauntering into her living room, seven henchmen in tow. I knew his intent; take hostages, kill any resistance. I let him relax into his inevitable braggadocios sermon before giving the ‘ready’ signal. I counted on my daughter remembering it.

    Interrupting the slime-ball she said, “Before saying anything else you might want to consider that periodically all my life my dad has had me followed. Lately I’ve seen the same green car in my rear-view and I think my house is bugged.”

    “We’re tailing you, not your daddy,” the slime-ball sneered, “He’s nowhere near here. Probably holed like a sniveling coward.” Then turning to his henchmen said, “Take em.”

    She gave the go signal, “God!”

    Twenty of my men melded from the shadows before the henchmen moved an inch.

    Dangling cuffs in slime-ball’s face I gloated, “So much for your hollow squawking that you’d never be taken alive. God, I love taking down slime-balls like you, no shots fired.”

  7. It was a sixth sense developed over decades of working in wild places. Mostly alone. People got in the way and she rarely said where she was going. Fame had brought its rewards but, heaven knows, as many sacrifices – the normality of a social life, relationships, a marriage, a couple of near-death experiences.

    She shivered in the cooling of early dusk. Now she was older and famous she no longer diced with death – indeed the last time had arguably cost her more than life. She still – occasionally – dreamed of the stark fear on Bill Lovell’s face looking up at her from the protruding rock to which he clung in remotest Nepal . Bill, who loved her and whom she might have loved if he had not been her biggest rival. She photographed his fear, shouted she would go for help. Had he intuitively known she would not hurry?

    She thought she heard his scream as she scrambled back to safety. Bill’s body was never found, and the photograph of his fear became iconic for a generation of extreme sportsmen.

    The moose had moved into deeper water, begun to swim, but her attention was caught by something else. Despite the dusk and the passage of time, the figure moving towards her was unmistakeable. Something glinted in its right hand.

    “Hello, Kit,” Ben Lovell said.

  8. Although disappointed her camera battery had died, Kit still beamed happily at the thought of viewing the photos she had taken that afternoon.
    “I even got the moose shot I wanted” she squealed.
    Turning to leave she stopped short realising she was being watched.
    Heart pounding, squinting to make out who it could be, she gasped astounded as her eyes focused and the figure stepped out of the shadows.
    What could only be described as a creature, at least six and a half feet tall slowly advanced. Its body was covered in course dark hair and black matted tresses fell past its shoulders.
    It became obvious this was a female as the creature grabbed its belly and let out a deep groan of pain. Big frightened eyes pleaded silently at Kit.
    “Good grief you’re pregnant and ready to give birth by the look of things!”
    Kit rushed forward all fear dissipated and beckoned the yeti woman to lie down. She knelt beside her cooing soothing sounds and swabbed her brow with wet wipes fumbled from her purse.
    The woman gave an almighty high-pitched grunt and squeezed Kits hand painfully.
    A mewling infant emerged, resembling a cute baby monkey and Kit smiled wonderingly as she placed the on her breast.
    “Well I’ll be….”
    A seven foot giant crashed through the foliage took in the situation then gently lifted the duo in his arms. With a nod at Kit he turned and disappeared into the shadows.
    “You’re welcome” Kit smiled.

Comments are closed.