Flash Fiction Challenge: Bad Day for Og

Elk in Yellowstone
Elk in Yellowstone
Photo by K.S. Brooks

Og hunts alone. The others drove Og away because they believed he was bad luck. Always, Og would make a mistake on the hunt that would anger the others.

Og sees the thorn-heads and wonders how he could bring one down alone. As they graze, Og creeps forward.

Long before he comes close enough to throw his spear, his foot gets stuck in the mud. Og struggles, but that only makes it worse.

Og hears something that makes his heart thump big. It is the howl of the sharpfangs. They have seen him. Not a good day for Og…

In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture and/or the written prompt above. Do not include the prompt in your entry. 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. No political or religious entries, please.

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!

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9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Bad Day for Og”

  1. Title: Bad Day…Good Night for Og

    Og hears something that makes heart thump big.
    Og hear howls of Sharpfangs.
    Sharpfangs see Og.
    Not good day for Og.

    Og now trapped by mud.
    Og now wish he hunt with others.
    Og not bad warrior…Og just make mistakes.
    Og lost best friends.
    Og sent away.
    Og wonder if he is asleep…
    Og stick himself with blade, Og hurt, Og awake!
    Sharpfangs coming closer. Look very hungry.
    Og have only one spear.
    Og close eyes and pray to hunt god.

    Og hear loud drum.
    Og open eyes.
    Og smell something.
    Og turn and see girl warrior.
    Og like new view.
    Girl warrior pointing bow and arrow at Og.
    Og close eyes and hear arrow pass.
    Og hear thump, and then whine of Sharpfang.
    Og open eyes and see girl warrior smile.
    Girl warrior beat drum again.
    Og watch Sharpfangs turn and chase Thorn-heads.

    Og now see girl warrior with large branch.
    Girl warrior going to hit Og.
    Og going to be killed and eaten.
    Og point spear at girl warrior.
    Girl warrior look angry.
    Og drop spear and smile.
    Girl warrior holding branch out to Og.
    Og grab branch.
    Og getting closer to girl warrior.
    Girl warrior very nice.
    Girl warrior very strong.
    Og out of mud now.
    Og see girl warrior with big smile.
    Og look down and see missing loin cloth.
    Og now hunting girl warrior.
    Og heart thumping, not concerned about other spear.
    Good night for Og.

  2. Og decided it was better to surrender to the quicksand than to be ripped apart by the sharpfangs. It may have been a courageous decision to face death on his own terms had his fright not actually caused him to pass out.

    When he came to, Og found himself near the warmth of a fire in the shelter of a cave. This was not his own man cave. It was obviously cleaner. It smelled much nicer too. A warm soft hand touched his shoulder and he turned to see the most beautiful brown eyes framed by raven black hair. Smiling, the young woman offered Og a warm bowl of thorn-head stew. Og wanted to down the stew in one gulp, but could not take his eyes off the beautiful woman.

    “How long did I sleep,” he asked.

    The reply came like a melody from the lips of the beautiful smile. “Half a moon,” She said softly.

    Og nodded and proceeded to eat the stew. It was marvelous. “Finally,” he thought, “a good day for Og has arrived.”

  3. For a long time, Og just sat outside his cave. Or what used to be his cave, before the Chief kicked him out. Sure, he’d driven his spear through the Chief’s foot (and also his wife), but that was no reason to disown… alright, it probably was. He sat there, spear in hand, not sure if he’d skewer the first person to move the big rock or beg them to let him back in. The stone was large, intimidating, and unyielding, nearly as large, intimidating, and unyielding as the tribe that lay behind it.

    Og eventually left. He didn’t need them. He wasn’t going to beg them or even resort to trying to move the rock. No… Og would be strong, and brave. He would conquer the harsh wilderness, tribe or no tribe. He was going to-

    The roar of a sharpfang interrupted his thoughts.

    The rock proved to be too heavy to move, and too thick for the sound of his begging to pass through. The sharpfang was closing in. So he really would have to be brave. There was a loud thump- it stood before him, majestic and menacing. Letting out a snarl, he put on his best warrior face and told himself that this was what his tribe was going to remember him for- something they would add to the cave wall paintings. He picked up his spear.
    Dr. Grant would later be credited for discovering the cave paintings- including one he called “Survival of the Fittest”.

  4. The moose gnawed at the grass lazily, unaware of what hid under the darkness of a tall pine, ready to strike.
    His antlers.
    Jim couldn’t take his eyes away from them. They looked like two hands, with long, strawy fingers, reaching for one another, as if for a paternal embrace. They looked so fragile, an anomaly of nature.
    A wonderful one.
    Jim hesitated, his finger brushing the trigger of his rifle, but never quite pulling it.
    He had to do this – his first kill – to make his father proud.
    Proud . . .
    His gun shook. “I can’t.” He lowered it and headed back home, his eyes fixed on the grass bent like his lurched back.
    The wooden shack, made of pile up pine logs, appeared. Jim knocked, empty-handed, ready for another tirade with his dad.
    No answer.
    He knocked again.
    No answer.
    Rustling leaves, cracking branches, his dad came out of the forest. He held two bloody antlers, high up. To show him.
    “You’re a disgrace, a wimp, the weakest of the pack, an anomaly, fragile. You repulse me. I am ashamed my blood flows into your veins. All these books, this . . . poetry, they rotted away your spirit.” His father threw the two antlers on the ground with a thump. “Away from me. And never come back.”
    Jim dropped the gun on the grass and walked away.
    Soon, his dad would adorn his wall with the antlers.
    Antlers like two hands reaching for one another.

  5. Og have bad day. Og no like squishy mud between toes. Og sink deeper. Og’s eyes bulge. Og no like idea of mud under loin cloth.

    Sharpfang calls again. Then another. Soon, Og hears bad jazz ensemble of howls and growls. Mud now up to Og’s thighs. One sharpfang moves to edge of mud. Og jabs spear at big dog. Sharpfang grabs spear and pulls. Og pulls. Soon, dog and man are in tug-of-war. Og has little leverage. Og screams as dog drags him through mud. Mud now in Og’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Sharpfang will not let go. Og will not let go. Big dog with big fangs keeps pulling, back, back, back, until Og’s face hits big rock on ground.

    Og grabs rock with hands, letting go of spear. Og pulls the rest of his body out of mud. Og pukes mud and breakfast onto ground. Og coughs, jumps up, and shakes mud off body. Og cries. Og yells. Og feels like last time he hid under mammoth’s tail. Og have not so fresh feeling.

    Sharpfang bark. Og opens eyes. Only white anywhere on Og. Sharpfang big. Very big. Almost as big as Og. Og grunt nervously, “Nice Sharpfang.”

    Sharpfang picks up spear, drops it in front of Og. Og stand there, eyes tightly closed, waiting for Sharpfang to bite him. Og figure, Sharpfang will go for loin cloth to make day perfect. But dog no bite Og. Og opens eyes.

    Sharpfang pushes spear with nose. Og pick up spear. Sharpfang grabs and pulls in tug-of-war. Og laugh.

  6. Og struggles with the mud, but only sinks deeper. Mud up to Og’s knee. Sharpfang approach wary. It’s nose wrinkles as it finds his scent.

    Hunting stick with sharps, Og not forget that. Og use it to poke at sharpfang. Og has own fang. Eyes of beast lock with Og’s. It quick and hungry but so is Og.

    Wait for it. When the sharpfang jump Og strike with fang. Og smart, plan good. Whiskers ruffle with breeze, sharpfang muscles tense, coiled. Og see the paws, front paws twitch.

    The leap, strong, sure. Claws and fangs flash toward Og in blur. Og’s fang swings up, catches the beast in the chest. The attack ends faster than it starts. Sharpfang pushed off, away from Og. The Og fang sliced through its chest and stuck. It fell dead beside him.

    But Og’s luck proved fatal. The force of the beast pushed him deeper into the mud, past his waist. Though he struggled the mud pulled him deeper into its embrace.

    He screamed out one last time just as mud filled his mouth and sucked him the rest of the way inside. He could beat a sharpfang but the mud got the better of him.

  7. “Og Hunt Alone”
    by Michael Seese
    246 words

    (I must say, I don’t always use the text prompt. But this one was too good to pass up.)

    Og hunt alone. Og good hunter. Og get many hunt-things. Og no share.

    Og once hunt with tribe. But Og tribe leave Og. Og tribe say Og make much noise. Scare hunt-things.

    Og tribe stupid.

    Og hunt at night. Og eyes good. See in dark. Og good hunter.

    Og sneak past stone-face-god. Og good sneaker. Og see many stags. Stags strong. Fight Og. Og no like stags. Og see two white-tails. Og like white-tails. Og hold beat-stick. Og hold tie-vines.

    Og ready. Og no need tribe. Og lone wolf.

    “AAAAHHHHOOOO!” Og make wolf call. White-tails run away.

    Maybe Og tribe right.

    Og have bad luck in loud-beat-land. Og try red-moons-land.

    Og see she-wolf. Maybe fox. Og move slow. Fox turn head. Og hide. Og crawl along sticky grass.

    Og crawl close. Og ready.

    Og jump!

    Og grab leg of fox. Fox kick. Og not care. Og strong. Og used to it.

    Fox spray hot in Og eyes. Og not used to that. Og eyes hurt. Og scream. Og let go. Og crawl to man cave. Find water. Og wash eyes in round white whoosh lake. Og eyes feel better. Og get drink at lake too.

    Og ready to try again. Then moons go away. Suns come up.

    “Closing time!” drink-god yell.

    Og put away beat-stick. Og put away tie-vines. Og put away breath-good. Og sad. Smart-pretty hunt-things not like Og. Smart-pretty hunt-things not like Og caveman approach.

    Og go home alone.

    Maybe Og try dating website.

  8. Og not bad luck. Og clumsy. Og lonesome.
    Og hunt alone.
    Og wait with spear for thornhead animal.
    Og creeps forward. Og foot find mud. Big mud. Sticky mud.
    Og stuck. Og break spear. Bad luck.
    Og sigh. Og alone.
    Noise. Og look. Sharpfang. Furry. Pointy eared.
    Sharpfang watch. Sharpfang quiet.
    Og afraid.
    Sharpfang walk. Sharpfang disappear. Sharpfang bring branch.
    Og take branch. Og push branch in mud. Og free!
    Sharpfang look at Og. Og look at Sharpfang.
    Og make new spear.
    Og hunt with Sharptooth. Og not alone. Sharptooth not hungry.
    Og invent new word. Dog. Og make more new word: Friend.
    Sharptooth yawn.

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