Flash Fiction Challenge: Og’s Redemption

flash fiction writing prompt north quinault rainforest may 2015 k s brooks all rights reserved
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Og’s eyes popped open. He found himself lying in the forest covered in fern leaves. His Cro-Magnon head was pounding. He remembered eating some mushrooms after accidentally scaring off the herd of horn-heads.

Now Og has to figure out how to get back to his clan. Sure, they had kicked him out, yet again, but they never really meant it, did they? Og would do good by bringing back some food and winning them over. What could go wrong?

Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture and 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. Need help getting started? Read this article on how to write flash fiction.

On Tuesday night, judges will select the strongest entries, and on Wednesday afternoon, we will open voting to the public with an online poll so they may choose the winner. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Saturday morning, 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: Og’s Redemption”

  1. He still felt dizzy as he attempted to gain his composure, when he suddenly heard a faint rustling in the bushes next to him. Holding still, he tried to make out the exact direction from which the noise was coming. Og knew that if it was a predator, he’d only have a few seconds.

    He slowly moved his right hand toward the nearest fallen branch. The closer his hand got to the branch, the louder the noise became. As soon as Og acquired his so called weapon, the beast lunged. He quickly turned toward the beast, and placed the branch between himself and it at the last second.

    Og felt the branch start to give way at the strength of the beast. He quickly did a sidestepping motion that threw the beast off to his left and started running. He didn’t know which direction he was running, but it didn’t matter. He had to find an escape, and find it fast. As he turned to find his pursuer, he didn’t see the small root shooting out of the ground in his current path.

    He tripped.

    Everything started moving in slow motion for Og. He spun around while falling to see the beast a few meters away now, foam forming in its mouth with each remaining stride. Suddenly, he hears a “thwip”. Almost immediately, an arrow pierces the beast’s heart. That’s when he realized what was happening. They were using him as bait for The Hunt.

  2. “Oh for krummanay sake!” Moaned Og, rubbing his aching head with filthy hands. “So I must remember never to take mushrooms from Roop’s garden again.”
    Leaping to his feet the bog beneath them gave way and down Og went. “Aah! How am I going to get out of this?”
    Grabbing for solid ground he found none. The soft earth gave way with each grasp. Og began to panic as his feet sunk deeper into the mud below.
    “Oh no!” Desperate now, Og found a tree root that was anchored securely. His massive body lunged out of the bog and onto
    solid ground. “Well, who’s the grimacheche now?” Proudly Og picked up his pack and club. “Now what will Og find for his clan to eat?” he asked

    A good hunter, Og returned to his clan with a buck deer over his shoulders. Seev welcomed him, “Og where did you go last night? We weren’t finished with kluge and it was your turn.”

    “You mean I’m not out of the clan?” Og was glad his brother Seev wasn’t upset. “I thought you kicked me out for scaring the horn-heads. It was Minsy that scared them away not me!” Og whined.

    “Oh Og, don’t be a grimacheche! Minsy is just a little girl. Now go tell Mama you’re ready for your gathering.”

    Remembering that it was his birthday, Og ran off to find his Mama.

  3. Og confused. White puffs tasted good, but now Og feel weird. Og head hurt and he decide he no want more white puffs. He let go of handful and they drop to ground next to him. Og need more sleep.

    Something wet on Og’s face wake him up this time. Big sharp fang licking Og’s face. Og very scared. Og wet loincloth.

    Og feel ground next to him – try to find rock. No rock. No white puffs, either. Og wonder if sharp fang ate white puffs. Sharp fang very friendly now.

    Slowly, Og smile and say, “Nice sharp fang.” Sharp fang roll onto back. Tongue hang out. Og smart enough to know sharp fang runs faster than him. Og pat sharp fang belly. Sharp fang happy. Og still scared.

    Sharp fang jump up and run away. Og breathe. He find big stick for protection and start for clan cave. Og wonder what he can hunt to bring back to clan. Og hear scream of stick head. Og think maybe if stick head is hurt, he can catch. But Og surprised to see sharp fang dragging stick head to him. Sharp fang drop stick head at his feet. Og wonder if this is gift? Og see white puff in fern. Og pick and hold out for sharp fang. “Good sharp fang!” he say. Og not stupid.

    Og carry stick head back to clan. Sharp fang follow. Og run out of white puff. Sharp fang eat Og brother. Og kicked out of clan again.

  4. Og had spent the better part of a week collecting the mushrooms. He had enough for the entire tribe. Never come back empty handed, that is what old Og had told him so long ago. But to get past Grogog, what was the harder task. Grogog had been the first to cast him out, every time it happened. Og smiled with the plan that grew in his mind.

    He had already been following the tribe as he planned for his return. They would seen be in horn-head territory and Og knew the best way to set it all in motion.

    The tribe had settled for the day, hunting parties returned with meat and berries they had collected. Unaware of Ogs plan, they laughed and ate the day’s feast. Og found a large herd of horn-heads prepared his surprise.

    He jumped down from a birch tree and screamed at the herd. Like before they startled and crashed through the forest away from the offending noise, straight through his tribe’s camp. The stampede trampled and stomped through the entire tribe.

    By the time the dust settled, Og had gathered his skin of mushrooms and strolled into the decimated camp. As he had hoped, the herd had stomped on Grogog’s head and broken his body. Things were looking up for Og.

    And then he saw the rest of the tribe.

    Not a one had been able to escape the rush of the herd. Og was still alone, but at least he had mushrooms.

  5. Og’s head feel like trampled nuts. Green ferns make nice bed and blanket, but where Og’s clothes and tools? Not know these trees. Maybe spotted mushroom bad to eat.

    All alone, again. Banished seven times now by clan. They very angry when Og sneeze while hunting horn-heads. Herd run off. Clan always angry at Og, but take back when Og find good food. Og go hunt now. Not pick berries. Last time Og bring berries home clan get very sick.

    Strange horn-head nibbles grass nearby. Almost look like bunny with big horns. Not much meat, but horn good for tools. Og catch for clan. Small thing should be easy to hunt.

    Og leap at big horns on little horn-head. Oops. Miss horn and grab leg instead. Foot furry like bunny, but not give Og good luck. Little horn-head has sharp horn and big gnashing teeth. Stronger than it looks. Drag Og over thorn plant.

    Og scream, but not let go, even when Og get whacked many times by horns. Og stubborn. Need little horn-head for clan. Arm really hurt. All of Og hurt. Wish little horn-head was big meat instead of tiny horned bunny.

    Strange horn-head stop biting. Cold wind chills Og’s back. Huge horn-head fall from sky. Almost land on Og. Giant meat. Better than little biting horned bunny.

    Og smile. Let go of foot. Little horn-head disappear. Beautiful shaman woman there instead. Og happy. Just need to find clan and bring meat. Hope woman comes with Og.

  6. ***FINALIST***

    Og scratched the hair on his face and found a creepy crawly thing made its home there. How long had he been out? He pinched the thing with many legs, flicked it aside and stood up to let the ferns, leaves and branches drop to the ground. The trees whizzed around him. He thought he was going to be sick. “Hm. Mushrooms. Not good for Og. Scaring off herd. Not good for Og either.”

    He listened for his clan. A silent forest reminded him they were gone. He picked up a trail of hoof prints, broken branches and nibbled leaves. Deer. “I find food, they welcome Og. Og will be great leader.” He notched his walking stick to count the days of his hunt, just in case.
    After four notches, Og lost the trail of the deer and lost his sense of direction to find his clan. He was alone. Or was he? Smoke billowed between the trees up ahead. Could it be? Could it be his people? “Maybe they miss Og. Welcome Og anyway.” He made his way to a clearing with a small fire and cave. Cave? He did not recognize this kind of small cave. It was not attached to rock. “Og’s shelter is cave in rock.” Just as he stepped out from the bushes, something came out of the cave that was not a cave.

    “Dad, bring the sticks for marshmallows.” The something froze. “Oh. My. God. Dad…Bigfoot wears deerskin!”

  7. “What are you doing?”
    The voice was definitely coming from behind him, but it also felt as if the words were drifting down from the trees like raindrops leaping from leaf to leaf.
    “Who there?” Og growled as he jumped to his feet, spinning right, then left. He could see nothing but forest; a sea of green slowly taking shape as the effects of the mushrooms wore off. He did not understand how he knew that it was the mushrooms that had made him feel this way, he just did.
    “I say again, what the hell are you doing here?”
    This time the voice came at Og clearly from the front, and as he struggled to focus on the trees and plants in that direction, the forest floor itself seemed to spin and bend. Before he could answer, a small horn-head materialized before him. Og’s eyes could not look away as the horn-head’s perfect camouflage melted away to a slick, black, almost fish-like skin.
    As he peered down along the horn-heads body, Og noticed that the creature was standing above the patch of tasty fungi he had stumbled upon. He had been starving, so he took a chance on them.
    “You were not supposed to eat those,” the horn-head grunted like an angry mother.
    “I was hungry.” Og retorted, not at all certain if he was actually having a conversation with his forest’s most feared creature, or imagining it.
    “Well, you are not going to be hungry anymore are you?”

  8. ***FINALIST***

    Og’s mouth tasted like the stagnant pond just outside the clanhold. He pulled himself to his hands and knees beneath the damp ferns. Or feathers? Were they animals? He squinted and rubbed his eyes with one hand. Plants. Definitely plants. Too much green. And damp.
    The last time his head felt like this, he had eaten the tripping birds’ sour berries, changed by the sun from sweet to laughing/crying juice. He stood abruptly – too fast – and had to lean against a tree. This was his return. Here was the answer to rejoining the clan.
    Og broke off the long fronds and wove them into a basket. He staggered back and forth through the thicket of branches and moss, finally finding the mushroom tree again. His fingers almost touched the caps before he snatched back his hand. Og found a stick and scraped the mushrooms into the basket. No touching. Better to be safe.
    The shifting light told Og he must head back now if he wanted to return before dark. The clan would rejoice, though he did not bring horn-head meat. They would eat greedily, elders first, ignoring and berating him and finally inviting him to the fire. Then they would all sleep.
    And Og would be Only. Og would rule.

    Sheila Scobba Banning

  9. ***FINALIST***

    Og raised himself off the forest floor and studied his injuries. A few cuts and scrapes but nothing like last time when he’d almost burnt the entire village down. Between the burns and the bruise Crunk, the clan leader, had given him that time, these wounds were nothing.

    “Me show them! They see, when me bring horn-head into clan me self.” Og said rubbing the soreness from his neck.

    He was about to set off when a roar and an ear piercing scream froze him in place. There off to his right, clinging desperately to Sacrifice Rock was Uga and the largest sabertooth cat Og had ever seen.

    Og gripped his club and charged the beast. Letting out the loudest battle cry he could muster, he swung the weapon with all his might. Missing the creature completely, the club ricocheted off a nearby tree and into Og’s forehead, knocking him out.

    The sabertooth’s attention no longer on Uga, it slowly made its way towards the unconscious meal laying on the ground. Stopping to stretch before it sank large fangs deep into meaty flesh, a snap from above filled the air. The force of Og’s earlier blow caused the tree to release one of it’s large coconuts lying overhead, smashing into the beast’s skull, killing it instantly.

    Og was a hero. He not only saved Crunk’s only daughter, the clan now had enough meat to last them for weeks. He had done it…in typical Og fashion.

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