Flash Fiction Challenge: Wall of Mist

Flash Fiction Prompt copyright KS Brooks all rights reserved 2014 May Day 3 Armstrong Redwood Dino Tree Flash Fiction Prompt
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

School field trips were usually boring. But today, Sam thought these woods were pretty cool.

The ancient trees were in all shapes and sizes and it was easy for him to imagine he was somewhere more interesting than with this stupid class. Sam was staring at what he thought was a tree frog when he inadvertently walked through a wall of mist. That’s when things started moving. And breathing. And looking like… dinosaurs?

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.

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Wall of Mist”

  1. Sam felt the earth move under his feet.
    “What the?” Sam thought he was on the floor of an ancient forest.
    “Woah! Hey what’s happening?” Hanging on for his life, he grasped the lumpy ground that seemed to want to throw him off like a bucking horse at the rodeo.
    Unable to retain his hold Sam felt himself fly through the air only to land hard on a tree limb. Dangling precariously from the limb by the strap of his back pack, he remained as still as possible in hopes the creature wouldn’t see him hanging like ripe fruit. He watched as the creature shook and stretched like a wet dog waking from a nap.
    With a monumental sounding groan the creature’s belly ached with hunger and large eyes scanned the area for a tidbit to munch on. It smelled something new, something salty. Following its nose the creature found what he was smelling. A small specimen but tasty for sure. With a smack of its mouth Sam realized he had been found. Not wanting to be lunch, he wriggled and twisted free from the limb.
    With feet running as they hit the ground, Sam headed back towards the mist. With a giant leap Sam propelled himself through the wall of mist.
    Landing near the group of students waiting to get back on the bus he heard his name.
    “Sam Smith.”
    Climbing into the bus he took his seat. “Here.” He replied to the teacher.

  2. Sam felt cold, coming through the wall of mist.
    It was a magical place. The flowers were in bloom. There were birds of all colours flying here and there. The noise of their chirping sounded discordant, yet did not jar. Big trees and small ones lived together with plants of all sizes. The air was pleasant to breathe. The smells varied. And there was movement all around, fast movement.
    An oldish living thing moved towards Sam. It looked human, as Sam knew them.
    “Where am I?” he asked the old thing.
    “You are in a place where there is beauty all around you, where everything works as it should, if only we let it. I am in a hurry, I’ve got to go,” said the old thing.
    “Please wait a moment. Everyone seems to move so fast. Here one moment and the next, gone. Doesn’t anything last?”
    “A plant is born, it blooms, it flowers and then it dies. A tree takes root, it grows, it gives shade for a while and then it dies. A baby is born, it grows up and learns everything there is to learn. Sometimes he makes use of his leaning and then he dies. Nothing lasts.”
    “Gosh it’s such a beautiful place. Can you not slow things down so you can enjoy everything, a bit longer?”
    “No. We are all in a hurry to get someplace. Sometimes we don’t even know where.”
    “What’s this place called?”

  3. ***FINALIST***

    Sam rubbed his eyes and looked again. Not dinosaurs. Dragons.
    But dragons didn’t really exist. They were just stories. Yet here they were, living, breathing, flying. Flying! Sam couldn’t help but smile as he watched the fantastical creatures dance in the air above him. He laughed. What was this place?
    “You’re the first to come through in quite some time, you know.”
    The young girl’s voice startled him, and his eyes went wide. He panicked, scrambled back towards the mist, and when he looked over his shoulder he could almost see his classmates still there on the other side.
    “Don’t worry,” she laughed, “you can go back. If you really want to.”
    He didn’t want to go back. Not yet. “You…you know about the mist?”
    The girl nodded. “My family came through a few years back. Where’s your family?”
    Sam shook his head. “I came through alone.” He realized he couldn’t stay, even if he wanted. His face fell. “I have to go home.”
    But then he thought about the stories his parents read every night, the fairy tales that filled the bookshelves at home.
    The girl laughed. “Go home and get your family. The village isn’t far and you’ll be welcome there.”
    Sam took another look at the dragons before running back towards the mist. “My name’s Marie,” the girl yelled after him.
    It had been a long time since Sam had been this excited. He’d be back. And he and his family would live happily ever after.

  4. ***FINALIST***

    Sam Middleschmidt believed in dinosaurs. Not just that they lived 65 million years ago but that they lived today, still, and dwelled in the 627 acres of Blydenberg Park among the weekend warrior campers and Cub Scout outings. Sam endured years of teasing trying to convince everyone they existed. But today was their 6th grade science trip to study the flora and fauna of Long Island, and everyone was about to find out that Sam Middleschmidt was right.
    After an hour of walking in the woods, Sam fell behind.

    “Raarr, Sam.” A group of boys surrounded him. Since kindergarten they dished out hearty, daily doses of Sam Humiliation.

    “There are to dinosaurs and they don’t like it when you make fun of them.”

    “They don’t eat red Starbursts, Middleshit.”

    “They do. It’s their favorite.”

    “So where are they, Middleshit?”

    “There. You have to walk through the mist with me.” They followed him.

    “Maybe they want a Starburst,” pulling at his bag and laughing. “Rarrr, give me Starburst!”

    Without so much as a growl from the blur, sliced and diced pre-pubescent body parts spiraled around Sam.

    Ms. Miller, the science teacher, followed the screams and passed through the veil. “Oh, my God. Sam, what happened?”

    “It was a Velociraptor.”

    “There are no dinosaurs!”

    “Oh, Ms. Miller. You shouldn’t have said that.”

    A twig snapped behind her and she spun to see a toothy grin, one claw picking a Starburst wrapper from its teeth and another sliced her down her middle.

  5. Sam froze, his body rigid and unresponsive. One minute he’d been in the forest with his class, the next he was here, surrounded by tall, leafy trees and unfamiliar plants. And most worryingly? Creatures. Creatures that looked a lot like dinosaurs! Some flew overhead whilst others roamed at ground level. Some towered above him; others were smaller, faster. All were equally terrifying.

    That was when his body started working again. It had no choice. Hurtling towards him was a huge dinosaur with a long, winding neck. Sam turned and ran. He ran until his muscles ached and his heart pounded so hard in his chest, he thought it might explode. And then, from nowhere, a solid, white wall appeared. There wasn’t time to stop. He braced himself to hit it full force, a scream on his lips, but instead he felt his stomach lurch and his breath catch in his throat. With a jolt, he sat bolt upright in bed.

    He was home, safe beneath his quilt; Rascal, his favourite teddy, by his side. Relief washed over him, but it soon gave way to an unexpected feeling of disappointment. Had it all been a dream?

    He put it to the back of his mind, until later that day when his teacher announced an impromptu field trip. Sam found himself in the forest, surrounded by ancient trees and the memory of a lost world. He felt his mind start to drift. A familiar mist appeared; a second chance.

  6. ***FINALIST***

    Sam pressed forward. He heard the sounds and felt the movement but he wasn’t afraid. He had been through the Mist before, many times in fact. The Mist wasn’t always in these woods though. Sometimes he would find it on the playground, sometimes the cafeteria while he ate. Sometimes it would even come to him while in bed at night.

    Sam broke through the other side as trees began to morph. Tails, claws, and bright yellow eyes began to swirl around him as the Old Man spoke.

    “Welcome back Sam. Are you ready for the next step?”

    Sam raised a hand and felt the cold scaly skin of the beast standing next to him and nodded his head.


    Sam turned back in the direction he passed before.

    “Samson James, where have you been?” Mrs. Thompson screeched, grabbing his arm, “The bus is about to leave.”

    Mrs. Thompson drug Sam to the Mountain View Children’s Hospital bus and stopped before the two boarded.

    “The mist again? I’m going to have to speak to Dr. Johnston. Now go take your seat.”

    Sam stood silent.

    The Mist followed, snaking it’s way into the empty seat next to him. The Old Man appeared.

    “You won’t have to worry about them much longer. Our friends are hungry and I think the time has come to let them eat.”

    Sam turned to the bus window. The yellow eyes and fang filled mouth of his reflection smiled back at him.

    “It’s time.”

  7. Sam couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It looked like dragonflies. Dragonflies with…knives? And flying around gigantic scaly blue-black lizards? As Mrs. Armstrong called out to the class moving farther ahead, “Be careful to stay on the path!” one of the weird dragonflies zoomed towards him. He moved to sprint back to the class but the bug came towards his forehead, and for the first time he saw a tiny person riding the shimmering wings aiming what definitely was a spear. “Ow!” cried out Sam, clapping his hand to his forehead. “Stupid, just standing there as the thing comes to stab,” he thought. The dragonfly rider came again, and poked into his butt. “Oww!!!” he screamed squeezing his eyes shut in pain. He felt squishy slimy somethings latch on right where he had been stabbed and opened his lids to see the overgrown lizards’ tongues extended, holding onto him. “Mrs. Armstrong!!!” Nothing. Sam closed his eyes and passed out as the long tongues swung him over the redwood floor towards their sharp teeth.

    He woke to pitch dark. “Boy,” a gravelly voice rang out. “Little boy, do you hear me?” Sam tried to say hello but he could only squeak. “Oh yes, I hear you. Little boy, you didn’t want to stay with that stupid class of small humans, no?” Sam squeaked “no” and the place lit up with dragonflies hovering everywhere. Thump went a lizard tail and then Sam was riding a dragonfly, gliding over the class field trip.

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