Flash Fiction Challenge: Og’s Idea

flash fiction writing prompt columbia river washington oregon 2001
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Og hunts alone now. The others think Og is bad luck, so they send him away.

This makes things very difficult for Og. There are no helpers. No one to watch for spearmouths when Og sleeps. No one to help chase game.

Mostly, Og eats nuts and berries, but the season is almost over and the cold time will be here.Og does not know what to do.

He sits down by the water. There is a bush there with little leafcrawlers on the vines. Og tries a leafcrawler. Yuck! Og throws it in the water. As soon as bug hits the water, a fish jumps up and takes it.

Fish would be good to eat, but going in water is dangerous. Og gets an idea…

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12 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Og’s Idea”

  1. “What am I going to do?” Og sighed. He felt friendless, alone, hungry,

    He suddenly remembered seeing the little silver box under the bush with what looked like the picture of an apple on it. “What’ve I got to lose,” he thought as he sludged up the hill. There it was glinting from the sun. Og flipped it over.. There were numbers in little squares and one of them was flashing. He pressed it with the tip of his nose.

    “Good morning. Thank you for calling MacDonald’s. Our special today is two loaded Big Macs for only one dollar. May I take your order, please?”

    Og couldn’t believe what he heard. “Glory, hallelujah,” he cried. “Fish, smish!:” Catching his breath, he happily realized his life would never by the same.

  2. Og has hungry tummy, wants lots of fish for winter. Og saw big fish jump out of water for leafcrawler. Og grabs handful of leafcrawlers and steps in water. Og drops leafcrawler on water surface. Big fish jump for leafcrawler. Og hits big fish with club, knocking big fish on shore, but fish falls back in river and is washed down stream to Grizzle Bears. Og sad.

    Eight caveman hunting party see Og hit fish and see fish fall back in river. Eight cavemen get in line around Baseline River shoreline to catch fish. Og hits fish to cavemen.

    Og runs out of leafcrawlers, so a caveman pitches leaf crawlers to Og and Og keeps hitting fish to cavemen. Soon cavemen have piles of fish on river bank. Now Og see hunting party jump up and down pointing at Og, and screaming, “Og Out!”

    Og thinks, “hunting party must be happy Og hit fish to them. Now maybe they let Og come home, but why hunting party grab armfuls of fish and run home to caves?”

    Og yells back, “Home Run? Home Run?” But cavemen too busy running home in fear.

    Og hears noise behind Og. Og turned around as Grizzle comes up to bat and strikes Og out cold and drags Og home for seventh inning stretch meal, season over.

    Thus ended the first baseball game ever played: Grizzlies Won Og to nothing, and this is why when you strike out, the umpire screams, “Og Out!”

  3. Og looks back at the bush and grabs another leafcrawler. He holds it gently between his fingers and tosses it into the rapid moving river. Once again, a large fish jumps up, grabs the bug in its mouth, and dives back into the water. Og turns to the bush again. He grabs another leafcrawler and is about to throw it into the water when he pauses. A wonderful thought stops him cold and he turns to the bush once more. Og grabs the long vine on which the bug had been perched and pulls it from the ground. He carefully ties the end into a miniature slipknot and drapes it around the small body of the leafcrawler. He tightens it and dangles the vine out in the air. The tiny bug’s legs kick around frantically as if dancing to some mystical hyper beat. Og ambles down to the side of the river and tosses the secured bug out into the water. In a flash, another fish leaps from the water and takes the bug in its jaws. Og pulls hard on the vine, yanking the fish to shore. A smile spreads across Og’s face as the fish lies wriggling at his feet.
    That night, the tribe of cavemen sit around the campfire, gnawing on the last scraps of elk meat. Suddenly, a sound draws their eyes to the edge of their camp. Standing before them is Og, holding a dozen dead fish and grinning from ear to ear.

  4. He watched the fish flash to the surface to grab the bug. The fish wanted the bug, so the fish seized the bug. Interesting. Og wanted things. Og wanted food. Og wanted his old cave. Og wanted Igdra.


    The fire spread quickly through the dwellings. Panic was rampant. As confused and frightened men escaped into the night, each was clubbed mercilessly at the cave’s mouth. Og simply collapsed their skulls and dragged them out of sight. He allowed the women to escape into the predawn mists.

    As Indra fled through the rock portal, Og whacked her over the head, but softy. He snatched her by the hair and dragged her lovingly to the shore, where he bathed and nursed her back to consciousness. As she awoke, her eyes grew wide.

    “Cursed One,” she shrieked.

    “There are few left that can help Igdra,” he replied. “Og not bad luck anymore, see? Og reclaimed home, Og’s woman, and Og’s honor. Gods support Og.”

    Igdra felt her anger rising. She watched a drifting log float slowly down the river. It was an almost invisible feature in the purple waters. She sat quietly as he built a fire, but lunged as he squatted near it. Og tumbled into the waters below.

    Panicked and angry, he shouted at her as he clambered towards the log. Indra smiled.

    “Gods must be fickle, Og,” she thought, as the log revealed itself. Its reptilian jaws clamped upon Og and dragged him under.

  5. If he could catch fish when they jump to grab leafcrawlers, he could eat during cold time. How to catch fish, though? He remembers the bowls the women use to carry food. Og builds a bowl using sticks like he saw Ani do. Ani. Smells like berries and honey and has pretty wavy hair. Og thinks maybe if he catch fish, tribe won’t think he bad luck anymore. Maybe Ani will like him again. Og smiles.

    Time to try out bowl. Og tosses leafcrawler into water. When fish jumps, he scoops. Almost. He can’t reach fish from edge of water. He must step into water. But water is dangerous. His friend Bin was swept away by water. What if he is swept away? Would Ani miss him? Og’s tummy growls. He is hungry. He must try.

    He grabs leafcrawlers and steps into the water. Og shivers. Water is cold and fast, hard to balance. He tosses a leafcrawler onto water. The fish jumps up to grab it, and he scoops it up.

    Eating fish, Og thinks, ‘Not bad for unlucky guy no one wants around.’

    Og has idea! He catches enough fish for Ani and her family. Tribe warned him not to return, but he does anyway. Tribe is amazed by number of fish he carries. Og’s eyes meet Ani’s as he leaves the fish at her feet. Ani smiles, takes his hand and leads him to sit next to her. Og no longer bad luck.

  6. Og builds a fire. Dancing flames soothe loneliness. Warmth feels good. Og remembers when he saved Nam from a bear.

    But the breeze shifts. Smoke fills Og’s nostrils. Og remembers the blood moon and the burning sky. He remembers the big black bird landing on his kill. Og remembers the bird flapping its wings and making awful sounds. It was a sign. The elders said it was a sign Og made the gods angry and caused the burning sky.

    Og cries. When his tears dry he remembers his plan. He will build a boat. The elders used a boat to bring him here. Og will float to the warm place in his dreams. Or Og will die.

    Ocean waves overwhelm Og. He cries. Og thinks the elders were right. The gods hate Og.

    Og is drowning when noise wakes him. He gets scared. Og climbs a tree and watches many strange men.

    One man approaches. Og sees skin only on his face. “Hello. Do you understand me?”

    “Og hears.”

    “I see.” The man rubs his hairless chin. “I am friend. Our ship, our boat is broken. We must fix. Many days.”

    “Og help.” Og climbs down.

    “And Og’s friends?”

    “Og bad luck. Og alone.”

    “I see.”

    “Og has berries. Og sees bears. Og and…” Og points at the man.


    “Og and Captain kill bears together.”


    “You help Og build boat? Too cold here. Og must leave.”

    The captain points at his vessel. “Og will have boat.”

  7. Since his puzzling discovery, and the idea it sparked, Og dreamt of river meat. Strange, legless beasts. What did they taste like? And could they save his life?
    Winter loomed, and Og no longer held his own as a hunter. Cursed, they said. So, unwelcome on the hunt, Og was on his own.
    Aware that no meat meant death, Og was anxious to try his idea, a line woven with animal hair and threaded through bone fragments, each impaling a leafcrawler to attract the river meat.
    Calmly he tossed it into the river. Suddenly the line straightened and darted away. Og pulled, but it resisted. He yanked harder and finally dragged a manic, squirming fish to shore. It flopped about, mocking him with its giant eye!
    Will it attack? Can it bite, or kill? Can it even be killed?
    Og fell backward. Clutching a nearby rock, he rolled and slammed it onto the fish’s evil-looking eyeball, and then relaxed. He knew he’d survive the winter.
    That night the others, weary from a losing battle with a mammoth, stoked their fire. Og roasted fish, drawing laughter. In sympathy they offered him meat from their dwindling supply but Og refused, surprising them.
    The next day, the others lost another fight with the mammoth, but Og again had fish. More importantly, he appeared quite content.
    The third day, they followed Og. He wasn’t keen about this, but his knees ached, giving him another idea.
    And soon he had them all scrounging for leafcrawlers.

  8. Og looked at the green leafcrawlers on the nearby vines. “Hmmm.” Og tapped his finger on his chin. “If fish like leafcrawlers and I like fish, maybe I catch fish if I put leafcrawler on stick.”
    Og broke a branch from a bush and plucked a leafcrawler from the vine. He tried several times to rest the leafcrawler on the end. “You stay on stick little leafcrawler.” Og ordered. He held the stick over the water and within seconds the leafcrawler fell into the water only to be snatched up by a hungry fish.
    “Og getting mad at leafcrawlers, I said stay on stick.” How does Og get leafcrawler to stay on stick? Getting wiser with experience, Og used his sharp rock and scraped the flesh off the branch to form a point. He tried to stick the squishy leafcrawler but it was too soft and turned to mush.
    He scratched his head and pulled a long hair from his head.
    “Og has good idea now.” He tied one end of the hair to the stick and the other end to the leafcrawler. “Now fish will jump out of water and bite leafcrawler, Og will grab fish.
    Og dangled the leafcrawler over the water. After the bush was empty of leafcrawlers, Og had plenty of fish to eat for cold times.
    “Now Og need fire, to warm fish. Must go back to camp, make deal. Trade fish for fire. Og good.”

  9. Og swivelled his head back and forth between leafcrawlers and water. To see if it would happen again he pinched another leaf-crawler and threw it into the water. Yes! Another fished flashed in the sunlight as it grabbed the morsel. So … fish eat leafcrawlers … and Og eats fish.

    He sat down to think without looking and something sharp stung his butt. Ouch! He reached back to discover an old stick covered in strong thorns. A glance overhead confirmed the source. He rubbed his rump where the thorn pieced it as his other thumb tested the thorn, red with a drop if his blood, then grinned.

    He grabbed two leaf-crawlers and slid them onto the thorn, then thrust the branch into the water. Yes, a fish jumped, grabbed the insects … and fell back into the water. The thorn was empty. Og held it this way and that, slipped two more insects on, and noticed they almost fell off on their own.
    He remembered a cedar tree nearby, one with the sap oozing onto the bark. He found it, collected a good glob, and returned to the river bank. Using a tiny bead of sap he stuck more insects onto the thorn. Then he took a hair from his head and tied it around.

    This time when the fish jumped the thorn the thorn caught on its mouth. Og yanked his catch onto the grass and drooled.

  10. Og sit alone and hungry. Og spot leafcrawler on bush.
    Og take and eat.
    Mouth feel like prickly bush.
    Og throw leafcrawler in water.
    Big fish jump out of water and take leafcrawler.
    Big fish going to have same problem.
    Og watch. Nothing.
    Og pick another leafcrawler and throw it in water.
    Og see another bigger fish take leafcrawler.
    Og want fish for cold and lonely winter.
    Og wonder how to grab fish.
    Og take off spearmouth cover and walk into fast moving water with another leafcrawler.
    Og throw leafcrawler.
    Og not ready when two fish jump.
    Og fall back into cold water.
    Og see spearmouth cover rushing away like it was alive.
    Og jump up and try to run to catch spearmouth again.
    Water much faster than Og.
    Now Og hungry and cold.
    Og begin to think he really bad luck.
    Og hear noise. Og look and see beautiful creature on shore.
    Og see her laughing and pointing at him.
    Og see her standing with many fish at her feet.
    Og look down and see, he now waving.
    Og see creature waving for him to come to where she is standing.
    Og going to eat tonight and maybe have someone to help hunt.
    Og going to worry about spearmouth cover some other day.

  11. He can build a small raft to get into the water, Og thinks to himself. He can anchor it by tying it to a tree closeby.

    Despite being famished, Og’s determination to catch some fish propels him to build that raft. He uses the pieces of wood that are lying nearby and starts hammering away.

    After a few hours and multiple blisters later, Og is done. Visually, the raft doesn’t look so appealing, but it looks sturdy enough for Og to be able to float in the dangerous waters long enough to catch some fish for dinner.

    He ties one end of the rope to the raft and the other to the large pine tree. He sets the raft in the water, and within seconds, he attempts to get himself on it by doing a mini swan dive. He falls slightly to the left and goes right into the frigid water. He panics, and throws his arms and legs wayward. He catches onto the raft and tries to get on again. He gets on one end and slides off the other. Whilst submerged in the water, he sees the fish…so close yet so far. His panic prevents him from even reaching out to the fish.

    Og gets back onto land. He flops down next to the bush. There has to be an easier way to get that fish, he thinks to himself as he picks up a leafcrawler and nibbles on it .

    Yuck! He spits the leafcrawler out.

  12. Og has idea. He spies still pool of slimy green water away from main river and rolls in it. Smells bad but okay if plan works.

    Og not sure, but may be genius. If fish like leafcrawlers, Og pretend to be bigger leafcrawler. When they try to bite, he grab. Og proud his thinking parts seem better today.

    Og smiles at the big sky.

    Water not fast at edge, so Og wades in, green and stinky as swamp. Og makes stand, legs apart, arms ready to catch. Yellow eye moves across sky. Og’s back aches. Whole body strains. But Og no move. Sees juicy fish two time. Three. Curious.

    “Be more curious,” whispers Og, feels his skin leaking.

    Fourth fish closer still. Og waits. Og proud of patience.


    Og did it! Og fished. The fish fights Og but Og has two hands firmly around it, now only needs to wade to shore.

    But Og forgot about logs with teeth. How could Og forget about logs with teeth?

    Before Og can escape water, log with teeth catch Og’s loincloth and spins Og again. Og feels like life is one big unhappy circle. When he feels cloth rip, he knows he can escape, but he’s dropped fish. Even scared, Og is sad.

    Og runs. Into thornbush. Og stuck. Green and stinky and red now. Hopes log with teeth is dumber than him. Thorns in bad place.

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