John D. Ottini Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

John D. Ottini is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.)

Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:


flash fiction writing prompt fishing the firehole river 102108
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by John D. Ottini

Oscar stood knee deep in the cold stream. Two hours at his favorite fishing spot had netted zero fish.

Very unusual, he thought. This place is normally a sure thing, but not today.

“Damn, I don’t think I’ve seen a single fish,” he said dejected.

Suddenly, the ground beneath him began to tremble. Oscar slowly back peddled toward the shoreline.

What in the world is that? He thought. It’s been more than 30 years since there’s been an earthquake in this area.

The ground shook even harder, as he bolted from the stream onto the shore.

He stood paralyzed watching as an explosion ripped the ground open several yards away. A stream of hot water and steam shot into the air, as the ground continued to tremble and part.

An oblong object rose through the steam and hovered in the air.
The object began to spin and flash like a disco ball, as it lowered a contraption that looked like a large telescope. The scope projected a red beam that circled the area until it spotted Oscar.

Every impulse in his body told him to run, but he couldn’t move. The red beam grew brighter and a blast of energy sent him flying backwards.
When he opened his eyes, he felt the hot sun on his face and giggled as he realized what had happened.

“No more 50’s sci-fi movies and Jack Daniels the night before a fishing trip,” he said as he sat up and rubbed his eyes.

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