How about we try something different this week? Use the photograph to the left as the inspiration for your flash fiction story. Write whatever comes to mind (no sexual, political, or religious stories, please) and after you PROOFREAD it, submit it as your entry. There will be no written prompt this week.
Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture at left. 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 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.
Once a month, the admins will announce the Editors’ Choice winners. Those stories will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!
Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms. Please note the rule changes for 2016.
11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Falling Water”
Lunch hour will be over soon. I could stick my head under that wall of water and end it all right now, Just half a bottle of beer left. Maybe if I drink it down now it’ll give me the courage. No! Let them come and take me. Yeah! Why should I make it easy for them? Could of got my last two last night.
There he is, guys, sitting at the fountain. He’s got his back to us but he knows were coming. No violence. We’ll take him easy. Get the straight jacket ready. You know how wild he can get.
Wonder what’s going on over there? Look at all those cops creeping up on that guy sitting there? Get a shot of that with your cameras.
Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is your Six-O’Clock news. This afternoon our Police Department captured the serial killer who has terrorized our city for the past six months. Here’s the scene as it unfolded. He appeared to be waiting for them and gave no trouble as they squeezed him into a straight jacket.
He’s from our city and his name is……
Oh, turn that darn TV off. Looks like that kook who lives downstairs. Glad we didn’t let him in last night. Who wants to look at all that stuff, Let’s go out and get some pizza. Yummmmm!
I love the sound of falling water. I love the rush, the dribbles, the spatters, the plunk of a wild drop. I love the way the wind blows through, scattering the cooled air. I’ve heard that moving water creates positive ions that vibrate the air, that bring peace and healing. Contentment. I don’t know, I just know I love the water.
I come and sit here every day on my lunch hour. This is my down time, my recharge time, my renewal time. This is the time I put aside all the whirling thoughts of work, relationships, marriage, kids, parents, bills. There is too much complexity in the world. Now technology: phones, tablets, music players, social media. Do I really need all that?
No, I just need the water, the falling water, the water that runs and runs and runs. Where does it come from? Where does it go? Water: necessary for all life. It fuels, nurtures, keeps moist, promotes growth. Without it, we wither and die.
I love the water.
And yet there comes a time when I must leave. Leave the cool; leave the bubbling voice. Leave the giver of all life.
I have to pee.
Sitting here, numbly watching the cascading waters for the sixth day in a row, I wonder how could this be happening? Why me?
Shifting my focus to the calming, soothing sounds of the waterfall and allowing this to transform my thoughts to a significantly higher realm to ponder the wonderful things in life, only to be abruptly interrupted to be asked if there was anything else I would be needing, by the sexy 20 something year old waiter at my disposal.
If only he could read my mind.
“Sure, I’ll have another, indicating the empty glass beside me”.
I returned my focus to the water scene before me not quite able to quickly regain where my concentrated focus had been when, the ugly thoughts of my foreboding situation could rear it’s head.
I’d found my first gray hair!.
As the droplets of soft water sprinkle on the ground before me, I focus my eyes on the cascading flow of nature before me.
Where has the time gone? Where is my lover?
My grief echoes words of clarity into the water ….
Gone, gone, gone . That chapter is forever over .
The sunlight peeks through the downward spirals of water . The sweet gentle chirp of a bird near by reminds me to let go, let go, let go .
I want to plunge my face in this falling stream before me to wash away the pain.
Yet I hear the voice whisperer inside of me Trust, trust, trust .
I gather myself up and stand erect and tall before this flow and shout out loud ,
“All will be well ! I am okay !”
Over the years, I tried to warn everyone about global warming, but too few listened. everywhere on earth the politicians continuously blocked legislation to save our world from drowning. That is until the world wide monsoons came, by then it was way to late. I thought of the predictions that the oceans would rise only twenty or so feet. Over my whiskey and rye, I muttered out loud, “Boy were they wrong.”
The others waiting there ignored me. They thought I was talking into one of the last working smartphones on earth; I wasn’t. I muttered to the bartender, “I don’t care, give me another drink.”
The bartender poured another for me. So here I sit in the “Top of the World Restaurant” watching the deluge of water continuously descend upon us and forever deepening between the buildings below us. So far it has rained nonstop for the last three years. Rain water has managed to fill every city street and alley way around the world. Now ten stories deep here, our desert city resembles Venice, which was one of the first cities lost under this new ocean of rain water.
I could hear the chopper coming for us, so I downed my last drink and gathered my stuff together. We headed up to the roof to be airlifted out. As I boarded the rescue chopper, I took one last look around at the sunken Las Vegas skyline and shook my head in regret at our foolishness.
“Meet me by the waterfall,” he said. “At 2:00 sharp.”
Two came and went, three came, and then four. He wasn’t there. The sound of the water lulled her into a trance.
The skies promised rain, so she brought an extra umbrella she’d found in the dumpster outside Macy’s. Perfectly serviceable, she thought.
Shadows grew longer. Maybe he forgot. He did that a lot these days. Living on the street messes with your sense of time, as she well knew.
Maybe she got the day wrong.
She heard his wheelchair before she saw it. The collection of items he had attached to it: A frying pan, an old metal canteen, and the bag of crushed aluminum cans. His face bore a smile. “Sorry I’m late,” he said. “I had to find a gift for you.”
She accepted the red silk rose, only a little dirty.
“Shall we go?” he asked in a Fred Astaire voice.
“Let’s,” she replied.
And thus began the courtship of Dustbin Dottie and Wheels Williams, at the side of an artificial waterfall, with two real hearts. When the rain came, they never even noticed.
Every time I go into the central plaza she is sitting there. She occupies the closest table to the waterfall and from it she could watch the activity of the whole room. However, she has her back to the room and instead stares fixedly at the waterfall. Her belongings seem to grow on each visit and it almost appears like she lives here, although I know the Plaza is closed overnight.
I didn’t understand what had her so spellbound in that art piece. There were many art objects spread throughout the room. Some even more spectacular. Each intended as talking points for gaps in conversation or back drops to beautify the communal environment.
For many weeks I hesitated breaking her concentration. But in the end, I had to know. I deliberately stood between her and the waterfall to gain her attention.
“What are you looking at? What are you seeing that I am not?”
It took a while but she did reply in a dry husky tone,
“I am looking for my man to re – enter through the veil of tears. You can’t see him yet, he hasn’t made it back. But he will, he promised to meet me here”
I suddenly remembered the accident the year before, when a section of the plaza fell in, killing one man. The waterfall was built in the aftermath. In that sudden knowledge I moved from blocking her view, realising I was in the presence of living grief.
I’ve always been intrigued by water features. This particular fountain is especially interesting. Each time I pass through the food court I have to stop and peer into its’ endless flow. From where it comes I don’t fully understand. I imagine some hydraulic mechanism generating the upward motion so the water could fall over the wall of glass and stone.
Curiosity often leads me closer to study its structure hoping to find a clue to how it flows without end. I ask the security guard if he knows of a switch or power supply. He knows nothing, but says, “It falls twenty four seven, three hundred sixty five and never needs maintenance.”
Today, the sun shone brightly through the skylight overhead. As I walk closer it becomes clear that this is not a work of man made hydromechanics. I may have lost my mind but I could swear another world lay beyond what I originally thought was just glass and stone.
I look around. Discovering that I was alone, I stuck my hand into the flow. It’s cool and silky, flowing through my fingers like satin. I venture further and without a thought of risk or danger I continue through the wall of water. The world in front of me is green, luscious and blissfully quiet. I looked back but realize I don’t want to leave this new world. I wasn’t afraid. That’s when I heard it.
“The mall will close in five minutes.” I had to get home.
We buried our daughter today. Her body had liquefied minutes after she passed, had melted into film.
The medics ordered us to dispose of her essence: to mix bleach in water, to pour it over her remains, to scrape her into a plastic barrel. We obeyed. The medics watched within armored suits. The nurses cradled weapons in their vehicles. Between the medics and us pulsed the slick.
Our street lay empty. The slick had appeared when enemies had flown machines into our village. The slick had taken infants first. It had then claimed the old, the frail, and the heedless who believed that power conferred immunity.
My husband scanned the murky sky. He hugged me, and fell to the ground. The slick was on him before I could close his eyes.
The medics marched toward us. Nurses seized my husband’s remains. I screamed and clutched at my dearest, and the intruders mocked me. “You should die,” they said.
The medics locked me in a glass cage. They brandished needles, vials, and blades. “You will show us the cure,” they said.
They watch me on their screens; they wait for answers. I watch them through my prison window. They hold my death.
It brought them back for me, that sound of falling water. Of course so much had changed. All of it was gone, now: the woodlands, the babbling brooks, the sandy beaches. They’d all been taken in the name of progress. Needed for food, for industry, for our very lives. When they finally realized we needed the natural places for our lives as well it was too late. They’d all been fenced, developed, dug up or covered over.
When the absence of wild spaces began to take its toll, when the air no longer sustained health, when the food no longer grew as expected, when people grew angrier, when suicides spiked and no one smiled any more they built these places – oases they called them – here and there where tiny spaces could be purloined from the productive areas. Some had a fenced shade tree with a few flowers underneath and a path around it where patrons, for a price, could bring a plastic chair to sit in front of it.
This one had a cement wall over which they ran water – and endless loop pumped over it and re-caught underneath to be pumped over again. I saved for two months to buy my three hours here. The sun warmed my face and with my eyes shut I could once again imagine I lay on my blanket by the creek, hands under my head. That sound. Distant memories – for a price.
This was the idea to make him rich. No more struggling inventor, this was a masterpiece and one with demand.
What looked like an expensive hotel lobby around him was designed as a prison. The most comfortable prison in the world, yet the most devastating one. A place so comfortable, so geared towards idling the mind of anybody, it became inescapable to procrastinate no mater one’s willpower. Nice to be in, but dreadful to realize how much time had passed to never return to your life without anything done during a term of maybe a few years.
A selection of the most mindless movies and video channels, celebrity news coverage all the time, open world videogames, social media bots, the most comfortable beds this side of Vegas, and at the center of it all the decorative waterfall. Magnificent. Water trickling down a wall, inviting to meditate, to relax, to idle, to admire. So pretty. So calm. So tempting. Hypnotic.
He knew he had to back away from the cascade and go back to work. But then again, what was a few more minutes here, innocently enjoying the beautiful waterfall? A few more minutes spent here or there, would it really hurt that much? And he had to check wether the games on the computers a little to the left had been installed correctly. Just to make sure the prison worked. Surely, that was a meaningful part of the work here.
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