Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Discoveries

parkin archeological flash fiction writing prompt
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

How about we try that again 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.

Author: Administrators

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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Discoveries”

  1. “No. No. No. Two cans of Pork and Beans’s enough.”

    “Well, then we gotta put a WHOLE can of kernel corn into the pot, too.”

    “Will there be enough room for the four penny-sliced franks if we do that?”

    “Heck, yes. A couple of shakes of hot sauce and garlic powder and some of that onion over there, chopped up’ll make it great.”

    “How come we don’t use brown sugar instead of hot sauce?”

    “Let’s not make a big deal out of this, okay?”

    “Gosh! My mouth’s beginnin’ to water. Can’t wait. Goor-may, ole!”

    “You go start the fire. I’ll look in some of those buckets if we have any corn bread left.”

    “Oh, oh The wind’s actin’ up. We better get crackin’”

    “Good grief! Where’d that bolt of lightnin” come from? Wow! Look what it did to our lunch?”

    “Darn. Darn. Darn. Let’s just pack up and get the hell out of here. Al fresco dining – for the birds!”

    “Wanna go to McWendy’s or Burger Box?”

    “It’s your 16th birthday. You pick it out.”

  2. “Two thousand, twenty dollars, and thirteen cents,” Alex said, stacking the pile of pennies onto the table.
    “That’s what I got too, perfect,” Robert responded.
    “Best festival yet, right dad?”
    “We did pretty great son.” Robert looked out from under the falling edge of the tent to the horizon. He could see the thick layer of clouds rolling in and they were moving fast. “Now let’s hurry up. I want to get home before this storm sets in.”
    The canvas tent cover was easy to remove and Robert quickly stuffed it into a duffle bag. They could fold it up at home. Alex moved quickly, tossing the metal poles into a pile.
    “You keep going,” Robert shouted as the winds picked up. “I’ll pull the car around and we can toss this all in the back.”
    The cherry red Suburban was packed and Robert slammed the trunk shut as the first raindrop fell. Alex was on the far side of the field, dragging the two concrete-filled buckets they had used to tether the tent.
    “Just leave them! We have to go!”
    “Always leave things the way you found them!” Alex shouted back through the now pouring rain. He swung the door open and hoisted the two buckets into the back seat. “Alright dad, lets go,” he said, swinging his soaking body into the front seat and slamming the door behind him. Robert reached over, tousled his son’s hair, and with a sharp push on the gas they were off.

  3. Under the tent, the State Zombie Game Warden examined Myra for bit marks. Then he carefully reached out for Myra’s hunting license and Zombie vaccination certificate. Myra handed the paperwork to the warden. The Warden scanned Myra’s paperwork then handed it back to her, “Well all seems in order, thank you Ma’am. I’m Warden Woody Winslow.”

    Myra was the first Zombie Hunter of the day to make it to the Zombie Weigh-In Tent alive, Woody grinned and said, “Congratulations on your fine Harvest. You have certainly done humanity proud. You got a fine stringer of Zombie heads there.”

    Myra proudly held up her trophy stringer of six heads, “Thank you sir, they gave me quite a scare this morning. I was setting up my tree stand when they were suddenly on me. I had to use my rifle as a club. Thank God, I was able to pull out my Colt 45. I had just enough ammo to put the poor bastards down. As you can see, all clean head shots just like the regulations state.”

    Winslow asked, “And the bodies, did you tag, GPS and fingerprint?”

    Myra proudly beamed, “Warden, I tagged every one of them and used the Official Zombie Harvest App to GPS and fingerprint them, just like the regulations say to, sir. Now there can be no mistake who gets the reward.”

    “Good, ah call me Woody, here let me get you some ammo.”

    Eyeing Woody, Myra blushingly said, “Anytime Woody.”

  4. Gnarled branches quivered and creaked in the wind. Professor Dicken was closer to uncovering this forest’s secrets than he’d ever been. All other attempts had been foiled, sabotaged. Now it was happening again. He held the bone fragment out to Officer Carlo.

    “This is a piece of a human femur, I’m sure of it. The ancient burial pit I’ve been looking for is right here. All I need is a little more time.”

    Carlo’s board expression turned skeptical. “Last year it was chicken bones. Before that, a steak bone. All you’ve ever found is picnic leftovers. There’s a major storm coming. Pack up your stuff while I get my truck. I’ll help you transport the ‘discoveries’ you already uncovered.”

    Dicken cursed under his breath as Carlo left him standing under the wind-whipped tarp surrounded by buckets, tools, and dirt. The storm would destroy everything. Damned if he’d let them drag him away again. The little bone chip cut into his clenched fist sending drops of crimson to the ground at his feet. Lighting crackled and a deep throated trill echoed on the wind.

    “Come to us. Feed us.”

    The sound made the hair on Dicken’s neck prickle. Roots twisted up from the blood splashed soil like writhing snakes. Nearby trees moved closer. He stumbled backward, only to be grasped by a leafless limb. A scream caught in his throat as the roots drew him down into the earth with the other bones, another secret hidden in the soil.

  5. It was late fall when that pain in the ass kid found it. The one that was always screaming at six o’clock in the morning, always waking me up. It’s like the whole cried wolf thing, only this time he had found something. I guess if you scream for nothing long enough eventually something scary will present itself. Normally this time of year the ground is already getting hard, but a wicked thunderstorm knocked out the power, meaning there was nothing to do but sleep. That is except for that screaming kid. And how was I to know that this time it was real? The screaming being more persistent than usual, I went outside to have a look, or maybe yell at him for once, and there it was. A small, skeleton hand protruding from the mud. One look and I knew. Well, I couldn’t get inside to dial the Sheriff fast enough. You see, that skeleton hand sticking up, well there was a ring on one of the fingers. It was a genuine special collector’s edition Space Ghost ring. I know because I have one just like it sitting in my sock drawer upstairs. That’s when I knew Johnny Lane hadn’t run away when he was fourteen years old like everybody said. I knew it. The cops would need my help. And to think my last and greatest mystery would come to me because of that screaming kid.

  6. The map of the Shuksan Corridor laid flat on a table with rocks on the corners to keep it from blowing away in the wind. Bud lived on the mountain and provided a makeshift tent and the map for the research crew coming to investigate.

    “I’m telling you Sheriff, that thing stood ten feet tall, and it smelled awful! I had it in my sights and thought I shot it but it took off.”

    Sheriff Jameson answered the call when Bud reported his close encounter. “Is that when you found this?”

    “That’s right Sheriff. It looks a bone made into a child’s rattle.” He shook it making a rattling sound. Wary of the beast, Bud sniffed at the air, “Can you smell it? It’s close!”

    Emerging from the forest was a ten foot tall beast. “WEERRAAAAWWP!”

    Sheriff Jameson had his revolver un-holstered. His hand shook when he pulled the trigger only to hear an empty click. “What the…?”

    Bud held the object he’d found and froze in fear as the beast approached, screeching and howling. “WEERRAAAAWWP!”

    “Look, it’s a young one!” Jameson pointed at the child sized beast of the same species waiting on the forest edge crying like a wild cat. “Weeeooowwwp”

    “Throw that rattle, it’s a momma and her baby!”

    Bud threw the object in the direction of the baby.

    The adult picked it up and retreated back into the forest, handing the toy to her crying child .

    “The research crew won’t believe this.”

  7. It was the twelfth body they’d found here inside of a year. Sheriff Vansant removed his hat and placed it over his heart. What kind of monster could do this?

    “Sheriff?” he heard from one of the FBI field techs in the far corner. The investigator pointed to a wrinkled paper bag, now swept clean of crumbled, fallen leaves. In blood was written, I’m closer than you think.

    Vansant got a chill, straightened up, and surveyed the scene. All secondary crime scenes. Why couldn’t they find where the actual murders had been committed? Why couldn’t they catch this guy?

    “Can you get prints off that?” the sheriff asked, staring down at the note.

    “Very uneven surface, Sheriff, so I’m not hopeful. But we’ll do our best to get a partial.”

    It was then that the odd crink in the letter K caught his eye. A huge dry spot formed in the sheriff’s throat. Scenes of his wife Teresa with their neighbor Bob flashed in his mind: them laughing, flirting, and some secret, cryptic note to Bob about the milkman. The K had been the same.

    Acid surged up into Vansant’s mouth. No, this couldn’t be. Teresa wouldn’t – couldn’t – do this. Then he recalled her annoyance each time he’d come home early. “Don’t you have anything to do at work?” she’d snap. Last time, she’d added, “This town needs a serial killer or something.”

    His stomach contracted; he covered his mouth and heaved. He knew what he had to do.

  8. “Another minute and this so-called tent of yours is going to fly off and the evidence along with it, sheriff.”

    “Jake, quit harping and hand me the acid—the 14 carat bottle in the case.”

    The sheriff placed a black stone flat on the table. He took a large gold ring out of an evidence bag. With a firm motion he used the ring to score a straight white line across the black surface. Taking the stopper off the bottle of acid, he poured a slight amount over the stone. Wherever the liquid touched the scored mark, the mark disappeared.

    “Not real gold. Didn’t think so. Those two were ready to kill each other over some costume jewelry.”

    “You sure? They said it was an heirloom. With their old man dead and buried they each wanted it.”

    The sheriff looked up for the first time, noticing the overcast sky. “Almost done here.” He took a metal file, and dug it into the ring. Upending the ring on the table, he poured acid on the gouged area. Both men were silent as they watched the liquid turn from clear to green and start smoking.

    The sheriff sighed. “If this were real gold, it wouldn’t do that. Let’s pack this stuff up and go pay them a visit.”

    Jake shook his head. “Green, huh? Just like those guys were green with envy.”

    “Doesn’t pay well,” the sheriff said, as he reached to pull down the sheeting covering the frame. “Not ever.”

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