Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Sunrise

Netherbrook sunrise flash fiction prompt copyright KS Brooks269 sunrise COMP
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Since you all seem to like the photo without the written prompt, let’s do it again. Use the photograph above as the inspiration for your flash fiction story. Write whatever comes to mind (no sexual, political, or religious stories, jokes, or commentary, 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.

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Sunrise”

  1. “Where did it attack you,” he asked.
    “Up at the very top of that rise,” he answered pointing towards the setting sun.
    The howling echoed through the darkening trees. They glanced at each other and began their cautious climb clutching their revolvers.
    “Glad you brought your torchlight to light the way.”
    The thick undergrowth clawed at their clothes. The howling grew louder the higher they climbed.
    “Be careful. Sounds like it’s moved further down the far side of the hill.”
    Once at the top, they could see the hunched over shape of the howler crawl under a bush. He flashed his light onto it. It was laying on it’s side licking its bleeding wound, four legs outstretched, slowly dying.
    “Great Scott! You made short work of that one. What good luck!”
    “Luck had nothing to do with it, stout fellow,” he shouted, leaning over the dead hound. “Elementary. Just elementary.” He reached down and grabbed the two front paws. ” Come. Help me. Let’s get it back to the Baskerville’s so they can get on with their lives.”

  2. Title: Dawn in France (You said nothing about banning poetry)”

    “What’s that noise?” my wife she said.
    I calm my heart, and rest my head
    The sheets like us are old and thin,
    but what the heck’s that awful din?

    Blue lights flash, stabbing at the dawn’s pale countenance
    In France, gendarmes rule in total confidence.
    Sirens loud though there’s no traffic to warn in this quiet backwater
    Screech to a stop, sharp words in French, one Gendarme to the other

    “What’s going on?” I mumble in my sleepy state.
    Yawn barely stifled, it can wait.
    She twitches curtains, peers through them dour,
    “Lord,” she says, “police, and at this hour?”

    I rise and step beside her, a row of blue-clad officers bent double;
    On knees they search our garden—looking for what I cannot tell,
    But search they do, and oh so well.

    “They’re coming near!” she says, the alarm it grows in her sweet head
    Moving close they ring our bell. We look at to the other all aghast.
    “Go get it,” she takes control, then pushes me to take the stroll,
    Down the stairs across the room, I answer the door to the morning’s gloom

    “Oui?” ask I all coy and innocent, they rush at me, I’m doomed but querulant
    Handcuffs click; I’m in chains again, I’m doomed, marooned.
    Who thought it would lead to this?
    In France, it seems red squirrels are revered, elected, selected, and protected.
    They punish here those not too careful, and all because I had that drunken skin-full.

  3. Sue stares down at her spinning compass then up again at the sunset. She can’t believe she let Darren leave her to get help when they realized they were lost. Now she is cold, and things in the woods sound eerily like she is the prey;

    she begins to pray,
    to anything in the blazing sky that might listen.

    All the horror movies she’d ever seen flashback in her head like a playlist on repeat. With every growl from the woods she spins, defending herself with a flashlight. The darkness is now complete, and yet the eyes in the woods are glowing.

    A shiver starts in her feet and works it way up her spine. Thirsty and hungry, she sits hugging herself with her back to a thick tree.

    At some point, she must have dozed off, despite the nightmares jumbling in her brain like loose marbles. Dusk is approaching, a pink ribbon that unfolds in the sky.

    Suddenly behind her, she hears footsteps, and knows in her heart it is Darren or her rescuers.

    She spins around quickly shouting “HEY!” as she does.

    The smile fades as she sees the bear charging at her.

  4. We often awake to a sudden beautiful sunrise only to discover the harsh cold reality of a new day dawning upon us. This predawn morning was no exception atop the cliffs at Harper’s Ferry. Scoutmaster Henderson gathered his troop from their tents, “Lewis and Clark stood on these very cliffs and at sunrise you will see three states, just like they did.”

    He went on to instruct them, “Take out your map and record the coordinates for: Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. In about one hour, the sun will rise over one of them and to get your orientation badge you will mark on your map which city the sun rises over. Alright let’s get started.”

    Jahan was showing his younger brother, Ali, how to use the compass when Ali complained, “I don’t now why we have to learn this? My cell phone Map App shows it clearly.”

    Frowning, Jahan replied, “What if we’re in the woods and it breaks? You need a back up plan.”

    The Scoutmaster, smiled, “Troop! Jahan is right, we cannot always rely on tech …”

    He stopped in mid-sentence when Bobby Miller yelled, “I see the sunrise, over there! It’s Philadelphia!”

    Everyone turned towards the bright orange sunrise, but the Scoutmaster knew it should have been over Baltimore and it was forty minutes early. Someone yelled, “look there is another one, this time over Washington!”

    Totally befuddled, the troop stood there silently staring at the two sunrises slowly fading in the predawn light.

  5. There was something about the morning air, cool and welcoming, that lured Sarah from the arms of her husband. She left the warm and comfort in favor of the crisp and chill for a moment of peace from the balcony of their vacation rental.

    Sarah cupped her favorite coffee mug, a 40th birthday gift plastered with the smiling faces of her kids. Joey, Jacob, and Emily were her world and their father was her best friend.

    The trip had been crazy, chaotic, and somehow, just what her family needed. It didn’t offer sun and sand, but with many things to do and see, it satisfied across the kids’ ages from twelve to three. Sarah enjoyed it, even though she needed an internal pep talk before every excursion into tourist-land.

    The sky was painted pink and purple, the ridges made black by the rising sun. The trees would be revealed in due time, the details would come into focus, and her family would wake. But just now, Sarah could sit. She could dream.

    She closed her eyes. If she had this view at home, her novel may not have taken five years to write. Instead of stealing fifteen minutes in a crammed office, between carpools and her nine to five, she imagined sitting here. Her laptop could actually rest in her lap….

    The sliding door opened and sleepy-eyed Emily stumbled to her. Sarah pulled her into a hug and kissed her, both sad and content that her stolen moment was over.

  6. Dan’s eyes burned like in a desert sandstorm. He hadn’t slept in days; a short nap would do an eternity of good, but he needed to stay alert for Lily’s sake. The sleeping child nestled under his arm, entrusting him with her safety.
    When the virus first hit the cities, they had felt safe in their tiny mountain town. Now, almost everyone was dead, or worse. Dan had come across Lily while foraging for supplies in the pantry of her family’s home. Her father’s gruesome remains were well decomposed and her mother was nowhere to be found, which meant…
    The virus affected each gender differently. Men died. Women didn’t stay dead. They fed on the corpses of fallen men, then roamed in search of fresh prey. Dan had always fantasized of women hungering for his body, but this wasn’t what he’d had in mind. Lily was unaffected thus far; the virus only afflicted adults as far as Dan knew.
    The women were most active at night, hence their nickname, “Ladies of the Night”. Travel during the day was safest, but where to go was anyone’s guess. All Dan could hope for was finding enough to eat, and a safe place to rest.
    Dawn broke, painting the mountaintop in brilliant shades of orange and purple.
    Lily stirred beside him. “I’m hungry,” she mumbled.
    Dan fumbled in his backpack for something to give her.
    “Ouch!” Pain in his arm made him turn to see Lily’s teeth sinking into his flesh.

  7. “Joel, you’ve got to hurry up here and see this,” Andi Simkins called to her husband one late Sunday afternoon from their patio window. Joel was cooped in what he called his Subterranean Lair.

    “I’ll be up as soon as I finish this part of the Times crossword, hon,” Joel replied from his leather lounger. The New York Giants versus the home standing Eagles provided a background soundtrack from his 50-inch flatscreen.

    “Lemme see…54 Across…seven-letter word for skyline,” Joel mumbled to himself, with an Eagle’s player’s interception of a late-day sun-blinded Giant receiver’s potential catch sending the Philly crowd into a mega-decibel frenzy in the background.

    Andi called one more time, “Joel, please, you’ll miss this if you wait much longer….”

    And when he didn’t answer, Andi sighed once again. She leaned by the patio doors and recalled all those afternoons Joel would tangle his fingers in her auburn hair and she would beam at him with her gold-flecked blue eyes, as they’d watch the sun sink.

    Somewhere along the way they’d lost their soaring, searing communion of light and heat. Like the chain of sun-ups to sun-sets since, it had sunk, bruised and forgotten, beyond the southwestern horizon.

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