Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Trapped

Flash fiction writing prompt copyright KS Brooks biodome montreal 1994
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 to the left 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.

Author: Administrators

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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Trapped”

  1. “Who are you?”
    “I am a bird. Who are you?”
    “I’m a human.”
    “Why are you looking at me like that?”
    “I feel bad that you are cage in.”
    “I thought you were caged in.”
    “No, I am free to move around. Not boxed in like you are.”
    “I can fly around here where I am.”
    “But don’t you remember when you were free, like me?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Flying around all over outside the cage? Don’t you remember?”
    “No, I was born in this cage, and I’ve never been where you are.”
    “Are you happy in the cage?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Well… Have a good day.”

  2. Just look at her…..squatting and pointing her finger at me. Picking ME out of the crowd. She’s probably going through the recipes in her miserable little mind trying to decide whether to roast, boil, broil or barbecue me. Well, just let her try to get me. If she comes in here I’ll peck out those squinting black eyes, rip the earings out of her ears, wrap that scarf around her fat neck and poop on her fingers. Don’t you just hate people like that? They don’t give a darn about me or my family, the things I’d leave behind, the life I should keep on living. Damn it all! Just wait until she comes in here. Just wait! I’ll tear her to pieces!

    “Well,” she said, to the little girl kneeling beside her, pointing to the one closest to the window. “I think this white one is the prettiest of the bunch. Should we take her?”

    “Oh, yes, Mama,” she answered. “Where will we keep it?”

    “We’ll build a nice little house for it. Give her plenty of room to play and peck in the backyard and lots of tasty food for her to enjoy for the rest of her life. She’ll just love all the love we’ll give her as our favorite pet.”

    They stood up and, hand in hand, happily went to pick her up from her box.

  3. Hi Petal. Don’t you know it’s rude to point?

    What’s that you say? — damned echo chamber in here — I have a long, sharp nose?

    Well, I wouldn’t last too long with one like yours. I’m a gannet and I skydive for a living. You try hitting the water at sixty miles an hour.

    Yep. It’s like bungee jumping, but without the springy cord.


    Oh… you know… catching fish for the family. By the way, that’s a nice shiny earring. Reminds me of the glint on the water above a school of herring, but that is probably beyond your ken.

    What? Your brother doesn’t go to school and he’s not called Ken? Not what I meant, Petal, but that’s cool.

    No I don’t have to take the fish home one at a time.

    No I don’t use a shopping bag, although I got my head stuck in one once. Ugh! It was ugly.

    How do I carry the fish home? Well, I swallow them and when I get home and the kids see me land they go, “Squawk! Squawk!”, open their beaks and I regurgitate the half-digested fish into their gullets.

    Sorry, Petal, regurgitate means to vomit.

    Yes… to “throw-up” in your lingo, but that is a euphemism.

    What does “euphemism” mean? Oh… forget it. I just throw-up the bits of fish into the mouths of my kids.

    What do you mean, “that’s gross”— the kids always want more.

    “Disgusting?” Have it your way… Bye!

  4. “Momma, look, what is that?”
    “Oh, don’t get upset. I know they’re ugly, but they won’t hurt you.”
    “I don’t think it’s ugly. I think it’s kind of cute.”
    “Oh, honey. You’re always saying that. About bugs, about crawly things, snakes. Not everything is cute, you know. Some things really are dangerous.”
    “Is that dangerous?”
    “Yes, it is. They are. They’re poisonous. That’s why they keep them behind glass, so they can’t spit on you.”
    “If they spit on you… do you die?”
    “Yes. At least that’s what I’ve heard. Now come along. We have a lot more things to see. We don’t want to spend all day here looking at the humans. Come along, Freddie.”

  5. To: Ted @ School Suppliers Inc.
    From: Rosemary @ Blodger Middle School
    Ted, I thought I had made it clear that the specimens you have been sending are much too large for our purposes. I will concede that they have “interesting” features, as you say, especially the bits of metal in their ears, and the current one appears to actually be attempting a primitive form of vocal communication. I hope you understand that the size of the facilities we have for caging them is limited, leading to unsanitary conditions, which we cannot tolerate. We have had to dispose of your previous specimens which, as you can imagine, is very upsetting to the children and thwarts our attempts to teach them compassion for the lesser species.
    Try to do better in the future. I look forward to your next shipment.

  6. Princess Gabriela discovered her twin sister, Galadriel was transformed by the wicked witch into a hideously ugly creature, “Sister! I will find and kill that witch and free you from your imprisonment inside this crystal cell. She will pay for putting this hideously ugly spell upon your beauty.”

    With that, Gabriela sped through the Caverns of Man searching for that evil witch. She finally came upon her, “So you thought to hide here in your Gallery of Mirrors did you?”

    The witch deceptively cackled, “Yes, my pretty one, but don’t break the wrong mirror to get to me, or you will break your sister’s beautiful reflection, and she will remain ugly forever. Ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha.”

    Gabriela quickly drew her sword. She pretended to be confused by all the reflections in the mirrors. Quickly, she was in front of the witch. She thrust home the sword killing the witch, and she twisted the sword deeper into the witch to make sure she was dead. Gabriela spitefully said, “Witch! You forgot mirrors only reach to the floor and don’t leave footprints in the cavern dust.”

    Gabriela heard the familiar sound of wings flapping. She grinned and turned as Galadriel landed in the Gallery of Mirrors. “Thank you, for freeing me from the crystal cell and her hideous spell of being human.”

    Together, the Princesses took flight out of the dark recesses of the Caverns of Man, and soared into the heavens above where they ruled the birds.

  7. I visited Lulu every day. I watched as she turned her eggs and feathered the nest dutifully. Lulu became a popular attraction. Everyone who visited the zoo wanted to see the mother bird who made her nest and laid her eggs so close to the public viewing area. It was exciting as anticipation grew over when the eggs would hatch. Several weeks passed and I was concerned that the eggs should have hatched by now. I asked the zoo keeper and was informed it would be any day now.

    I stood watching and waiting when Lulu moved off her nest and an ugly little bird pecked its way out of one of the eggs. After several hours another one hatched. I was entranced by the new lives. My mother had to drag me away from Lulu’s window so I could get some sleep. Luckily I was on summer break and could return the following day. The next morning the third baby bird was freed from its shell.

    The staff at the zoo knew me by name and I was invited to help feed Lulu. Overjoyed, I fed Lulu her fish and watched as she fed her babies.

    I became a fixture at the zoo and now, ten years later, I’m the head keeper of the bird sanctuary. Lulu isn’t there anymore but every spring there’s a new nest next to the public viewing window and often a young girl like myself, watching and waiting.

  8. They stared at each other. The monkey pressed its nose against the pane and sniffed; a ritual for all its daily visitors. For ten years, he’s been held captive. In all likelihood, the young girl he now exchanged glances with wouldn’t have been born the day the poacher’s net separated him from his liberty.

    The animals were well cared for, no doubt. Those that saw after their needs were kind and loving. They were well fed, given the very best in fresh food. His cage, or “habitat” as it’s known by its handlers, was big and comfortable. But it wasn’t freedom. The environment he has come to know provided an uncomfortable feeling of security, but he longed for the wild dangers beyond the glass.

    The little girl sat next to the glass her entire visit. She laughed when the monkeys were fed and played in their food. And when a smaller monkey came to visit, she smiled. The girl placed her fingers to the glass where its nose was pressed. She giggled. She was amazed at the monkey’s beautiful home, a living breathing jungle. It was amazing. From the tropical plants, to the creek fed by a gentle waterfall. It looked safe and inviting. She wanted to live there.

    The trip was ending. She didn’t want to leave, resisting every request from her teachers. She clenched her teeth and winced as a teacher gently patted her on the back, her bruises and iron burn concealed underneath her shirt.

  9. Perdita pounded on the window. On the other side, a plump clerk perched on a stool. “Please, help me.”

    The clerk regarded her with a solemn expression. “My dear, please have a seat, and make yourself comfortable.” He cocked his head. “We’re having a problem with the gate. We’ll have it fixed in no time.”

    Perdita sat back and realized her backpack was missing. She had had it on the plane; Papi had used it for a pillow. Perdita knocked again at the window. “Please, Senor, I was with my family.”

    “You’re at my gate, where you should be, dear,” replied the clerk. He hopped off his stool. “You flew up on the elevator. Your parents are on the escalator.”

    He ducked under the counter. “This is the pet door.” With a grating squawk, the wall opened. The clerk fluttered a wing. “Welcome to my office, Perdita.”

    “Gracias, Senor.” Perdita gazed at the feathered clerk. “Who are you?”

    “Call me Pietro; I am the gatekeeper.”

    “Please, Senor Pietro, what do I do? I lost my backpack.”

    “Not to worry. Wardrobe is making a set.” Pietro strutted across the marble tile. “We matched the color to your dress.”

    Perdita followed her guide to an overstuffed sofa. “A set of what, Senor?”

    A seraph entered. She held an armful of silk the color of cherry blossoms, the shape of butterflies.

    “Beautiful,” crowed Pietro.

    The seraph beamed at Perdita. “These fit like your old backpack, dear. These are your wings.”

  10. “Hurry! They’ll be here any second!” The glass was too thick for her rescuer to hear but she’d try to force her brainwaves through.
    The government prison was reputedly impenetrable. But if anyone could save her, Major Mary Scott of her galaxy’s most elite military force could.
    Before her capture, she’d taken on the form of an earth life form, trying to blend in. But a “friend” betrayed her to the authorities.
    Stand back Major Scott said into her brain. Her disciplined neurons were more powerful; glass was no obstacle.
    She stepped away. The window melted, running thickly down the wall.
    Scott thought, Follow me, and took off down the corridor.
    Though difficult, she kept up, dodging around alarm laser beams just as Scott did.
    They made it through the compound, then out a doorway in the outer wall. As they moved across the open land, their ship dropped its cloaking shield and became visible.
    The strange form she’d taken was difficult to run with, clumsy and slow. But she couldn’t undo it with her depleted power cells. Must keep trying.
    The portal zipped open.
    Gunfire erupted, sirens blared from the compound.
    The last three steps were in slow motion, nearly impossible.
    A hand reached out, grabbed her in, and the ship shot into space.
    “Welcome back. Let’s get you out of that ridiculous form,” her leader said.
    She couldn’t wait. The odd human body of the girl dissolved and she once again became normal. Good riddance, she thought.

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