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 in the comments section below. There will be no written prompt.
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.
9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Golden Eyes”
One day on their walk through the woods, a prince and his attendant came across an owl sitting on a branch. Neither had ever seen an owl before.
“Look at those eyes!” said the prince. “They glow with the wisdom of the ages. What secrets are hidden in the depths of those hypnotic eyes? If only this beautiful creature could speak…”
“Listen! It speaks! It asked me who. Why, you! You, of the golden eyes. You, holding the secrets of all time.”
“Ah, you would toy with me! So there is humor in your eyes as well as wisdom. But I understand. If I would hear the truth about all things, I must first know who you are.”
“I see. Not who you are, but who I am. I must struggle to seek the truth myself, so that when I find it I will know it is true.”
Inspired, the prince and his attendant walked on. On their walk the next day they once again encountered the owl.
“I am doing as you advised,” said the prince. “I am learning about myself.”
And the owl said … Why?
Ronny ran through the forest, his feet moving fast within the bushes at the bases of the trees. He dodged in and around them, knowing he wouldn’t stand a chance if the hunters and their dogs caught him. He tripped over an uplifted root and sprawled face-down amongst the needle-covered ground. “Oof!” The wind was knocked out of him and he lay stunned.
“Whoooo…” the cry could be heard above him. “Whoooo…”
Ronny looked up at the owl perched high in the tree overhead. “Yeah, you’re safe up there. I wish I was like you.” He stood up and began running, the sounds of the hunt closing in. Ronny’s sweat poured harder down his face. Without warning the ground gave way; Ronny found himself plummeting into emptiness. He thought he’d been on solid ground, but a cavern was buried underneath the forest floor and now he was falling headlong into it, certain to die when he struck the bottom. Then he felt a spider web as he flailed through it, the silk covering him completely. But something was different and his skin began to tingle.
A sensation overcame Ronny and he felt his arms elongating, his whole body changing. He flapped his arms to break his fall and oddly he began lifting upward. As he cleared the ground where he’d fallen through he noticed the difference in himself and as the hunters chasing him passed below he settled in on a branch and looked down with large golden eyes. “Whoooo…”
The little owl with the sharp golden eyes scouted high above the ancient forest seeking out Minerva’s Lover. Finally, far below, it spotted Janus and his entourage making camp in front of the woodland Temple of Vega.
The owl came to rest high atop the tallest pine tree overlooking them. As it looked down upon them, it wondered, “Will, Janus, survive this test to prove his love and loyalty to Minerva, or will he give into the charms of another?”
As the owl spied upon Janus’s entourage, it saw the most beautiful women from Rome in attendance to his every whim. So far Janus had ignored all of them, except to command them as domestic servants. The little owl thought, “What willpower! He must truly love Minerva!”
That night the camp was bathed with the bright, magical, moonlight of Diana, the huntress, who arrived on a moonbeam directly in front of Janus.
“Impressive, now a real challenge,” thought the owl.
Seductively, Diana came oh so close to him. Janus could smell the crisp freshness of all the forest flowers upon her almost naked body ,and he saw the deepest darkest red of the freshest forest berry upon her lips. Trying to control himself, he trembled, “Fortunately, I know about your oath of virginity.”
“Slyly, Diana grinned and cooed, “My vow is only to never marry so follow me into the Temple of Vega. What happens in Vega stays in Vega.” He followed her in, and the owl flew off.
Marla’s travels to the Northwest Territories provided many photo opportunities. Reviewing the images with her husband Calvin after returning home to Chicago proved beneficial. Cal spotted the owl in the photo after Marla had looked at the images several times already. She had missed the hidden gem.
“Here, look at this. Wikipedia says the Golden Eyed Owl was diminishing in population since the 1960s and is now believed to be extinct. Several conservationists have determined its extinction after sightings of the last know Golden Eyed Owl was in 2001 in the Northwest Territories of Canada. That bird has since disappeared.”
“Wow! Should we let an expert see my photo?'” Marla was ecstatic.
“Do we have a choice? It’s our duty.”
After a call to a local conservation office, Marla’s photo was the talk of the Owl Rescue Center of the North West the WWF and every individual interested in the speculative hope that the photo truly was of the Golden Eyed Owl.
Marla had freelanced for local and national magazines but was thrilled when the National Geographic offered her a staff position on their photographer team.
After experts verified it was an actual Golden Eyed Owl, Marla’s photograph graced the front page of the next issue of National Geographic. Marla was later awarded the National Geographic Society Legacy Award for her photography and its part in the discovery of the thought to be extinct, Golden Eyed Owl.
If I had known that he would come back, I would have locked the doors, the windows – made sure evil couldn’t find its way in.
But it did.
I was a fool to think Sam wouldn’t find me at the cabin. The same cabin we sought shelter in when an unexpected thunderstorm came over Cayuga Lake. Both of us hiking, hopelessly lost. But we found each other. That was in April. What a difference two months make.
We helped ourselves to the summer residents’ pantry. We didn’t leave for a week. We ate canned beans, hiked and fell in love. And every night, outside our bedroom window, the Great Horned Owl watched over us, a witness to our indiscretions.
And every night I would lean on the sill and say, “Can you keep a secret, Sir Owl?”
He would reply, “Whooo.”
And I would say, “You, sir. Goodnight stars. Goodnight moon. Goodnight Great Owl.”
I didn’t know about Sam’s jealousy, his possessiveness – his rage. We didn’t last. So it was no surprise to me, as Jack stood over my body, my life seeping into the woolen rug, that he asked the Great Horned Owl if he could keep a secret.
Because he was, of course, the only witness.
Title: Who Done It
Your mystery novel manuscript is late. What’s the problem?”
“I can’t decide on the title, and the antagonist’s name.”
“I’m getting tired of this. I suggest you take a hike…in fact, that gives me an idea. I suggest you find the Wise Old Owl. You will know him when you see him as he has very bright golden eyes. He can certainly help us.”
It took him days, but finally he spotted the golden eyed owl. “My agent sent me. My name is Arthur Stupido, and I write novels. What’s your name?”
“Please, what is your name?”
“Okay, so your name is Who.” He made a note on his pad. “You have very large golden eyes.”
“Exactly, and you have very large talons.”
“Right. Here’s my problem. I need to decide the name of my mystery novel along with the name of my killer.”
“My agent was adamant that you were a wise old owl and that you could indeed help me.”
“You’re not really helping me.”
“I get it.” He made another note.
“I still need the name of my killer.”
“Of course.” He smiled and made another note. He heard the owl screech and looked up to see it take flight.
Days later they found the writer dead. The only clues to his death were his crushed skull and his notes.
– “Who Done It”
After an overnight rainfall I found a calm and quiet morning-city. I loaded backpack, headed for the zoo to observe nature. Rounding here and there were maintenance staff, but hardly any visitor.
Those golden eyes, and that pair of horns, attracted me. I stared for few minutes. Classy! As if, the crowned head, with due diligence, looking at me from his throne; calm, relaxing, sovereign.
‘Welcome back princess!’ a sudden hooting voice blasted.
— Who said! Breath-taking surprise, made me trembling.
That owl? Unbelievable; but I was the only human being there.
‘Talking owl, are you!’ I uttered the surprise.
‘Can’t you remember me?’ it continued, ‘Oh no, another look-alike, not princess Katrina’
‘He’ unveiled the story:
I’m prince Hans. Years ago, this was a forest in our territory. Right here I met her; liked each other. One day she came with her father for hunting. I had vowed to protect wildlife. So, I strongly resisted
‘Let me request the king to avoid our territory; we can’t allow hunting here’
She blocked, ‘You can’t imagine how aggressive he is. For my sake, forget your vows. Allow him hunting’
‘No way!’ I shouted out.
That’s all. Like a master magician, she waved her soft hands toward me and uttered in a high pitch
—’Great Horned Owl’
‘I’m sorry my love, for you, I had had to….’ she confessed, ‘I’ll come back and live together….’
She ran away hiding her moist eyes with her palm.
The clash of steel on steel reverberated through the forest, punctuated by heavy breaths that released clouds of steam into the brisk morning air. They circled around him, waiting for a chance to attack. He eyed them with contempt.
Three against one.
A flash of light caught his eye as a blade arced down towards him. He spun, thrusting his sword up to block the attack. His handle rattled against his fingers as he continued the spin before whipping his blade across his body.
Two against one.
They lunged forwards in unison. One blade slashed high. He knocked it away with ease, but the second sword thrust low stopping his counter attack. It bit into his thigh causing him to stumble. He took a step to steady himself and drove forwards swinging his blade up and through.
One against one.
He dropped to one knee as searing pain burnt through one side of his body. The next attack came without hesitation. He blocked one slash, but a quick second thrust found its mark. The blade pierced his shoulder. He gripped his attackers hilt as he stood, pulling them face to face before returning the favour with his own blade.
The forest became silent once more. He watched his breath rising up into the trees and past a pair of large golden eyes. The owl waited patiently, ready to escort him to the next life. With gritted teeth he climbed to his feet.
“Not today, Owl!”
Well, what have we here? I wonder whooo they are? What could they be looking for in the middle of the forest at this hour of night? Poor little things. They look so lost and cold. I’ll give them a friendly hoot to let them know they’re not alone.
My goodness. I didn’t mean to scare them Why she’s trembling. He’s holding her close for protection. How sweet. They don’t know which way to turn. I’ll flap my wings to let them know where I am.
Gosh!!! She swooned! He’s helping her up. Why, they’re running away and both of them are crying. Poor darlings. What have I done? I’m so sorry. I’ll catch up with them and cut them off. Can’t let them get near the cottage.
Whoosh. Flap. Whoosh. Flap. Whoosh.
Good Grief! She tripped on that branch. Oh, he caught her, thank goodness. He picked up the branch. My! They’re running off in a safe direction now. They’ll be out of the woods in a few minutes. I’ll just go back to my perch and try not to be so helpful next time. But, I think I’ll fly close to them so they can see I’m just a kindly, wise old owl. Here I go!
Whooooooo. Flibbaflipflibberflap. Whoosh. Flap. Whoosh.
“Oh! Look! It must have been that creature,” Gretel shouted to Hansel, who swiftly swung the branch at the wild-eyed intruder creating a snowfall of feathers.
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