Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Paradise?

bathers dunns river falls 1998 flash fiction writing prompt
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

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.

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9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Paradise?”

  1. Janie, 17, shouted, ‘John, remember, I’m elder!’

    Janie wanted her younger brother to obey her. She was one-and-half years older after all; eighteen months — not a matter of joke!

    But John kept ignoring, said, ‘ Janie, you are not big enough to be obeyed.’


    One day, dad showed them a landscape. Mom asked,’ Should we visit the place during the coming vacation?’
    Janie and John readily agreed, together,’Wow! What a place, as if paradise’

    That was Dunn’s River Falls. Dad arranged a Caribbean tour around Ocho Rios, a charming town on the north shore of Jamaica.

    Reaching there, John impatiently ran ahead and entered the water; plunged himself but lost balance. Though the water was shallow, to a novice like John it was troublesome. He cried for help.
    Janie was a good swimmer. Hearing brother’s cry she ran and jumped into the water like an expert lifesaver. She gripped John firmly, made him stable.

    Parents came near. Presuming a sibling-rivalry mom warned, ‘Hey, stop fighting!’

    John, for the first time ever, felt proud of his caring sister, ‘Thank you sis; my elder sis’
    ‘O, my lovely stupid bro…’ Janie drew him closer into arms.

    No space was there for fighting anymore.
    Paradise was confined in heart; true belonging opened the door.

    I got a call…
    — ‘Hello, you disclosed that 1998-incident in IU?’
    — ‘John! Oh, Yes,’
    — ‘Your readers liked?’
    — ‘They’d vote on Thursday. Let’s wait…’

  2. The university group, in their search for exotic flora and fauna, had gone beyond familiar territory and were deep in unknown jungle when they came across a little piece of paradise, a pool at the bottom of a series of waterfalls. Charlie, the most impulsive of their group, immediately shed his trousers and boots.. The water looked so cool in the tropical heat. He hardly noticed the pool was occupied.

    Their guide whispered a warning. “Don’t trust the natives!”

    “Nonsense,” Charlie laughed. Before anyone could stop him, he clambered up the rocks and executed a clumsy dive near the two natives in the pool.

    The members of the expedition gasped in shock and disbelief as they saw Charlie go limp, face down in the water, blood swirling around him.

    The natives stood up, grinning widely. The pool where they had been crouched was only a foot deep. Charlie’s skull had been crushed on the rocky bottom.

    “I tried to warn him!” the guide said, horrified.

    The group had never particularly liked Charlie. “Not your fault,” they reassured the guide.

    The natives carried Charlie’s body away. When they returned they conveyed through sign language that they would celebrate Charlie’s life that evening. The group was touched by this gesture.

    The celebration by moonlight was very moving. After tasting the meat, well seasoned and roasted to perfection, the guide decided not to mention that besides trickery the tribe was also well known for cannibalism.

    Charlie was delicious.

  3. The two hikers grasped each other’s hands and swam to the nearest shoreline, away from the waterfalls behind them. One minute they were enjoying the sights and sounds of the falls where thousands of gallons of water plummeted hundreds of feet below the cliff they stood on. The next minute they were plunged into the water, both choking and coughing as they surfaced amid the roiling white waters.

    “What the …are you alright?”

    “Was it an earthquake?”

    “Probably. We were shaken off the cliff like fleas off a dog.”

    “What do we do now? Can get back to the trail from here?”

    “Here, let’s check the map.” Josh unfolded his map of the canyons. Just as they leaned in to look at it the earth moved again.

    “Whoa! Another quake?” Jess grabbed at Josh and held on. Rocks fell into the water near them and Jess screamed in terror. Josh held onto Jess tightly, pulling her against his hard body.

    After the quaking settled, the two were still grasping one another. Jess looked up into Josh’s eyes thankful he was there.

    Josh didn’t let go of the woman who happened to be on the cliff at the same time as him. “My name’s Josh. Do you come here often?” Josh’s mouth formed his most adorable smile.

    Jess returned the smile and blinked her beautiful blue eyes, feeling safe in the arms of a handsome stranger.

    “I’ve never been here before. It’s very nice to meet you Josh, I’m Jess.”

  4. Juan looked over at his older brother Paco and asked, “Now what?”

    “How should I know?”

    “It was your dumb idea to get naked and sit in this freezing cold water to surprise Maria and Margaret.”

    “I know, but how was I suppose to know that someone would steal our clothes and bicycles?”

    Juan slapped his hand on the water sending spray into Paco’s face.

    “I can’t believe I listened to you. This is so embarrassing. When the girls get here we’re going to look so foolish.”

    Paco tapped his brother on the back of the head and said, “Instead of complaining, how about doing something productive like trying to figure out how we’re going to get home.”

    “Maybe we should make a run for it?”

    “Are you serious? The park is full of visitors?”

    “What the heck was that?” asked Juan reaching down below the water. “I think something took a nip at my ankle.”

    Paco laughed and said, “Your ankle’s not the place I’d be worried about being nipped?”

    “You think this is funny. Wait until I get home and I tell Mom and Dad.”

    “What are you going to tell them? That I made you do this. Ha, that’s a good one!”

    “On second thought I don’t think I’ll need to tell them anything.”

    “Smart move bro. You would have looked pretty silly telling the folks about this.”

    “You’re right, but I don’t think that Park Ranger coming towards us is going to feel the same way.”

  5. The gypsy said it was a full day’s ride. At 73 years they knew the trip could kill them.

    Believing her tale, Ricardo and Maria decided to leave early the next morning for the place the gypsy called Paradise, and legend called the Lover’s Pool. With no family left, they were ready to leave the years of blood, sweat, and many sorrows far behind. This would be their last hope for peace and joy. While their pain was incredible, the prize that awaited would make it all worthwhile.

    At sunrise Ricardo readied the horses and they began. Along the way they talked about the pool’s legend; secluded, only couples in true harmony could find it, none had ever returned. The thrill of the unknown excited their aged minds.

    At twilight Maria spotted the rock formation that pointed to the entrance of the pool. Staring over the cliff, the pool lay below. Reaching it seemed impossible. Finally, after an hour of sliding and crawling, they stood at the pool’s edge. It glimmered like gold as the water cascaded over the rocks and splashed into the basin.

    Ricardo dipped his toe into the water. “Icy cold”, he chattered. There were no steps. They would have to jump. Holding hands they counted to three; crashing into the water they immediately sank. Moments later their heads bobbed up and they gasped for air.

    Looking at each other they gasped again; no more gray, no more wrinkles, no more pain. “We are free at last.”

  6. The falls were always a refuge for Sam. Closing his eyes to take it all in, the crashing waves and salty mist propelled him into a world with unlimited possibilities. Once he jumped in Culnali Falls, Sam could let go of his darkest secrets and his greatest joys without judgement or fear. Today he ventured into the water to apologize once again.

    It had been 7 years since Adam died there but Sam could still sense his presence. They used to escape to the falls together whenever their father came home drunk and ready to bust heads. Sam still spoke to Adam as if he were there beside him, talking with him, giving him that reassurance that everything would be alright and that it wasn’t his fault.

    Sam wished he had died that day instead of Adam. He was always first to walk the trail, checking for snakes and glass, with Adam following swiftly behind. But that gloomy afternoon, Adam ran ahead with the careless wonder of a 10 year-old. Bare feet and slippery rocks shattered Sam’s childhood and ended Adam’s life.

    As the waves washed over his head and the cool breeze pulled him closer and closer to the falls, Sam reached for Adam’s hand and pulled him close. He wrapped his little brother into an endless embrace, until the next wave washed him back out to sea.

  7. It all started when two con artists, Lucky and Lucy got jobs folding laundry at the Paradise Resort. Lucy found a piece of bank plastic in some guy’s dirty shirt pocket “Adam, I found a credit card let’s have some fun.”

    He replied “why not? Whatever you say are you going to be this guy or me?” Then Lucky passed out drunk.

    When he came to, they were in one of the resort’s heart shaped hot tubs built into the waterfall. It really felt good so he yelled , “Hey Lucy, did you stick me in this tub? Thanks! It sure beats doing their laundry.”

    His outburst startled her and she yelled at him and she hit him in the head with a pineapple, “Ouch! Quiet down Lucy! Or you’ll spoil it for us and they’ll kick us out!”

    At the front desk, the Resort Manager was trying to remember where he left his credit card when a waiter came over to him and handed it to him. he looked at it and asked, “Where did you find it?”

    The waiter pointed to the hot tub waterfall, “Those two have been charging all morning with it.”
    So he had them thrown out.

    To this day, Lucky blames Lucy for getting them kicked out, “Lucy! We had a good thing going and you had to spoil it with that pineapple.”

    She looked at him, “How was I supposed to know that the guy ran the place.”

  8. Tondalullah Lipschitz suddenly felt her Jaguar sputter and realized, after two years, it was time for a new car. As she passed the Alpha Romeo showroom, she immediately fell in love with the displayed 4C, Egyptian Blue convertible, pulling her like a magnet to its side.

    When all the paperwork was approved, LaLa reached over to the plump manager, stroked one of his chins, and winked. “Dahling,” she taradiddled, “I think you’re the sexiest thing in Mexico City.”

    She stood up, dangling the keys. “The bank will transfer the balance. Adios, dahling. ” She snuggled into the front seat and roared away. “Ah, the rapture of wealth!”

    The leisurely drive through southern Mexico was relaxing and brought back warm memories.

    When she got to Chiapas, she remembered its unique beauty and gorgeous Agua Azul waterfall and decided to enjoy a refreshing dip in the paradise of its cool waters.

    However, there was an odd looking couple standing in the pool with falling waters splashing them. LaLa waved. No response. “How’s the water?” she called. No reply. How weird, she thought. They looked lifeless. A sudden chill prickled her back. Intuition urged her to leave. She drove away from her momentary refuge, as a passing mega-van rolled out of sight heading for the falls.

    “Okay, guys. They’re still here,” the bearded one shouted. “Rigor mortis must’ve set in. Let’s get’em back to the lab, erase’em, then dump’em with the others.”

    The Guatemalan border succumbed to the approaching blue car.

  9. “How long are you going to keep us here?” asked Bridget, through chattering teeth.

    Fear of hypothermia was overriding the threat of the stranger’s riffle. It was hard to enjoy nature’s beauty while freezing your naked bum off. She could barely feel her legs in the frigid water. Jason’s arms were tightly wrapped around his chest. Behind them crystal clear water cascaded over steep rocks. Their well-worn surface turned the waterfall into a musical lullaby. Both she and Jason had fallen sound asleep after their long hike. Then the stranger showed up. Now the sound knelled like a death sentence.

    “Y’all just enjoy your little bath,” said the stranger. He lounged in the sun on their blanket eating fried chicken. Empty containers lay scattered about; all licked clean by their captor. “I haven’t eaten this well since I killed my ex.”

    Bridget’s heart jumped. This was supposed to be paradise, not a nightmare. “You promised you wouldn’t hurt us.”

    “Don’t you worry, darling.” He bit into a lemon tart and moaned with pleasure. “These are delicious. Sure you won’t consider staying?”

    She glanced at Jason and saw the panic in his eyes. If he thought for a second that she’d consider the offer, he didn’t know her at all. Being one with nature didn’t include becoming part of it.

    Bridget turned away. “No thanks.”

    The stranger smiled and put a lighter on the blanket. “Too bad. Y’all take care now.”

    With one last wink, he vanished into the forest.

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