Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Light

IMG_5577 Dentist light 042914 flash fiction writing prompt copyright ksbrooks
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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6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Light”

  1. “NO!!! Not that light! Use the Blue soon as she pulls the knife from his throat.”

    “Everybody on the set take ten. Somebody bring us another cup of tea.” He reached across the table and stroked Tondalullah Lipschitz’s hand. “How nice of you to stop by to watch the last scene.”

    “Not at all, darling,” she chuckled. “You told me you were going to dish some dirt about your past movies.”

    “I won’t use real names, but, you’ll know who I mean.” He poured tea into both cups. “Rebecca was Notorious. Couldn’t get along with that Psycho, Marnie, who had Vertigo. Rebecca was at the Rear Window humming Waltzes From Vienna and watching The Birds flying North By Northwest. Spellbound, she was thinking about the Strangers On A Train they met but, held with Suspicion, The Man who Knew Too Much, who boasted he was about To Catch A Thief.

    Marnie, in a Frenzy, and without the Shadow Of A Doubt, took a Rope and, to stop the Blackmail, was about to Murder her, when that little old lady, The Lodger, from their vacation at Jamaica Inn, passed by, took The 39 Steps to the train’s rear platform, and POOF – The Lady Vanishes. So…..”

    “Oh, Hitch, darling. You marvelous movie director. Enough! I’ve got to go.” She raced for the door. “Cheerio!”

    “But you didn’t hear about The Wrong Man, that Foreign Correspondent, hiding behind the Torn Curtain, after the Lifeboat……..”

  2. All I can see is light.
    I blink a few times to bring the world into focus. Yes, there are lights on the ceiling, just above me, but that’s not all. I look around, and see many strange people clad in white, wearing masks.
    “Ah, Ms. Mulligan,” says one. “So you’re awake.”
    “Who the heck are you?” I ask.
    The odd person steps closer. “Ms. Mulligan -”
    “Cindy!” Suddenly a man with black hair runs to my side and grabs my hands. “Cindy, thank God, thank God,” he says, kissing my hands.
    I jerk back. “Get away!” I cry.
    The man looks shocked. All of the strange people in white try to comfort him, saying that I’m disoriented, that I’ll be fine soon.
    “But she – she doesn’t know me,” the man stammers.
    “Why don’t we try a simple memory test, sir?” one of the white people suggests. “To see if Ms. Mulligan is feeling well.”
    The man nods. “Alright…”
    The person in white steps forward. “Ms. Mulligan, do you know where you are?”
    “The country? The state?”
    “And what is the name of this man here?” she asks.
    “I don’t know.”
    “Do you know your age? Your children’s names? Anything?”
    She looks shocked.
    “What?” asks the man. “What’s wrong with her?”
    “Sir, she is fully aware, and not still under the anesthesia’s influence, but…”
    “It seems,” someone interrupts, “that by trying to restore Cindy Mulligan’s memory, we may have destroyed what remained of it.”

  3. Dan felt the searing pain burn into his retinas, but was unable to look away or close his eyes.

    How long have I been lying here like this? Though unable to move, Dan was becoming more aware. The discomfort of the blinding light was unbearable. Yet, as the seconds ticked on, and the intensity of the glare did not let up, he was somehow able to realize other input.

    Cold steel.

    He could feel it now along his back, buttocks and legs. The unforgiving metal, so sterile, so uncaring, created an inhuman barrier, keeping his body in this position under the intense light.

    Why can’t I move? The thought managed to surface in Dan’s mind as the combination of blinding glare and iciness on his backside fought for control over his senses.

    A noise.

    Clinking metal against metal sounded from nearby, just beyond his peripheral vision. The illumination upon his face was so intense, that the rest of the space around him might as well be cast in darkness.

    Someone started humming a tune. They were very close now. A strong antiseptic smell wafted across Dan’s nose. Unable to speak, unable to move, he could only lie still and allow his mind to race as the sensory input continued its onslaught.

    I’m alive! He frantically screamed in his mind, but the words wouldn’t come. Just then, intense heat and unbelievable pain wracked his body as a scalpel was drawn deeply from his sternum down to his navel.

  4. The UFO hunter pulled up in front of Anna’s home. An attractive young woman waved at him, “I’m so glad you came, I’m sorry about the crowd. I think my nine year old brother twittered about my sighting. I’m just so nervous about it.”

    He frowned, “Well that is a shame, now every amateur UFO Hunter in the area will descend on you and make my job harder. Let’s get started Ma’am, where were you when you saw it?”

    “I was stargazing in our backyard when I saw it.” It just spun around for a few seconds and then took off to the southeast. That’s all there is to it”

    “Were there any lights on it?”

    “Oh Yes, a real bright one in the center with a red and green one on either side. Was it a UFO?”

    He looked up from his tablet at her, “Not likely, and not a commercial air liner on the horizon, but more likely some kid’s drone. Did you know there are over a couple of million drones out there now? They really make confirming a UFO sighting almost impossible nowadays.”

    Liena pulled his saucer into the Mother Ship landing bay and reported, “Man you won’t believe this! I just had a close encounter with the most beautiful earth woman, I ever saw. She was staring right at me as I almost crashed into some trees to avoid a drone. Luckily, I pulled out in time and got back here safe.”

  5. A bright blur too strong for a torch yet not the sun glared down on him. It felt like someone had stuffed clouds in his head. “Where am I?”

    “Lady of Aquarian hospital, Mr. Emrys. I’m Dr. Gwen.”

    “Hos-pi-tal?” he said, struggling to clear his thoughts. “Everything is fuzzy.”

    “Relax and your vision will clear.”

    He drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. It would be pretty bad if he couldn’t follow the lessons he’d been teaching the boy. The lights finally came into focus, but the flames didn’t flicker and some lay in perfectly straight lines.

    “Magic lights?” He tried to reach for one, but the movement was cut short by the restraints holding him to the metal bed. “What is this? Release me immediately.”

    “I’m afraid I can’t do that. When your daughter brought you in you were delirious and combative.”

    “I don’t have a daughter.”

    “Of course you do. Morgan and your son-in-law, Mordred, have been worried sick.”

    “Morgan Le Fey is not my daughter! That demon sorceress is after Arthur. Let me out of here.”


    “Yes, Arthur, King of Camelot.”

    “According to records, you’re Merlin Emrys, age eighty nine; husband of the late Nimue Emrys; retired bus driver; and Arthur’s grandfather.”

    “I’m his magician and advisor, you dolt. I turned him into a squirrel just last week.”

    “I see,” said Dr. Gwen. “Paranoid schizophrenia with delusions of grandeur. Clearly a danger to yourself and others. Antipsychotic medication and therapy should help.”

  6. The rainy day seemed quite dry for Dr. Robin. He alone was attending the clinic. Technical assistants could not come due to heavy rainfall. Patients were cancelling appointments. Came only two parties— a lady in the morning, and minutes ago, a little girl with her father. Doctor looked at his wrist watch; 6:30pm.
    As he moved near the dental light to switch it off, he noticed a faint-yet-sharp buzzing sound. A beetle. It was jumping onto the light again and again, as if trying to enter inside.
    ‘Hey stupid fly, why hitting my lamp so hard!’ he playfully said.

    —’Who are you talking to, dear?’
    Surprised by the sudden voice Robin turned backwards; Charlie, his close friend and nearest neighbour. He was a bookseller, and a passionate philosopher.

    —’Hi Charlie, come in, it’s an insect’
    —’Interesting, the busy doc arguing with a bug?’
    —’See how it’s hitting my light. So ridiculous, no?’
    —”Sure! It wants ‘More light’ ”
    —’It saw the glow, felt elated, then wanted more, so jumped into it, but could not reach, thus got more desperate for more. It wants to grab all the light, if possible, the source’
    —” Want of ‘More’ made it mad?”
    —’Just like you and me. The red alert had said, tide may flood the town anytime, but see, still we have been at work…’
    —”For ‘More?’ ”
    —’Any doubt?’
    —’Help me closing chamber. Let’s go home, ASAP’

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