Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Stroll

flash fiction writing prompt night-quebec-city-1994-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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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Stroll”

  1. We cut band practice after school and drove down to Hartford.

    “We’ll find her, Joe. I promise,” Louisa sighed.

    Did she really know, I wondered? She only met her on our first date.

    The puddled streets threw up flashes of light as cars crept by. The windshield wipers click-clack click-clacked.

    “Look! That’s her under the canopy,” she whispered.

    My eyes began to tear. Could it really be her? It’s been so long since she disappeared. Not even a goodbye. Never called. Never wrote. Those years living with Grandma. If dad had been alive, he would have found her. But….

    We rolled to the opposite curb. She was sitting there, sheltered from the drizzle, playing her flute. Someone passing by tossed some change clattering into the can at her feet. She nodded appreciation, not missing a beat. I reached for the door’s handle.

    “No. Wait. I’ve something to tell you,” Louisa said. “Last time I was here, walking by, I recognized her. She finished playing, looked up and smiled.”

    “I remember you, Louisa.” She reached out and touched my arm. “Please. Never tell Joe what I’m doing. I’m ashamed and embarrassed” she pleaded. “After his father died, it was the only way I could pay his way through music school.”

    “I just had to tell you, Joe.”

    I flung the door open and raced across the street, picking her up,
    hugging, kissing, laughing.

    * * *
    Louisa fondled her engagement ring and waited.

  2. This was pointless. Andrew couldn’t help. But he’d dragged Darrin into the rain-soaked night, into the blaze of street and shop lights where every detail reflected in the river of pavement.

    “She left,” Darrin said. “Where to? God knows. Why? Ditto.”

    Andrew nodded.

    “Just a note saying she’d gone.”

    Andrew’s shoes slapped the sidewalk.

    “You can’t fix that.”

    Sympathy in his eyes, Andrew shrugged. Somewhere a horn sounded in anger or warning.

    “My third breakup. Maybe it’s me. I’m a sorrow magnet.” He glanced at Andrew, daring him to agree.

    “No.”

    Their whole friendship had been like this. Darrin the talker, Andrew the silent partner. “You think wounds heal by talk? By magic?”

    “Maybe.”

    “If only.” Pointless. For once he should have told Andrew to forget it. But Andrew always convinced him with those soulful eyes. “Fine, give me sage advice.”

    Andrew stopped by a parked car and gazed upward. Overhead, clouds blazed with city light.

    No sage advice, Darrin thought. As usual.

    “Sorry,” Andrew finally said.

    “That’s it, huh?” Darrin shook his head and walked on, then stopped.

    Andrew hadn’t followed. Instead, he fondled the car’s door handle. Looking at his shoes, he pulled. “It wasn’t you this time.” He slipped into the passenger seat.

    Darrin recognized the woman staring straight forward at the wheel.

    Andrew closed the door.

    Darrin shoved cold hands into warm pockets as the vehicle slip away. “Well,” he told the night. “At least it wasn’t me.”

  3. Mary stopped in front of a small shop window. She could barely make out the reflections of the two Stasi agents across the Street, she sighed, “I was a fool to come back to Berlin. I should have known better, where is my exit contact? He was supposed to get me out an hour ago.”

    Hans sneered at Reinhold, “I think she spotted us, shall I give the signal to move in on her?”

    “Not yet, we’ll give her a few more minutes, then move in.” The minutes slowly ticked by, finally, Reinhold whispered, “We can’t wait any longer, but don’t harm her.”

    Sadistically, Hans leered and signaled to close the trap. Then he raced the other agents, to be first to subdue her. Hans gleefully backhanded her across the face as Reinhold slowly walked up to them. In perfect English Reinhold calmly teased the spy, “Welcome back my little pigeon.”

    Mary stopped struggling, grinned and replied, “A good time doesn’t last long, I’ll be gone before you know it.” Hans struck her again.

    Reinhold pulled out his Sauer 38H pistol and ordered, “Hans, I’ll cover her, get my auto. Everyone else back to the Ministry.”

    Hans soon returned with Reinhold’s Trabant, and held the back door open. Suddenly, Reinhold repeatedly pistol whipped Hans across the face, while screaming, “I Ordered You Not To Hurt Her!”

    Finally, Hans collapsed. Reinhold gently helped Mary into his Trabant, “I’ve got the exit visas, next stop Check Point Charlie and freedom.”

  4. Night Stroll

    The street was still glistening from the downpour. It was a warm night, as you know. We’d been restless and once the rain had let up, she said. “I’m tired of being cooped up. Let’s go for a walk. Explore.”

    We’d been driving east. A tiredness overtook us both. We’d pulled off the freeway and ended up in your city. The hotel wasn’t Four Star but they had room. The neighbourhood’s in decline. The homeless and the clutter leaves no doubt of that.

    “You sure?” I’d asked. “Babe, we don’t know this place.”

    She was feeling feisty. She gets that way. I usually have to let it run its course. “Look,” she’d said, “You are never up for anything new. Don’t you ever get tired of being afraid?”

    This barrage was nothing new. I wanted to remind her that I’d agreed to this nomadic road trip. That takes courage, just getting in the car and driving wherever the hell you end up going. We’d given ourselves two weeks. Maybe it was too long.

    “So, you stepped out?”
    “Yes.” I relented and said “Lets check out this burgh. We found this small restaurant. It was still open. I had liver and onions. It’s been years since I’d had liver…”

    “And then what happened?”

    “Well, she… Julie got up as if to go to the restroom…and didn’t come back.”

    “Why’d you wait until this morning…?”

    “I don’t know, Detective…?”

    “Walbrick. Frank.”

    “Frank. Sorry. I thought she’d come back by now…”

  5. I couldn’t wait to get back to my hometown.

    It had been twenty years since I left to join the Army. Twenty years of overseas assignments: some adventure, sure, but I couldn’t wait to go back home.

    I remember strolling down Main Street as a young boy, peering into the little shops, the corner bakery, Hans’ butcher shop. It seemed like only yesterday.

    Was never a big town…’bout 15,000 folks as I recall. I’d heard the Ford assembly plant had shut down. So had the only car dealership. Was told things were “tough” with a lot of unemployment and all.

    Got off the Greyhound at the tiny terminal and started walking…looking for the old spots: the soda fountain, candy store, five and dime. You know, the usual places a small town young man had come to know and love.

    Instead I was greeted with a succession of boarded-up shops. Those apparently still operating had installed metal shutters reaching to the ground, padlocked. Decorated with graffiti. On every other corner lounged small clusters of nefarious-looking characters smoking joints. I counted six drunks lying asleep on the sidewalk next to their empty bottles.

    I guess what they say is true: you can never go home again.

    I caught the midnight bus to Topeka.

  6. Oops.

    I never wanted to go to Europe in the fall. It rains. And rains. And then it rains.
    Add in driving on the wrong side of the car and road and you have all you need for disaster.

    When the boss gives you choices like “It’s Europe in fall or Colorado in winter.” No brainer. She has something bugging her and takes it out on the rest of us.

    My last year, maybe my last trip, so why not go to Europe.

    Once I kill this guy, and the free world will be safe–I can go anywhere I want.

    There he is…

    When he approaches that alley, I will run up behind him and do it there.

    Clop clop clop clop.

    Hey! That guy’s driving the wrong way! Wait. No. It’s me on the wrong side of …

    Thud.

  7. Their pocketbooks were empty and their pensions never enough, but the ladies had a plan and it was coming together nicely. The rainy night was perfect and just in front of them were the perfect victims. Two men, walking slowly and taking in what sights the main street of the small town had to offer.

    “Okay, here’s what we’ll do. I’ll take the one on the right. You take the one on the left.”

    “Suits me.”

    “Shh! Keep your voice down. They’ll hear us. We gotta move together. Get up beside them, grab their arms, turn, and face them. Block their way and make them stop. Got it?”

    “Gotcha.”

    “Move in close. Don’t let them get a good look at you.”

    “Why?”

    “Oh, please! Do I have to explain everything?”

    “I’ve never done this before, you know…”

    “Don’t worry. It’ll be easy. They’re probably tourists, not in a big hurry. Probably have lots of money on them. You ready?”

    “Ready!”

    The ladies bumped into the men, grabbing their arms for support.

    “Oh, my! We’re so sorry. These sidewalks are so narrow.”

    The men looked mildly amused. “Quite all right, ladies. No harm done.”

    The ladies’ hands fluttered wildly, they giggled and simpered, and then they were gone, leaving the men just short of laughing aloud. The ladies rounded a corner, then pulled the men’s wallets from the folds of their coats.

    “How much did you get?”

    “Oooo! Hundreds! And you?”

    “The same!”

    And the ladies happily toddled on home.

  8. SMS from some unknown number: ‘Will, I’m back in CT. meet?~reby’
    Reby! Rebecca, after long five years. William replied: ‘Come home @ evening’

    On knock, William slowly opened the door. Seeing his goddess his eyes moistened. Her eyes became wet. For a while, they were talking without words.

    Rebecca broke the silence, ‘May I…’
    ‘— You must, come in’ his voice erupted.
    William took her hand in hand, lead to the dining hall. She followed.

    ‘Be seated’
    Rebecca smiled, seated.
    William lifted a lid, ‘Coffee, French toast, and sliced apple— yours favourite’
    ‘Thanks’

    Supper continued.
    ***

    Rebecca insisted, ‘After supper walk a mile? Remember college days?’
    ‘Hmm, miles after miles we stepped together! I really miss that’
    ‘I too. Let’s relive those moments?’
    ‘Why not?’
    ‘Let’s stroll’

    The rain-drenched road was highlighting the mysterious streetlights.
    ‘Will, how is your business going?’
    By then William was feeling too drowsy to answer.
    ‘Hey, William, tell me sweetheart?…’

    ***
    2 am
    William woke up to his mobile ring tone. Found himself in own bed.

    ‘Hi Pal, any problem?’
    ‘Boss, police is raiding our secret den. Abscond as soon as possible. Bye’
    ‘… Bye!’

    William cried out in spasm, ‘Reby!’

    The next day in his new shelter William saw the Breaking News:
    ‘Successful sting operation by service de police: Inspector Rebecca nominated for national award’

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