Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Snowflakes

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!

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11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Snowflakes”

  1. “Looks like snow again.”

    “Most reliable place for that, here.” Barney grimaced and fed his friend his expected response. “Don’t that ever get old? It must be five years now.”

    Hank shrugged. “Just funning. Surely you don’t begrudge me that?”

    “I dunno. Surely we have to draw the line somewhere.” He coughed, raising up the lump he’d felt heavy in his throat and then spitting it out on the sidewalk. “Maybe your joke’ll outlive me. I’m sure you’ll find someone else for your ‘fun’ after I’ve passed.”

    “Shhh, man. You know that’s bad luck. Sayin’ such things. The fates never miss a word said in jest.”

    “It’s December, man. Winter kills.”

    The two of them sat together, sharing their heat. They were closer than the lovers they’d both forgotten, their intimacy greater than anyone’s other than conjoined twins. At least until spring came, if they both survived the next few months.

    “Maybe you should make a wish?” Hank snuggled up closer, winding the sleeping bag tighter. “You should never give up hope, they say,” he said.

    Barney didn’t reply, he just spat. The stars on the buildings were for selling not wishing. And the only currency he’d got was running out fast.

  2. “Plastic light-up snowflakes? Really?”
    “They’re antique. The kids will love them.” Grayson held them out for her perusal. Somehow, they did appear less impressive now, powerless and tangled in their electrical cord, than at the antique store strung across the cluttered shelves, twinkling.
    His wife gave him one of her patented pained looks from beneath her blonde curls. “Why didn’t you just get some of those 3D-printed ice sets like last year? Now that was a white Christmas.”
    “You know there’s no such thing a white Christmas anymore. Snowflakes are only as real to them as Santa, or reindeer, or trees. So, you know. Not very. A fairytale. These will be fine.”
    Avery swept a dismissive hand toward the tangled cord of plastic. He thought the gesture was likely intended for him, as well. “I should’ve just ordered something myself. I should’ve known you’d do something like this. Antiques! What are they, from 2020? Dead people’s garbage. The kids are excited to catch snowflakes on their tongues, like last year. To have them drift through the air, shinier than dust. To have them melt on their faces and hair. That’s Christmas! That’s antique.” Again with the hand flail, red gel nails like pointed ornaments. “What fun can they possibly have with these things?”
    He sighed, knowing when to admit defeat. “Okay. I’ll go back to the store.”

  3. “Okay, kids. We’ve got to make up our minds by tonight,” the Mother
    said. They twisted and twirled around her, moaning and groaning.

    “Well, it’s not gonna be me,” the smallest cried. “I’m not gonna do it again all by myself. Give me a break!”

    “Listen to him,” another shouted. “You’d think he didn’t enjoy being the star of the show last time. Everybody was so happy when he showed up.”

    “Yeah,” another growled. “We’ll make sure you don’t make it this time, if that’s the way you want it.”

    “Now, now. Don’t quarrel,” Mother pleaded. She looked around at her tumbling brood and shook her head. I’ll let them choose, she mused. She closed her eyes and hoped they’d get it over with. It was getting too close to start time.

    An icy wind sent shivers through them. Huddling, they tried anxiously to decide on the winner.

    “Mom took a lot of trouble figuring out all these complicated shapes, and worked very hard at making them, so let’s not disappoint her. Just pick me” the biggest one proposed.

    “Oh, no,” another yelled.

    A chorus of others rang out, demanding, “No. No. Me. Me.”.

    “Okay. Stop it! Stop it! It’s Christmas Eve. I’ll decide. You can ALL be part of the show.” Mother Nature took a deep breath and blew the happy flakes into another beautiful white Christmas snowfall, bringing Joy to the World.

  4. Walking my dog, Sheba Sue, late Christmas night beneath a full moon and star filled sky, a sudden gust of wind did abide. Suddenly, from nowhere snowflakes dusted the frozen landscape all around.

    We stopped walking when we heard sleigh bells from where no sleigh could slide. Then high in the sky, in the wind, a madman’s voice was carried to both of our ears, “On Blitzen, on Dancer, Yes! I do mean all! Follow Rudolf to the tops of the trees, to the eaves on the roofs, for we have but one night to deliver to all.”

    I swear, just as fast as the snowflakes arrived, they soon vanished as soon as the sleigh did pass over head. Yes, I saw this madman all dressed in red and driving his sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer.

    I swear, all they left behind was a mild dusting of sparkling New snow outlining only their reindeer tracks atop the roofs, where no one would look, but I had just enough moon light to see. From roof to roof the reindeer bounded towing the sleigh along with that red suited madman at the reigns.

    My dog shook her head at such a sight on this cold winter’s night. As soon as the sleigh was clear out of sight, my dog had enough and pulled me home tonight. Upon our arrival, on the door knob we did find, a chew toy and rawhide marked, “For Sheba Sue from Santa.”

  5. “Oh no. No, no, no… Please no…”

    Lindsay is flipping out. She’s clutching her pudgy cheeks so hard that the skin that was once pink from cold turns white and bloodless.

    “What?” I ask. But what I really want to say is, “What the hell is it now?”

    Lindsay’s brown eyes lift skyward. “It’s SNOWING, Dave,” she says.

    I don’t get it. I genuinely don’t get it. It’s snowing. It’s snowing snowflakes, not daggers of fire. Tiny crystals of powder are falling from the sky. It’s nothing to get overly excited about.

    “Yeah,” I agree.

    “Dave.” She stands before me, taking rapid, shallow breaths. She might hyperventilate. Where’s a paper bag when you need it? “I am allergic to snow.”

    “You’re allergic to snow?” I’m trying not to outright laugh in her face, mostly because she looks so horrified about the whole thing. I’m not a jerk, I’m really not. But there’s only so much I can hear in the course of an evening and still remain sympathetic. “How is that possible? It’s it just, like, crystalized water?”

    “No, it’s not,” she insists. “I could DIE, Dave. I could go into anaphylactic SHOCK.”

    She starts tap dancing around the pavement, trying to avoid the flakes coming down with increasing frequency. Several still land on her dark hair, but I don’t point it out to her. I don’t have an epi-pen if she goes into snowflake-induced shock.

    I swear to God, this is the worst blind date ever.

    A dialogue-only detective mystery using SMS texts.

    Detective Sergeant Jane Simpson (JS): URGENT, sir, been calling.
    Detective Inspector Paul Johnson (PJ): Problem?
    JS: Called to murder @ Thamestone Manor.
    PJ: Due testify in Lynch case, can’t leave court. Stay in touch.
    JS: OK, sir. Happy to fly solo.
    PJ: Bet you are! Text details.
    JS: Housekeeper discovered break-in, Sir James Thamestone dying from head wound, possibly tortured for info.
    PJ: Anything missing?
    JS : Housekeeper insists nothing out of place. Safe open, not emptied.
    PJ: Did he speak?
    JS: Weird! Said “Snowflake … Four … Four”.
    PJ: Background? Hobbies? THINK! Something small missing?
    JS: Retired diplomat, lives alone. Broke. British Consul LA 1960s, Ambassador Ottawa 1970s. Philatelist. Former competition skier.
    PJ: Stamps! Have idea but just called to testify. Meanwhile, you check stamp dealers.
    JS: Still there, sir?
    PJ: Sorry, just testified on Lynch. Jury out. Progress?
    JS: Found stamp dealer. Thamestone visited Tuesday, asked hypothetically: value of stamps with printing errors?
    PJ: GOT IT! Googled! 1960 USA 4-cent Winter Olympics stamps had snowflake, few printed WITHOUT Olympic rings. Rumour sheet of four not destroyed, missing. If so, priceless today. Thamestone perhaps acquired stamps California 1960, hoarded.
    JS: That fits. Dealer’s assistant overheard Tuesday conversation, missing today. Has brother with burglary record. Descriptions distributed.
    PJ: Excellent. Good news here – Lynch guilty, sentenced 10 years.
    JS: More good news! Brothers arrested Heathrow, enroute Amsterdam.
    PJ: Well done! Quickest case ever! CU @ Snowshill Inn, drinks on me!

  7. ALIKE
    Kira holds her young daughter’s mittened hand as they watch decorative snowflakes twinkle across the office building. Real snowflakes float down like tufts of fuzz.
    “They say no two snowflakes are alike, Mazie,” Kira says.
    Mazie sticks out her tongue to taste the flakes. They land on her nose and cheeks.
    “Who made them different?” she asks.
    “No one makes snow. It’s part of nature.”
    “Is different good?”
    “I suppose so, Honey.”
    Mazie looks up, searches her mother’s face. “Then why do they make all of us alike? Why can’t we be different?”
    Kira kneels down and places her hands on Mazie’s shoulders. “A long time ago people were different. But the Plague Times changed everything. Now we can only make new people just like ourselves. We’re not snowflakes.”
    Mazie pulls free and dashes away. Kira scrambles to her feet, chases Mazie, tells her to stop. Mazie laughs and runs faster. She loves the chasing game. As her daughter reaches the corner, Kira shouts louder, panic in her voice. “Don’t run into the street!”
    Mazie slows, looks over her shoulder, stumbles and falls in front of the speeding autocar. It stops almost instantaneously, but not before colliding with the little girl.
    Kira reaches the corner, sees her daughter’s blood darkening the white snow. She wipes the flakes from Mazie’s face as she waits for the emergency repair team. Mazie opens her eyes and says, “It’s OK, Mommy. You can make another daughter just like me.”

  8. Jack sat alongside his grandson looking out the bay window as snow began to fall.

    “Grandpa, why does it snow?”

    “Well Junior, it’s heaven’s way of returning water to earth you see.”

    “But then why does it rain?”

    “That’s heaven’s way of returning water to earth too!”

    “How does the water get to heaven?”

    “Now THAT’S a little complicated to explain — even for me. Let’s just say that everything in the world happens for a good reason. Unless humans interfere.”

    “Am I here for a reason Grandpa?”

    “Yes Junior. I believe you are.”

    “Does that make me special then?”

    “Special? Yes, sorta. You see, everyone is different in their own way. So that makes everyone special.”

    “Like these snowflakes?”

    “Uh huh. Just like a snowflake.”

    “Is that why Grandma says that you’re ‘flaky’?”

    “Ummm…she has a different meaning in mind!”

    “Can we go outside and eat some snow?”

    “Sure! Grab a jacket and we’ll catch some as it falls.”

    [Man lowers his head and lunges into civilization, forgetting the days of his infancy when he sought truth in a snowflake or a stick. Man forgets the wisdom of the child. — Jack Kerouac]

  9. Out of the trillions of exceptionally perfect and symmetrical, falling snow flakes, one rests upon my window. I feel honored that such and amazing display of nature’s beauty chose my window on the world. I feel blessed to witness such a spectacle this glorious night. This, my one hundredth Christmas Eve. I’m grateful to have had the chance to see one more season. The chance to behold a manifestation of nature’s most perfect form close up.
    I lay on my pillow, gazing into the frosty night of late December, afraid to close my eyes, fearful it may be my last. I feel the dryness and sting. I try desperately not to blink, I try and try. They burn and I blink. I open my pale blue eyes and feel thankful, yet for a moment, anxious. Where is it, did it fall to the ground? No, there it is. Fully formed, on the cold glass.
    I focus again and count the points. Each one an arrow’s tip, sharp and delicate. Each extension, faceted, reflecting its own light created by God’s own design.
    I take one last breath and just than, realize I had closed my eyes against the dry sting, not to be opened again. I’m not sad, for I am floating among the many darlings. Rising towards the heavens as they drift gently to earth. Each new beauty a sparkling gem. I smile and see each unique crystal twinkle back at me before landing on another window to be admired.

  10. Flake News

    “I’ll now hand you over to Priscilla Pugsley., our award-winning weather maven here at Station MYPQ, part of the Fix News Empire. Prissy, what’s old Momma Nature got in store for us?”

    “Thanks, Henry. Well, folks, winter is working up quite a sweat. An arctic blast is sweeping down from Canada and is poised, initially, to freeze the Great Lakes.”


    “Yes, Henry…”

    “I hesitate to mention the obvious, Priss, but you do know that it is July here in the US of A. And that makes it July in dull old Canada and that means, well, that there shouldn’t be an arctic front. It’s summer, sweetie.”

    “Henry, don’t call me sweetie. Show some respect. I am a Meteorologist. You demean me with your misogynist euphemisms…”

    “Whoa, hold your storm cloud horses, Priss. Of course, you’re a Meteorologist. But you’re also MYPQ’s weathergirl. There is the expectation that you not only know what season it is but that you don’t make things up.”

    “Can we do this off air, Henry?”

    “It’s a bit late for that, sweetie.”

    “I suppose you are right, Henry. Well, you may not know this but the arctic front is always there, always just itching to push south. I appreciate that as an Anchor, you are weighed down by the expectation that you know a little about everything. And you do know…a little. I’ll give you that.”

    “I suppose the next thing you’ll tell us, Priss, is that you believe in Global Warming…?”

  11. After 15 years and seven deployments, I’m sitting here in utter silence on Christmas Day, wishing it were just cold, or raining, or otherwise miserable outside. Instead, it’s perfect. Greeting card snowflakes drift from the sky, coating my frowzy landscaping with a perfect layer of holiday.

    I just returned a week ago to a dusty house and an empty calendar. Family gone through divorce, death or disinterest. My family is with the 101st, in Khazer, in Mosul, in the thick of it. I bought a pre-decorated tree. One of the strings of lights is out.

    The doorbell rings. It’s a young girl, decorated by Dickens. She sings.

    Here we come a-wassailing…

    She raises a bowl. I drink. It’s sweet, spicy. Warm.

    The girl smiles and walks away. The doorbell rings again. It’s the postman, in civvies.

    “Good day, sir, and Merry Christmas!” he says. “Special delivery.” He hands me a heavy box, leaves with a salute.

    Full dish set for 12. Ludicrous. The doorbell rings. The neighbors and their kids.

    “Pardon the ambush, but we have too much food. Can we come in?” He doesn’t wait for an answer and the Fuller family train chugs into my kitchen, each with a large pot or bowl. The doorbell rings. And it rings again. And again. Each time a new neighbor or old acquaintance, bringing food or drink.

    The doorbell rings again. It’s my high school football coach. “Welcome home, son.”

    “Excuse the mess,” I say. “I wasn’t expecting so much family.”

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