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.
7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Golden”
“Good grief! How long do you think we’re going to have to pose looking up like this?”
“Got me. I’m beginning to get a crick in my neck.”
“You too? Oof. My back is starting to stiffen.”
“These silly looking trees are dropping pine needles all around us.”
“Yeah. What are we supposed to be looking at, anyway?”
“Damned if I know. They told us to stay this way and not move.”
“Humph! Did you see that weird one painting at the easel?”
“Yeah. Standing next to the cigar smoker taking pictures with an instant camera. Sheeeesh!”
“Uh, oh! I see them out of the corner of my eye. They’re coming our way. Freeze.”
Flicking ashes from his cigar, the smoker turned to the painter. “Let’s get this over with. I’m ready to go. You finished?”
“In a second. One more stroke,” he whispered, and dabbed a splash of brilliant red onto the canvas. “There. Perfect. He’s gonna love it. Your pictures, too,” he smiled, stroking is Dali moustache.
“Swell. We’ll let the attendants keep these two bridled ’til he decides.”
“Hope he wants the two we picked for him. Better hurry. It’s almost time.”
“What do you think they did with the two that got sick?”
“Don’t ask me, but that bearded fat guy in the sled told me to make sure one of these two has a shiny red nose.”
Lisa began to think giving Andrew the snow globe was not a good idea. Her three-year-old carried it everywhere, and she was constantly on edge, afraid he’d drop it and she’d have glass and water all over the floor. But he loved the little trees inside, the two little golden deer, the snow. He babbled to the globe, or to her, or to anyone who would listen. Yes, it certainly kept him entertained. Was that a good thing, or a bad one? She wasn’t sure.
On Christmas Eve, he insisted on taking the darn thing to bed with him. He made a nest for it in his pillow and laid his head right up next to it. He prattled endlessly about the deer, the tiny deer.
“Yes, I see the deer,” she told him.
“Gold deer,” he said.
“Yes, gold deer. Now it’s time to go to sleep so Santa will come. Can you do that? Go to sleep?”
She worried about the globe there. He could knock it out of bed, turn suddenly and bash his little button nose on it. She waited a few moments as his eyes began to close. Slowly, slowly, they drifted shut. His breathing deepened.
She slipped the globe from his grasp and glanced inside as she set it on the nightstand. And did a double-take.
There were not two deer; there were three. And the tiny golden fawn was frolicking in the snow.
Late New Year’s eve, Mac and Erin argued as they stared into the window of the Golden Stag, their favorite pub, “Erin, I’m telling you they moved! We should warn the pub owner! They’re Dangerous!”
Erin half in the bag slurred her words, “Mac? Ah! Don’t think so? Those things seem to be doing nothing, except stand there. Let’s go back in and get another drink, maybe that’ll help me see them move?”
“I’ll drink to that, let’s go in before we can’t find the door,” both steadied themselves as they made their way back into the pub.
Instantly, the pub owner spotted them, “Oye! What’re you two drunks doing back in here? Didn’t I just throw you both out?”
“Ah! Don’t know? Didn’t we come in to tell him something important?”
Steadying, himself, Mac thought good and hard, but couldn’t find the answer from his pickled brain, so he just shook his head, “Nope! Don’t remember, let’s get us another pint! Maybe that’ll help.”
Erin wholeheartedly agreed and moved toward the bar to get a pint. All of a sudden something from behind grabbed their collars, spun them around, and kicked both outside into the snow drift, where they had both landed before.
“See Erin! I told you those sneaky, little, golden stag moved, didn’t they just kick us out here again?”
This time Erin wholeheartedly agreed, “Oye, they sure did, nasty little reindeer inside, even if they are solid gold!”
Jim’s parents occupied a pocket behind highway. A long struggle was over.
They had to move around all the day in search of living. Jim,10, had the responsibility to stick to their piece of land till parents return.
Nearby was a gift shop. Jim used to stare through its glass walls.
He was different from neighbourhood children. He didn’t have any school to go, neither did he get colourful uniforms, schoolbag, bicycle. And didn’t even have a room to withstand a strong storm.
He once asked father for a multicolour schoolbag. Father didn’t reply; mother could not hide tears.
One day Jim approached the shop, ‘Uncle, what’s the price of that golden deer?’
Shopkeeper got irritated, ‘Joking! Get out you beggars’
He further added, ‘Pray Santa Claus and wait till Christmas eve’
The boy was too innocent to make out that ridicule.
24 Dec, midnight, a havoc struck the city; a severe earthquake.
Jim and his parents were safe under the stretched canopy. But Jim noticed the gift shop’s shutter was trembling. He moved closer. It was ajar, glass-case broken and?… That pair of golden deer uncovered.
He screamed, ‘Dad! Call the shopkeeper, costly items inside are insecure, getting damaged’
The shopkeeper rushed to the spot and secured the store. He asked Jim’s father, ‘Would you like to work for me?’
He gifted Jim the set of golden deer and promised, ‘Coming January I’ll admit you to a reputed school. Get ready’
YOUR HEARTS ARE PURE
“No, my brother. A woman will never separate us.”
“But we both love her.”
“Cahal, we will always stand together.”
Abrienne, the young Princess of Saluzzo, smiled from her concealment as she heard the young men proclaim their love for her, as well as their selfless commitments to each other.
The courtesan’s potion was extremely effective. It rendered the heart hopelessly devoted to the hand from whence it came. But like all magic tonics, it had a shortcoming. The mixture would not force one to go against one’s intrinsic nature.
The boys, though she did not doubt their love, would still have to be eliminated. That should be no problem.
Her eyes were on the bigger prize… She yearned to be Queen… NOW.
Walking down the throne room corridor, she carefully reasoned out the last steps of her plan. Having already successfully gifted King Pwyll with the last of the courtesan’s potion, he now had to feel obliged to kiss her enchanted ring, the affirmation potion.
If her calculations were flawless, she would be Queen this season.
The throne room doors opened.
She curtsied. ‘Good, the sons are already here.’
The king stretched out his hand. With heartfelt exuberance, she held out her hand. The king bowed, kissed her ring, and turned her to face the court.
“I have an announcement.” He was still holding her hand.
“My son’s, how I love you. Your hearts are pure. You are gold to me.”
And with those words… they were.
Snowglobes stood rigid ‘round our Christmas tree like a train without an engine. Dependent upon someone to upend them so their true beauty and purpose could be realized, they remained frozen. Now, stuffed in a box, wrapped in newsprint, they wait for the shake of life.
One teetered upon the rest, falling into my hands as if to say, “Me first”. The crinkle of paper too long in the attic revealed an image that brought me a hard swallow. Oh, the pair of golden deers, I said to no one…the globe given my parents by my grandmother upon their first Christmas together. I could only think of our last Christmas together while I gazed at the pair of deer in the globe.
Late December of ’76, my mother left us for another man who also had a daughter. Were they better than us? Was his daughter prettier? I never learned why she left.
My father gone now, gone to the heavens, he died of a broken heart. A heart that bled each time we’d see them in town, at the fair or places we used to go together. The town was small, they were hard to avoid. She left, but she was there, just not for us.
I cupped the globe in my hands, flipped it, gave it a shake and watched silvery snowflakes dance around the reindeer pair and wondered how life would have been had she not shattered the dreams inside the globe or our family.
Chen kneels with his bow. Yards away, two golden deer frolic. Chen’s family has been Guardians of the Golden Deer. But Chen has failed his duty.
After his father died, Chen brought the herd too close to the village because he could easily obtain supplies for his family. A villager spotted one of the deer. The hunting party decimated the herd, collecting the valuable pelts for sale in the city. It took one moon cycle for Chen to gather the remaining animals and lead them to safety in the mountains.
Then, during the winter, Chen’s wife sickened. Neglecting the deer, Chen tended her. Wolves killed them one by one. Eventually, Chen realized that his family could soon starve. So he decided to slaughter one of the animals he was entrusted to protect.
Now he raises his bow, nocks the arrow. His vision blurs as he draws the string. He hears a rustle in the bushes. His son bursts out, screaming, “No, Poppa!” The deer lift their heads skyward, bound away.
Chen lowers his weapon, wipes his eyes, and takes his son’s hand. As they arrive at the cabin, Chen sees his wife out of her sickbed and preparing a stew.
“What? How?” Chen stutters.
“I am stronger, ” she says. “I found vegetables deep in the root cellar. And your son caught a rabbit in his trap. ”
Chen looks over his shoulder to see six deer grazing on tiny green shoots. Quietly, he begs their forgiveness.
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