Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Happy New Year 2017

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.

Author: Administrators

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Happy New Year 2017”

  1. Dashing in his monkey suit, Bernard couldn’t breathe. Should he exhale, the string quartet, every gowned and tuxedoed guest, even the glittering ballroom itself might blow away. Melody hung on his arm, laughing, clinking glasses with some rich camera-toting fool named Jack who grinned down her cleavage. Bernard wanted to punch his face.

    Still, they were in. What could go wrong? His eye strayed to the solid gold porcupine adorning the banquet table, the Porcupine Yacht Club’s legendary mascot.

    “Ladies and gentlemen!” the master of ceremonies boomed. “Fifteen seconds to midnight!”

    Cheers rose and lights fell. As the countdown began, all eyes turned to the smoldering stacks of the model ship centerpiece on the head table.

    “Ten!” the throng shouted with joy. “Nine!”

    At five full dark engulfed the room. Fireworks and smoke erupted from the ship, commanding attention, blinding everyone as Bernard slipped over to the porcupine. At “Happy New Year!” pandemonium reigned.

    Bernard snatched the statue. A flash of light erupted from somewhere not the ship. He froze for an instant, then stashed the object in a prearranged hidey hole in the floor.

    The lights went up. Once eyes adjusted, someone shrieked, “The porcupine! It’s gone!”

    A stunned silence fell, broken only when Jack snarled, “My camera’s gone, too!”

    Connecting the dots, Bernard’s heart sank. Oh God, he thought. Not again.

    Melody tapped Jack on the shoulder and hand back his camera. “Oh,” she said innocently, “was this yours?”

  2. The Queen of the Seas sat in its berth, dark and deserted, it’s glory days long gone, the hundreds of weddings hosted, the celebrations, the cruises… all forgotten. In three short days, the demolition would begin. The brass in her railings would be hauled off to the recyclers, her wooden beams trucked off to some anonymous lumber yard, every piece of her ripped off and carted away till not a scrap was left.

    Jimmy could not stand to see it happen. He had been a crewman during her cruising days, then a master of ceremonies at gatherings when she was permanently docked. He had tried speaking up for her at city council meetings. Couldn’t repairs be done? No, she was just too old, too far gone, no longer safe. Couldn’t she be a historical site? No, no real history there. Jimmy had run out of arguments. The most he could hope for now was to give her a big send-off.

    It took Jimmy two nights to set up the fireworks, undetected. That was not difficult. No one came near the old ship anymore. On the third night he set them off. They burned for a spectacular half hour, long enough for everyone in the small coastal city to see and marvel at and remember, while Jimmy drank a glass of wine and toasted the Queen of the Seas. He was satisfied. The old girl had gotten her last goodbye.

  3. The fireworks had exploded over London, the bright colours bursting over the city before raining down like fragments of a million rainbows.

    Big Boss had got in on the act too, noisily announcing the start of a new year. Crowds had cheered, and people had sang.
    And, in the midst of all this, Jeremy and Naomi had kissed each other.
    Had ‘finally’ kissed each other.

    The next morning – well, afternoon – he sat on the bus, turning his mobile phone over and over while trying to conjure the requisite confidence to call.
    But should he phone her?
    What if she wasn’t awake yet? He wouldn’t want to disturb her. After all, it had been a late night for everyone.

    And what if she was awake, and they spoke, but she didn’t even remember kissing him?
    Everyone kisses everyone at midnight, don’t they? That’s how films make it look anyway.

    The real question, he knew, was this; would she act like nothing had happened between them, or would this be the start of something great?

    His phone suddenly trilled in his hand, almost causing him to drop it in excitement. He looked at the screen.
    Naomi L calling…
    He answered.

  4. 2169, New Year’s Eve, Mac and Maggie, the one hundred and fifty year old loving couple, stood in Times Square as the honored guests of the media. The world was in love with the oldest lovers alive. This year’s hostess inquired, “Tell me, Maggie, what is your secret to Longevity?”

    Maggie jokingly replied, ”Well, I drink a big glass of water before I go to bed that way I have to get up in the morning.” Her reply flashed across the internet world, with happy faced emoticons.

    “Mac do you agree with Maggie?” Mac just nodded his head, concealing the truth. Deeply in love the two lived year to year. Little did the world know that the couple took a secret elixir every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, or they would quickly die.
    Maggie easily took her vial out of her purse, ready to take her dose, she leaned over to Mac, “It’s almost time Sweetie, are you ready, to live another year?”

    Nervously, Mac fumbled in his pocket trying to get his vial out; only to have it slip out of his fingers. They both watched his small vial fall and shatter, spilling the opaque liquid on to the concrete sidewalk. They stared deeply into each other’s eyes, “I’m sorry Maggie, I guess it’s my time to go. I love you.”

    Echoing across Times Square, “Three! Two! One! Happy” … Maggie purposely dropped her vial, “Mac, where you go, I go.”

  5. Mike watched as his wife stepped out onto the porch of his best friend’s house. How could they? I’ll take care of those two, he vowed. Greta turned, reached out and pulled Jeff close. “See you at dinner.” She wrapped her arms around him. “Mike’s cooking up something special”.

    Mike sped home preparing everything just as she arrived. “How lovely everything looks,” she cried.

    “Nothing but the best for my girl.”

    Greta welcomed Jeff. Mike said, “Come outside. I’ve got a surprise for you.” They stepped into the moonlit garden, heady with the scent of roses and Jasmine. Mike pointed to a cylinder on the table and handed Greta a remote control. “Count to thirty, then push the button.” She did. Exploding sparks and shooting streams of colors filled the night with sparkling stars. They spend the rest of the evening avoiding personal conversation.

    After finishing several bottles of Champagne, Mike offered to drive a tipsy Jeff home. Greta joined them, holding Jeff’s concealed hand all the way. I’ll fix them, Mike swore. Carrying on behind my back all those years.

    Stopped outside a liquor store, Mike said, “I’ll be just a minute. Got another surprise for you.” He smiled, got out of the car, and winked at the altered cylinder on the car’s roof. “Count to thirty. Push the button,” he explained and handed her the remote.

    Mike counts to 29, and grabs the bottle he’ll celebrate his revenge with, just as the car explodes into pieces.

  6. There was only 24 hours left. Tyrone knew he needed that extra something-special to win the contest, otherwise Alex would, as always. Tyrone had never won a thing as long as Alex was around.

    Alex was creative and got pretty good grades and so did Tyrone, he never knew why she won all the time; he was just as smart as she. This time though, he knew he would win. Tyrone had been building model ships for years now and he knew he could beat her, he just wanted to add a little flare, a little insult to injury.

    Fireworks! He would add fireworks to his boat! Tyrone got to work.

    The next day everyone was all set for the big race. Alex placed her boat next to Tyrone’s. She wanted to see his face when she took home the prize. Everyone took their mark and the race had started.

    There were many boats in the race but Alex and Tyrone were neck and neck. Tyrone’s boat creeped up and was in front of Alex’s now, and continued to gain some speed. He was sure he was going to win.

    As he neared the finish line Tyrone set off the fireworks and everyone was applauding him. The crowd went wild. As the wind picked up, flames caught his boat on fire, as well as Alex’s, causing both of them to laugh wildly.

    Both of the boats finished the race, but only as their ashes crossed the finish line.

  7. What A Show

    Jack spends nearly an hour convincing the council that he can produce the Freedom Day fireworks show safely. The drought has turned every grass blade to tinder. But council members finally accept Jack’s proposal for a fireworks barge in the lake. Then Old Man Morgan says, “You could disturb the Creature.” Jack laughs until he realizes that Morgan is serious. A centuries-old myth believed only by children, and apparently old men.

    After weeks of preparation, Jack has his greatest display ready. From the safety of the dock he keys the program. Music swells. Rockets, Roman candles blast skyward. The audience claps and cheers for every exploding peony, dahlia, palm tree.

    At mid-show the stationary displays activate. First the castle launches its payload. Then the steamship spouts fire from its smokestacks. But something malfunctions. Only two of the four stacks are blasting. Jack leaps into his boat and races toward the barge.

    Suddenly the audience screams. Jack sees an enormous dark shape rise from the water. His pulse throbs in his neck as he turns his boat back toward shore. In seconds, the monster engulfs the display, barge and all. Everything sinks beneath the surface.

    Jack’s heart is still racing when he hears the screaming diminish, then become applause and whistles. He swallows the lump in his throat and motors back to the dock. “Wow!” he shouts, “Best Show Ever!”

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