Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Dew Drops

bok tower gardens 1 1998 flash fiction writing prompt copyright KS Brooks
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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15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Dew Drops”

  1. “Grandma, do angels cry?”
    “Goodness my child. What in the world makes you think they do? Angels are in heaven and they’re always happy!”
    “But Grandma — it MUST be the angels. Even if it hasn’t rained, when I go out into the garden after breakfast, the flowers are all wet. It must be angels, right?”
    “Well child, in a way you’re right. It DOES come from heaven, but it’s not tears. It’s a blessing really — a gift to the flowers to help them grow.”
    “If I cry will it make the flowers grow?”
    “No my dear. You’re an angel and so you should be happy.”
    “Oh good. I love flowers but I don’t like to cry!”

  2. Captain Dawes flattened himself against the side of the clapboard house and peered around the corner. He could see one of the things moving slowly through the trees. Manlike, but tall, they looked like nothing more than fog people, like ghosts drifting through the suburban New England landscape. Blood-sucking, face-eating ghosts from another planet.

    They still didn’t know what planet they were coming from, or why they had targeted Earth. Once the science guys figured that out, maybe they could take the fight directly to the distant planet, wipe them out before they mounted a large enough force to overrun Earth. But in the meantime, Dawes and guys like him all around the world would continue taking down the fog-ghosts one by one.

    He was just grateful they had figured out a way to kill the bastards—vaporize them, actually. He didn’t completely understand the weapon he wielded, but he knew it worked, and that was all that counted.

    The thing was getting closer. Dawes pulled back, made sure his gun was set on full, and listened. They made only a faint sound, like the whoosh of legs through tall grass. It came closer, closer.

    He made his move, wrapping himself around the corner, arm out straight and steady, firing as soon as he knew his aim was true. The gun hummed and the thing vanished in a silent explosion of smoke and mist.

    Nothing left but a few drops of ectoplasm on old Mrs. Hargrove’s poinsettias.

    Good fertilizer.


    You were the early riser…

    I awakened each morning to hickory-smoked bacon or freshly baked banana crumb muffins.
    The fragrance of Maxwell House drifted into our bedroom.
    The morning nook was meticulously arranged … fine china and cut flowers from your garden.

    I teased. I could never arise without those aromas waffling me awake…
    But you knew. I was only getting up to see you.

    You were radiant.

    I’m still an early riser.
    I’ve mastered the pre-set coffeemaker…
    Microwave imitations of pastries.
    The breakfast nook was moved into the small garden…

    Each morning, I long to have breakfast with you.

  4. Dew Dropsy

    “Dew drops?”
    “Do they do what?”
    “When they are due, I suppose.”
    “When, might I ask, are dew drops due? Do you know?”
    “Tricky. When they arrive. Spring, often. Autumn, for sure.”
    “Do you have a preference?”
    “For what?”
    “For when dew drops arrive. Do you care when?”
    “I did…once upon a time. Age has mended me of that fissure of expectation.”
    “When did you become so dour? I remember you as…vivacious, ready for any old to do.”
    “I am done with all that. I went into teaching.”
    “You’ve lost me.”
    “Remember that last summer, the bike ride in the south of France, dipsy-doodling throughout the countryside.”
    “Of course, we were full of derring-do, then.”
    “Exactly. Then, cold hard reality hit. The dew dropped. You know that saying, “Those who can DO; those who can’t, TEACH.”
    “That is so much doo-doo. Surely you didn’t fall for that?”
    “I did. I do. And I got married. Too.”
    “That was so sudden. I thought, well, that we were…”
    “We were overdue. I expected you to propose.”
    “I meant to, in Dijon. Remember, picnicking in that little field?”
    “I do.”
    “Cold feet, I suppose. And then, the next day…”
    “Yes. That day. I got the telegram that offered a teaching job in Duluth.”
    “And you knew my career was taking me to Doha.”
    “Oil. I knew at that moment that oil and dew don’t mix.”
    “Well, do take care of yourself.”
    “I will. And do keep in touch.”
    “Will do.”

  5. My goodness. They couldn’t possibly put us any closer to one another. But, that’s okay. It’s the Holidays. It’s comforting to have so many of our family together, even it’s only for a few weeks. Look at all those people shopping, smiling, busy, busy, busy. Did you notice, we get only a casual glance or two whenever they walk too close to our flowering bed? And, HEY! Who’s that behind me? Get your feelers off me. Keep them to yourself! Oh, it’s you, Setty. Didn’t think I’d see you again after we left the garden. They split us up loading the vans. Gee, you look absolutely gorgeous. Red really is your color. What? Yes, mine, too. Oops! Watch out! Here comes that miserable wretch to shoplift another one of us. Oh, good. The security guard is signaling the plant pincher away. Phew! I think the thief had me in sight.
    Well, in a couple of days it will all be over. Don’t like to think about that, though. Let’s bloom a little brighter until then. Glad we could bring so much pleasure into everyone’s life, even for just a few days. Hope those lucky enough to make next year’s showcase are as happy as we to be chosen to add beauty to such a happy time of the year. Oh. Here comes another group singing those sweet carols to us again. How I wish I could sing with them. Aren’t they wonderful?

  6. “Meet me by the red Christmas flowers,” Julia whispered.

    “Where? When?” Her lover asked.

    “Gracie’s Gardens, tomorrow, sunset.”


    She turned, disappeared into the crowd of the bar.

    Henry patted the small, square box in his pocket.

    They met on a dating sight. Henry’s mother was skeptical. “How can you know someone on a computer?” She asked.

    “Mom, it’s how people meet now.”

    “When will I meet her?” Knowing the question would force him to decide if this was a serious relationship.

    “Soon.” He kissed her on the cheek, rushed out the door.

    Henry grew anxious as minutes trudged toward sunset, but calmed himself thinking about how much he loved Julia.

    “What is the Christmas flower?” He asked of the attendant at the gate to Gracie’s Gardens.

    “Poinsettia or Amaryllis, but the display of red Poinsettias is what everyone comes to see, even now, after Christmas.”

    “Thanks.” He wandered on paths lined with plants, flowers and trees until he came upon the jewels of the season. Hundreds, maybe thousands of red Poinsettias clumped together, spelled LOVE.

    He weakened at the thought she wanted meet him there.

    The sun slipped into the sea beyond the gardens. Its faint glow danced magical upon dewdrops on the petals.

    Closing bells rang at 10:00.

    He was alone.

    Why? He wondered. Accident? Joke?

    His mind was afire, his heart wept.

    He picked a petal from the poison flower, shoved it in his pocket with the square box, turned and left.

  7. Abandoned

    Crickets and katydids chirp their summer symphony. Chasing elusive fireflies, six-year-old Julie runs barefoot through the damp flowers and grass. Daddy watches from the porch. Suddenly, a plaintive cry rises above the insect concert. Julie and Daddy follow the whimper across the empty lot to a rotting log. There lies a puppy, covered with newly-formed dew drops. Its eyes remain closed as it cries for its mother.

    Daddy nestles the tiny creature in his hands and carries it to the house. He coaxes milk from an eyedropper into the puppy’s mouth while Julie gathers the additional items. She holds the pup as Daddy places soft flannel and a small clock into the cardboard box.

    “The ticking is like his mother’s heartbeat,” Daddy explains. “It will comfort him.”

    He lays the puppy in its flannel nest and covers the open box with a heating pad. Julie has already decided to name her new pet Lucky.

    “Don’t get your hopes up before morning,” Daddy says. “His mother probably abandoned him because he’s sick.” Daddy’s voice sounds gruffer than usual.

    In the morning Julie races to the kitchen, but finds only an empty box. Outside, she discovers Daddy behind the garage. He begins to toss dirt into the tiny grave. Sobbing, Julie grabs his arm. He wraps his other arm tightly around her shoulders. She looks at the tears streaking his unshaved cheeks.

    “It’s all right, Honey,” Daddy whispers. “Now your Mommy has a friend with her.”

  8. The woodland elves gathered to make the morning dew, with a yawn, the head elf checked through his list of helpers, “Where is Philomena? She still has to do the Dawson’s hay field, has anyone seen her?”

    A hush grew over all the elves, until one elf, Murry, spoke up, “Excuse me sir, I think, she quit yesterday?”

    “What quit? Quit you say? Why would she ever do that? We have a morning obligation to the world, to paint the world with dew drops! She cannot just up and quit! This is unheard of!”

    His elves shrank back trying to make themselves small and unnoticable, Murry spoke up, “Well Sir, she was very dissatisfied with her pay and the long hours on third shift, and no free coffee.”

    “Free Coffee? When did she start drinking coffee?” The head elf demanded.

    Murry replied, ” Ah, I think, when she hit six foot three last year? The coffee worked, she shrunk back to two foot three.”

    The head elf thought for a minute, ” And all this time I thought she was stsnding on a tree stump! That’s still pretty tall for an elf, and you say the coffee worked, huh?”

    “Yes Sir! ” The other elves chimed in.

    “Hmmm, everyone is getting kind of tall. Ok! Coffee it is! Who want’s to do the coffee run? It’s on me! And will someone please call Philomena, and let her know about the free coffee. Now everyone get out there and dew something!”

  9. “Do you think they’ll notice?”

    “Notice what? Who are you talking about?”

    “You know.” she said as she bugged out her eyes and raised her eyebrows. She was trying to tell me what she was talking about without actually saying it. She knows I hate that!

    “What are you talking about?” I said rather terse.

    “You think they’ll notice where that dew is missing?”

    “That dew will be long gone by the time I figure out what you are talking about!”

    She was beautiful, compassionate and annoying as hell. She was quite innocent in her special way of irritating people. Rather than just say what was on her mind she would gently allude to the topic leaving you to fill in the blanks.

    We continued down the street. It was still early in the morning and already I knew what kind of a day it was going to be. I couldn’t stop thinking about what she was trying to tell me. I didn’t really care about it but I was intrigued. “What was she talking about?” I thought. “Not only what but who was she talking about?”

    “Will you just tell me what you were talking about back there?” I asked.

    “About what?”

    “Back there! Who’s gonna notice what?”

    “Oh. You mean when I picked that flower from those people’s garden?”

    “That’s it?” I asked.

    “Well….yeah.” she begrudgingly replied.

    I lowered and just shook my head.

    “Are you ok?” she queried.

    “Just wondering why God is torturing me. That’s all!”

  10. William took out a torn dull paper from his safe.
    A letter; parting note from the one closest to his heart, Emmy.
    She had come like a pleasant hazy dream, then vanished unnoticed. Faded lines on the pale paper became William’s only means to relive the togetherness he needed most. His moist eyes crawled through those deep rooted lines:

    What a faith I had come with!
    Was I so mundane that you did not see me?
    I had spent all night in alone anticipation. I had to make sure that I would wow you. In cool breeze I groomed up myself bit by bit— you know why? In the dim auroral glow at dawn I wanted to shine like a dewdrop for you.

    You entered the garden, took a seat, stared all around. And you didn’t notice I was there. How!
    I was awaiting your attention while I saw the girl. You might have been waiting for her. You two got engrossed completely in each other’s company. Nice couple!
    Thank God; her presence helped me to know you better.
    May your success shine like the sun. Let your ‘Dewdrop’ disappear…

    Reaching end of the letter William shouted out, ‘Emmy, how could you take it so wrong!’

    The girl who came that day to see William was his childhood friend, a marriage registrar. They both were waiting for Emmy.

  11. This was the second morning in a row that the plants had been rearranged. Fernando didn’t get it. Who was doing this? If someone was trying to irritate him, it wasn’t working.

    Fernando had worked at the nursery long enough to know what was expected of him. Keep the potted plants arranged by type. Water the drought-tolerant early in the morning. Sweep the floor often. All the simplest jobs were Fernando’s responsibility. But his English was improving daily, and good things were ahead. He hoped to have his own nursery some day, and in the meantime he never tired of tending the plants with their endless variety of scents and textures.

    The floor swept, Fernando began watering. Cecilia, the cashier, approached him.

    “Hello, Fernie,” She smiled. He returned her smile.

    “Like what I did for you? Notice anything about the colors? Red , green, and white. The colors of your flag, Fernie, so you won’t feel homesick.”

    So Cecilia had rearranged the plants. She was pretty, and she seemed to like him. But what was she talking about? Homesick? Flags? Colors?

    “Oh, you are hopeless!” To Fernie’s relief, Cecilia stomped away. From that day on, they avoided each other.

    So what should have been the beginning of something wonderful ended before it started, and all because Cecilia could not know that Fernando would never understand the significance of colors. Fernando’s world was all textures and scents, seen in shades of gray.

    Fernando was severely color blind.

  12. Santa was finishing his last of his journey when the radar went blank; Santa’s sleigh disappeared.

    Santa called home. “Rudolph’s light went out!” He was breathless.

    “So just buy another bulb for the nose,” Hermie the elf said. If there ever was a dim bulb at the North Pole, it wasn’t Rudolph’s nose.

    “No,” Santa said pointedly, “it wasn’t just his nose. It was all of him. He’s dead!”

    This was unfathomable. Humans die, but nobody at the North Pole ever died. Everyone was distraught. But the bigger question was what to do with him?

    Butchering him for meat was out. Taxidermy, while making him lifelike, might be too creepy. A Viking funeral?

    The reindeer were distraught. “Can’t we just bury him?” asked Donder.

    “Where are you proposing we do this?” Santa asked. “The ground is frozen solid and will be until July when we begin the poinsettia harvest.”

    Mrs. Claus drew in her breath sharply. “Absolutely not! Nobody loved Rudolph more than me, but you’re not going to bury him in my garden!”

    “Oh, Wilma,” Santa said, “What about that corner of your garden where nothing grows? That wedge shaped area? We can put him in there for a few months, can’t we?”

    They piled poinsettias to hide the body. The large green leaves covered him nicely.

    When harvest time came, no one could believe their eyes—the plants above Rudolph’s nose turned brilliant red, and the tears of the reindeer appeared as dew drops.

  13. Christmas Eve. Ninety-eight poinsettias sat in foil-covered pots blocking my path. I tip some over before reaching the front door.

    Inside, an oversized unstamped envelope lay atop the pile of mail dropped by the mail carrier. Doctor S and his staff are featured on the photo card that escapes the envelope. Last May, our visit was brief, discussion typical:
    No change. I stepped off of the scale. “170,” she replies. “Sit down.”
    She wraps my bicep. Breathe slowly – calm down. “120 over 78,” she chirps. Did I take my meds today? The doctor asks how I feel. “Great!” I grin.
    “Your blood sugar is very high,” he retorts, tossing the chart. He frowns through his eyebrows. He expects me to recant. “Will you try something new? It protects the eyes and kidneys.“ I squirm then acquiesce. He hands me samples. Captive to this drug lord in scrubs, surrendering to yet another hit of something to make me feel good, to hook me, my wallet drains whenever Medicare denies payment.

    The bill, December 3, unfolds – the third to arrive since Medicare denied his additional charge: Code 98 – INELIGIBLE. What is Code 98 anyway? No one is authorized to tell me. (HIPPA.)

    Final notice. Due immediately. Code 98 remains a mystery – and payable.
    My teardrops congealed into dewdrops as I kicked pots out of my way. Howling winds muffled my screams and snowflakes bombarded me. Days later, a frozen stiff lay among the 98 dead poinsettias. Cause? Diabetic complication

  14. Water glistens on the poinsettias as the sun continues to rise. The bright red flowers stand cheerful and unblemished in the garden, a cruel mockery of recent events. We all said it could never happen, not here, not now. Enlightenment is the core of our society–or so we thought. Those words now burn my throat. My stomach churns as disbelief turns to reality.

    The demons escaped last night. Their hate-filled rhetoric consumed the souls of the self-righteous uninformed. Darkened hearts surged through the country, intent on destroying any they deemed impure in an attempt to make America great again. Instead, they obliterated it’s diversity; it’s strength; it’s heart.

    I’m not a demon, not part of the purging, yet I’m as much to blame as them. Neighbors screamed in terror while I hid and shut my ears and eyes to the destruction. I could have stood up. I could have stopped it. Instead I turned a blind eye to the hate as they were ripped apart. My silence condoned their deaths.

    Now I stare at these delicate flower petals that are covered in angel’s tears. They’ve grown rich and red from the blood of innocence but they’re all the same. Their false beauty shrivels my soul. Tears stream down my cheeks as I search for a flower different from all the others, something unique, individual. There are none. My silence has destroyed them all.

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