Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Double Date

IMG_0147 bucks 07222014 flash fiction 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!

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16 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Double Date”

  1. Deer Me!



    “Take a look.”

    “I’m busy Simon.”

    “You’re always busy, Sweetie. You have to pay more attention to the world around you.”

    “That’s why I’ve got you, my furry love. To keep me informed. Do I ever like this grass. There is a flavour that is new…did you try it?”

    “I did…”

    “Well Mr. Gourmet, what is that little extra something it seems to have?”

    “Gladys, if I am not mistaken, it’s squirrel nut droppings…pretty sure that’s what it is…”

    “Yes…a little touch of…is that pecan I am tasting…Ooo-rah, that is a treat.”

    “Well, heads up, feast your nut-swooning eyes on them…they are most certainly not a treat.”

    “Oh, no, not them. Not today. I thought we had this country meadow all to ourselves. You can’t go anywhere these days without…”

    “Yes, Glad, my love, the urban looky-loos. I am so sorry. I thought we could have one day without the flashes, the noise, their awful little versions with grabby hands…”

    “Oh, it’s not your fault, my deer. They are being driven out of the cities at an increasing rate. They simply don’t seem to have anywhere to go and, well, not much to do once they get there.”

    “It is a sad reality…human migration is a terrible blight. Well, eat up, get the children ready and we will head for the high mountains.”

    “That’ll show ‘em. I do love the mountain air.

    “You are a rock, Gladys. A real rock.”

    “You too, Simon.”

  2. Double Dating

    By Buck Bigrack (Arline Chase)

    Double dating is always such a bore.

    The girls wind up talking to each other while the guys just wish they’d shut up and get closer. Beware what they’re wearing, too. Fancy clothes just mean you’ll have to take them to a nicer venue. No matter how cool and macho we guys try to look, they ignore us! And even if they show up in nothing much at all, they’ll end just yammering away to each other about boring stuff, like how their hair looks.

    Nobody can agree on what movie to see. Females go for the golden oldies, like Cross Creek or The Yearling while we guys are looking for something with life and death, action, and speed. If we’re talking classics, I like The Hunted, the 1995 one with J.F. Lawton directing. Or maybe The Naked Prey. But you know women! You just have to give them what they want until we get a chance to get what we want. Ya know what I mean?

    Anyway, no matter what we do, nothin’s gonna be good enough. Used to be a trip to the old Salt Lick Café was enough to impress a girl. Nowadays they want exclusive fare from a baited Forest Arbor — something with apples, corn on the cob, maybe some sweet potatoes… And they want it served in the moonlight, yet!

    Take my advice fellas, never double date. Get that gal off by yourself.

  3. “It is definitely looking at me.”

    “It is NOT watching you!”

    Jess moved left and squinted. “Hmmm, yes. Following me with its dead glassy eyes.”

    Maggie grunted, “You know, a little help would be nice. I’m trying to get this job finished before they arrive.”

    “So, should we flip for who gets which end?”

    “Oh shut up. You get the backside, naturally.” Maggie wrapped her arms around the stuffed buck’s neck and lifted. Jess went for the rear leg but wasn’t prepared for the shift in mass. Suddenly the entire animal pulled out of Jess’ arms and in desperation she grabbed the tail. However, rather than stopping progress, Jess ended up being pulled onto the animal as it fell.

    Maggie shrieked as the full rack bore down upon her. Panicked, her arms flailed behind her catching more stuffed reindeer in the store window and toppling them like dominoes. Pulling herself from the Christmas display she called out to Jess, “You ok?”

    “Ormm bwin daaz arrt errd”

    “What?” Maggie peered under the deer to find a desperate Jess trying to pry her stuck head from between the hind legs.

    With gritted teeth, Jess repeated, “I said. Our. Blind. Dates. Are. Here!”

    Maggie quickly spun around to look out the window. On the other side were two shocked gentlemen staring back.

    Maggie sighed. “Deer does double date disaster.”

    From beneath the stuffed beast came, “Nice alliteration, Mags. Now can we go home and get drunk on egg nog?”

  4. There is fear.
    The sun had risen, the air had been damp but warm.A good day.
    Suddenly there was a lot of noise,strange smells and the deer fled.The herd split up.

    They returned, the rest of the herd was gone and there was just the four of them.
    The place is again calm and quiet but the four move off to look for the mob, vibrating with danger.The two stags are confused and unsure, but they lead the way, alert and present to danger, shielding the two does.One of the does is united with the stags, sensing approaching danger whilst the other is distracted by hunger.

    The four are a group in away none of them had intended, now they are all that remains. The two stags take off towards the trees and the two young does follow behind, hoping for safety.

  5. Hercules was tired. So very tired.

    And hungry, so very hungry. Never really a hunter, he had always relied on the pride to provide his food while he, in turn, defended its territory. But now past his prime, the pride had abandoned him forcing him to scavenge whatever was left behind by hyenas. Such opportunities became increasingly infrequent.

    Growing quite weak, this former “king” of the Serengeti was wasting away, his previously robust physique painted with bones, his glorious mane thinning, graying. His vision, too, was failing — blurred by double vision. He was tired, so very tired and sought shelter from the blazing sun in the tall grass beneath a baobab tree.

    He lay there in the shade and saw them approach. Two (or was it four?) kudus — largest of the antelope that roamed the plains of the savannah. The number didn’t really matter. The long spiral horns of the male were threat enough. And he was tired so very tired. Maybe tomorrow would be better.

    The rising sun cast a crimson glow upon the scene as the hyenas had their first meal of the day.

  6. Louwala-Clough as the Cowlitz tribe liked to call him awoke from a sound sleep with a sudden sharp spasm in his bowels. He clutched his stomach and cursed out loud. Louwala-Clough assumed the spasm would stop and everything would be back to normal that late spring day. The pain eased and he fell back to sleep without a second thought. But only an experienced geologist would have noticed a difference between a fluke and a warning.
    Down the road at old man Truman’s lodge his Labrador had been acting uneasy for the past several weeks and the great old man hadn’t been sleeping good for the past two months. Old age or mother nature he mused. Harry glanced in the kitchen corner at the fishing tackle and smiled. He stood at the stove cooking bacon and eggs and thought about the short walk down to the lake. Harry called out to his wife Edna, “Breakfast – the fish won’t wait much longer.” And sometimes the fish do wait but that late spring day they stayed deep in the lake.
    The deer and bear and elk in the valley below the lake took their last breath of sulfur and suffocating volcanic ash as they tried to run into the forest. Harry looked up at Louwala-Clough’s earthen face – aka Mt. St. Helens – for one last time as the avalanche of earth, water, trees and pyroclastic flow of volcanic gas and rock heading straight for him at the speed of sound.

  7. Unnatural Nature

    Bill and Dotty met their friends, Jane and Jay, for a hike across the heath.

    “Hi, Jane. Where’s Jay?”

    “He’s coming, Bill…so you came.”

    “Uh, yes. I’m with Dotty.”

    “Hmm…now you are. Oh, here’s Jay. I’ll be back in a minute.”

    “Bill, she sounded mad.”

    “Don’t worry about it, Dotty.”

    Jay and Jane joined them, “Let’s head for the ridge.”

    As they hiked, no one noticed the wildlife. Bill seemed to tire and lagged behind.

    Jay caught up with Dotty and slid an arm around her.

    “What are you doing, Jay? Janet is right behind us.”

    “That’s no problem, Sweetie.”

    “It is a problem, Jay. It’s over between us. I love Bill.”

    “Yeah, so you said. But looks like Bill wants Jane.”

    Dotty glanced over her shoulder and saw Bill acting friendly with Jane.

    When they reached the ridge, all four of them stopped at the precipice. Jane and Jay exchanged suspicious, hard stares. No one spoke, pretending to enjoy the vista.

    Without warning, screeches filled the air. “Dotty, you cheated with Jay! But you’re gonna pay!”

    “You, too, Bill! You messed with Jane and you’re not going to get away with it!”

    Four lovers struggled with one another. Gravel flew beneath their scuffling feet and preceded the two bodies that went screaming over the edge.

    Between gasping breaths, the remaining lovers scrambled to safety.

    “I think we’ll miss them, Dotty.”

    “Yeah, Bill, we did think a lot alike.”

  8. “Biologists say they have a peripheral vision range somewhere between 250 to 270 degrees, to scan for predator movement at or just below the horizon” rattled Jane, smiling with and peered into her reliable Vortex Viper.

    Derek mumbled “Eh..” and kept looking through his camera.

    Jane was super excited for her break into the big league. She was down today at the Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve with the National Geographic .. A far cry from the state newspaper back in Huntsville, Alabama.

    “Do you think they can see us ?” asked Derek.

    “Deer sees 5 times better than we do” replied Jane nonchalantly .

    Derek and Jane were lying supine like a bunch of sinpers. Jane had charted the track of a wild cat across the grasslands into a water reservoir for a week. They were expecting a crossing today .

    Jane zoomed in on her Viper and noticed the Buck .

    “The fawns are busy grazing but the buck is looking at our direction. He is bobbing his head and moving it side to side . They do that when they are trying to make a 3D image of a predator.” said Jane, in a now hushed and concerned voice.

    “No way in hell they can make us out!” exclaimed Derek.

    “Exactly .. they have not”, said Jane nervously. Derek could see the fear in her eyes.

    “They made out their predator ! It’s only that they are not the Prey” .


    The slow deep growl was just a few feet away.

  9. My boyfriend insisted that my little brother should learn to hunt.

    “He’s almost eighteen and doesn’t know anything about guns,” Richard said.

    “He’s never been interested,” I replied. “David is a gentle soul.”

    But now, here we are at our rustic campsite, Richard and me with David and his girl, Sandy. Richard and David have been looking for deer for the past two days. We women are more than ready to return home to hot showers and soft beds. But Richard demands one more day of searching. David quietly acquiesces, although I feel sure that he is relieved about the lack of deer.

    Then we all see them across the field. The two bucks seem nervous and skittish, while the does graze calmly. Richard whispers to David to grab his rifle and they move quietly to the edge of the field. Sandy and I begin gathering our belongings and carrying them toward the car.

    Suddenly, a shot rings out, then another. All four deer leap, turn, and race toward the woods. Richard is screaming, “I told you to wait, Stupid!”

    I see David turn back toward us, a big grin across his face. I smile back at him and wonder why I ever let my boyfriend bully us into this excursion in the first place. But I know one thing. It will be the last trip I ever take with Richard.

  10. Lilly texted her dearest, Ronny. Sweet boy, immediately replied:
    ‘Wow, c u in an hour @ zoo-cafe’

    Parents were out for a day long party. At her comfy dressing table Lilly dabbed final spells of retouching on cheeks.

    Alas, SMS from elder sister Julie: ‘Lil, we’re coming @1pm. Stay home’

    ‘Oh no, what a mess!’ Lilly scratched on the mirror.
    What an embarrassment. Sixteen minutes passed undecided. At last she called sister back:
    — ‘Hello, you know, today we are attending a party. So …’
    — ‘Okay Lil, take care. We’ll go tomorrow’
    — ‘Thanks sis–Love you–Bye.’
    Disconnected. Called Ronny, ‘Hey Ron, please wait there, I’m just coming’
    Lilly locked the apartment and fumbled out.

    At the cafe:
    — ‘Lilly, I came an hour ago, as I had promised’
    — ‘Yah, I’m sorry’
    — ‘Your parents weren’t home. Why coming late then?’
    — ‘Sis wanted to visit today!’
    — ‘Really? Then how did you manage’
    — ‘Top secret!’

    ‘Not secret anymore, Lil’

    Lilly turned backwards, found his elder sis and his hubby in the adjacent table.

    — ‘So, this boy is your special one?’
    — ‘No-no, sis, nothing like what you–‘
    — ‘It’s okay baby. I won’t disclose’
    — ‘But sis, you are here?’
    — ‘Dad had called me. And you know, we both are animal lovers. That’s it’
    — ‘Hmm’
    — ‘Well, we’ll spend the day together. Right?’

    Julie went to buy four tickets.

  11. We stalked the family from the tree line a few meters away. Our Shawnee guide had tried to explain to us which to shoot and which to let go but I couldn’t remember as the blood got up. Martí was sure to remember. He’d later be able to recall all the details of a regular Shawnee hunt.
    Someone stepped on a twig and the parents were on alert. I carefully drew the bow hoping that I wouldn’t have to shoot yet. Martí appeared in the bush out of the corner of my eye.
    “So sorry,” he mouthed. Between the two of us, we’d make a fine hunter: stealthy and accurate but forgetful me versus smart but clumsy Martí. In a whisper without taking my gaze from the deer, “Which —?”
    The fawn nearest the parents looked up toward us.
    “The buck for now,” Martí whispered as he drew his bow.
    I drew in my breath and took aim. Martí fired first and the doe was off in a bound and a half. The fawns were up close behind. The buck hesitated just a moment.
    I let my arrow loose and it struck its target but the animal was off as fast as it could run. The guide let out a whoop and we were running to catch up.
    “Hope the VR time doesn’t run out yet,” shouted Martí. Perhaps the day would be fruitful after all.

  12. “Are we there yet?”

    Ray sighed. Little brothers were sooooo annoying. He had a hot date with Mimi Doe and was now stuck babysitting his younger brother, Fahso. His mother, Venus, told Ray if the two of them so much as set hoof outside of the woods, they’d be butchered.

    So Ray called Mimi, who was stuck with her younger sister, Lahtie Doe, for the evening. Fahso and Lahtie were the same age. “Why don’t we just double date?” Mimi suggested.

    Despite his mother’s threat, Ray tried to coax his brother to the clearing where he could meet Mimi and Fahso could meet Lahtie Doe. But as with all teenagers, Fahso couldn’t stop eating. When he wasn’t chewing, he would ask, “Are we there yet?”

    “Do you not see trees?” the very annoyed Ray asked. “Until we leave the woods, we’re not there. Stop asking. And stop eating so much, Fahso, or I’ll start calling you Fatso.”

    At the edge of the woods they saw the does, Ray’s Mimi and Fahso’s Lahtie Doe. They exchanged shy greetings.

    “If my parents find out we’re here she’ll kill us,” Ray whispered.

    Mimi nodded. “I told Lahtie no photos, and especially no selfies.”

    They decided to go to the watering hole where other young couples would be, but as they began to cross, Fahso couldn’t resist one more bite.

    Ray heard a shot—from a photographer, capturing the quartet. It was his mother. “This buck stops here,” he whispered. “I’m venison.”

  13. “Well! Get a load of that. They’re back again,” Buck shouted looking over the fence.

    Doe stretched her neck as far as she could, but couldn’t see what excited him.

    “They emptied the station wagon and set up a table right over there,” he continued.

    “Mommy, what’s going on,” Fawn cried?

    “Your Daddy thought they were coming to do some hunting,” she answered, “but it seems they have something else in mind. Get your brother and let’s take a closer look.” She nudged her with the tip of her nose.

    The dark haired man poked the plump woman. “See. I told you. They’re getting closer. Let’s get it set up.” They hurried setting the table with the enticements, artfully arranging the clover and beans over the oak and elm leaves and adorning them with acorns and cranberries. They broke an opening into the fence, climbed into their station wagon, kissed, waved goodbye, and drove away.

    Buck cautiously led his family to the table. They were amazed at the inviting spread before them. All their favorites. They eagerly nibbled and chewed, relishing every tasty bite. With table empty and stomachs full, they strolled off into the woods. A sheet of paper fluttered under an empty basket.

    The paper read: “Just in case you CAN read, this offering is our way of letting you know how grateful we are. By watching your beautiful way of life we decided not to get a divorce. Thanks.”

  14. It was late October when they appeared in the tall grass of the field beyond the yard’s edge for the last time. My wife and I loved watching the playfulness of the fawns and the doe’s protectiveness. We had been gifted with seeing them grow, lose their spots and turn into long legged teenagers. The little bucks would sprout their nubbins and the females, long sleek necks.

    Each evening we’d take our evening meal to the table near the window to watch and wait. Our double dates with the family of deer became ritual. If we missed one day, we’d feel the loss. The next day, we’d again wait expectantly and with anticipation. Like children awaiting Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, we’d wait. Our eyes gleaming yet straining as the sun sank lower. We were so afraid that we’d miss them, we avoided blinking.

    We knew that fall was arriving and the hunters would also. Oh, how we wished we could keep our deer family safe. I’d taken my share of venison over the years. Hunting was a family tradition, passed from generation to generation. I knew that wasn’t going to change even if I had. It was a rite of passage, to learn to hunt and provide for family, is the way of Man.

    So long friends, until spring .

  15. “Wow, those two bucks are exactly in step. How do they do that?”

    Martin shook his head. “Those aren’t bucks. The fawns suckled a moment ago.”

    “No way!” Tom squinted his eyes. “They have antlers.”

    “It’s rare, but not totally unheard of. Besides, there’s something else odd about those two. They move like they’re joined at the hip.”

    “Well maybe they are.”

    “Conjoined deer could never survive in the wild. They’d certainly never be able to reproduce.”

    “Why not?” said Tom. “Maybe one is a doe and the other a buck.”

    Martin rolled his eyes. “Now you’re just being ridiculous.”

    “I guess one lucky buck just got a two for one deal,” said Tom.

    “I bet the antlers helped them survive. Good defense. And one head can watch while the other eats.”

    Tom nodded. “Survival of the fittest is the rule of law out here.”


    “Humans,” said Nell. Her tail flickered in alarm. “Over there behind those bushes. Do you think it’s safe for the kids?”

    Nina sniffed the air and strained her eyes. “I don’t smell gunpowder. And they don’t seem to have weapons, only the strange things that make clicking noises.”

    “I don’t know how those creatures survive without hooves or antlers. They can’t even run fast.”

    “Or hear, or smell well.”

    “Do you think we should warn them?” said Nell.

    “No. If they don’t notice that grisly behind them they aren’t cut out for life in the woods. You know the rules, survival of the fittest.”

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