Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Dome

gumbydome montreal 1994 flash fiction prompt copyright KSBrooks
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

All Indies Unlimited staff members, including the admins, are volunteers who work for free. If you enjoy what you read here - all for free - please share with your friends, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don't know how to thank us for all this great, free content - feel free to make a donation! Thanks for being here.

14 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Dome”

  1. Woman’s Work
    By Annette Rey

    The exhausting night was almost over. She looked forward to that as she walked the cliff edge, soothed by the rhythmic song of the waves caressing the shoreline. The red glow of sunrise peeked above the ocean, how far in the distance? Nature always enthralled her, and she needed that connection this morning.

    Her eyes passed one more time over the scene before turning her back on the water. Wait. Something caught her eye, something glinting red, rolling with each wave as it tried to beach itself. Rolling in, rolling out, rolling in. The object mesmerized her.

    Casting her thoughts into the past, she remembered those childhood puzzles. What doesn’t fit in this picture? This glowing damned thing didn’t belong. She sat at the cliff’s edge, in utter defeat, and watched as the orb changed colors with the hue of the sun’s rays, now golden reflections, as if sending SOS signals, notice me!

    Tourist season was over, who’s to see? She sat a long time contemplating what this could mean to her. Of course, she had to take action, but the night’s work had taken a heavy toll on her, mentally and physically.

    Reluctantly, she dragged herself back to the cove, retrieved her boat, and powered her way to the beach below her cliffs, target: golden orb.

    “This time, you’ll sink,” she said to the ugly, dome head of her abuser.

  2. Trabajo

    The sound of rain against the corrugated iron roof roused him before the alarm sounded. He rose quietly, hoping not to wake his mother or the other children. At the kitchen sink, he washed his face, his lean brown body, in rusty water and old soap. You can’t stink, they had warned him.

    He had one pair of decent pants and two good shirts. He chose the darker of the two shirts. His sweater had a tear in one sleeve, but there was no hiding it. When dressed, he clipped the badge onto to the sweater. “Angel”, it read simply, as if disinterested in him beyond that.

    His shoes were cheap; his feet were soaked to the bone by the time he had walked to the bus station, but he found a seat this day. During the hour ride, he dozed off and on, his hand in his pocket gripped firmly on his wallet.

    Arriving, he sprinted through the crowds. The rain had eased to a drizzle. Turning the final corner, he paused briefly. The sight always amazed him: gleaming, soaring buildings; immaculate glass reflecting an unrelenting confidence. This world was a foreign place.

    The closer he came to his building , the more fashionable the crowds grew. He was afraid they would see the tear in his sweater. He darted around them, among them and their dogs, like a pesky fly. He dared not be late. There were floors to mop.

  3. That Day
    By JPMarentay

    I remember the day she arrived. I remember watching for the ship to pull in. Sitting there on that March day, with the fog rolling in and the rain pouring down. Just waiting for the love of my life to arrive. Minutes stretching into hours, I waited.

    A true internet love story, living lives separated by light years, baring our souls through the buffer of a BBS-197. We claimed our love was purer, more true than those distracted by the physical form. We got to know each other.

    Our pieces fit. We ended each other’s sentences and made each other laugh. We had our own ‘in’ jokes. Shared stories.

    So we took the next step and exchanged pictures. She was beautiful. She said she thought I was cute. We took 3d scans and got to know the curves and crevices of each other, getting intimate with simulacrum where we imagined the souls of our lovers would reside.

    In tune, in touch, in love. I asked her to marry me in the old fashioned ‘death do you part’ way. .

    So she came. We went from the port to the justice. Swore the contract. A deputy threw rice.

    I took her home. We made love, but something was off. She didn’t smell right, didn’t taste right. She wasn’t as responsive as she was in my head. I wasn’t as smart or clever as she thought. Nothing was right. We didn’t fit.

    It would have been better for her not to have come.

  4. Brand New World

    He was an eccentric man, appearing at a whim, large, intimidating, but welcoming before the grayness. I always waited, – I had no choice – in an excited nervousness, hoping to grab his attention this time; but never. He ignored me ever since putting me in my place, – what would change now? And yet, I continued hoping vainly for him to acquiesce me.

    Days would pass before I would see him again; and I became desperate. When he came, he was as a beacon, turning his light on for me, and I was glad for a time. But it was not enough, no, not in this empty world of mine. Oh! the loneliness; the bleakness of it all! The nights that ensued were too much for me to bear, and yet – I could not open my mouth to tell him how I needed him so.

    Then, it started. His visitations became more frequent, the blandness now becoming greener; the turf first, and then the trees, and I rejoiced. He worked incessantly now, and I would watch – my gaze fixed perpetually upon him. More construction took place nearby; roads and structures, and far off in the horizon, a downtown, and at long last – people! yes people, made their way to that structure of exquisite build.

    Surely, he would not forget me – and he hadn’t. To my right, now stood a figurine of a woman, who looked on as I did at the miniature world of his making, underneath the dome.

  5. The military tracked the saucer to its landing site not far from Los Alamos. Their troops set up a perimeter 8 clicks away from the massive alien craft. Once the site was secure they sent in the scientists.

    Using drones, the Military watched and listened as Professor Rhineheart and his team approached one of the domed sides of the alien craft. Rhineheart questioned the military over the radio, “You’re sure it has only been here forty-eight hours? … And it has doubled in size? Over.”

    “Yes sir, and there are two domes and a conning tower, now. Over”

    Rhineheart thought about this for a moment, then reached out and touched the side of the structure. It shivered and a ripple emanated out from that spot across its surface, The wall was somewhat translucent appearing rubbery and not solid, encasing some sort of fluid.

    He pondered this, then pressed his visor against the side of the wall trying to see inside. He could just make out some sort of movement. “Hmm! These walls are like a cell membrane. Amazing! I see what looks like prometaphase, now metaphase.”

    He stood there totally enthralled, as the dome walls started to bulge and stretch. His last words were, ” Telophase? No! No! Make that Cytokinesis? It’s Mitosis … Run!”

    They didn’t make it back to their vehicles in time. The giant alien cells divided again, and absorbed them and everything else within two clicks.

    The military responded, and the nuclear clean up continues to this day.

  6. I awoke on a grassy hill looking over a deserted city. I lifted my hand and felt behind me, shivering as I found the hard, smooth surface of the dome.

    I noticed two things nearby: a laser knife, marvelously sharp, and a note. The note said, kill only the largest.

    Taking the knife I ran downhill towards the nearest building, some distance away. About halfway there I ran across a motorway covered in water. By the time I reached the building the water was to my knees. I climbed up to a landing, ringed with flags, panting with exertion.

    The water was rising from some unknown source, bringing with it baby alligators. I took the knife and easily cut two wooden flagpoles. Discarding the flags and rope I sharpened the ends to make spears.

    I picked up a baby gator. It squeaked as it squirmed.

    Moments later, it seemed like a giant log rushed the landing, but then the log had teeth, with massive jaws snapping close to my body.

    I fell back hurling the baby into the jaws. Rather than bite it, the monster gently placed it in the water.

    I understood, and abandoning the spears I took the rope, running through the building.

    On the other side I picked up another baby gator, tied it up, and hid in the water some distance away. As the monster sped by I lurched under it to gut it.

    The dead beast rolled over, and its body released a million fireflies.

  7. The entry point of the dome which had stairs, was where I was seated. As my mum forced me out of my bed. I had a big bulging belly, which could be used as a table at times to rest my elbows.
    As I ran along the path which gave a breath of fresh air to my smoke filled lungs. The path full of trees, concrete road and grasses at places to relax, if tired.
    Today, I ran with my full potential and reached according to plan underneath the dome. I sat there to catch my breath. I realised the havoc, which is created during the day. As parking valets, eagerly waiting their turn to park the high-end cars of rich people.
    Inside the Dome was a huge casino, with people spending excessively,
    and enjoying their lavish life. A life I dreamt off.

    As, I was thinking, I heard the sound of a car coming towards me. It was the guard. He had come to open the dome. I got up ran towards my home and completed my daily life of struggle.

  8. Trevor steadies himself on the motorcycle. Feet on the ground, hands tightly squeezing the handlebars. ~Relax~. He loosens his grip. He flips the switch on the left handle bar, feeling the wheels retract and the thrusters engage. ~Why hover bikes? I would win if we kept the wheels.~

    Announcement: “The race is to the dome. You’ll recognize the finish line. Winner takes all.”

    The buzzer sounds. The shield in front of the racers dissipates. They take off in a cloud of smoke.

    The first casualty fell off his bike on a sharp turn. As his body flew into the air he vaporized. It would have been kinder to let him hit the ground. The next one crashed into a building. She vaporized on impact. There’s a high price for losing.

    One by one the competition falls away. As Trevor rounds the final corner he sees the dome. He weaves through the trees and comes to an opening. It’s a straight shot now. He takes a glance around to see a few others emerge. He accelerates as the dome grows larger.

    As he pulls ahead flashes of light catch his eye from the top of the dome. The flashes aren’t random…a definite pattern… the finish line.

    A small hatch opens near the top…the source of the light. As he heads towards the hatch, another racer pulls next to him… his only remaining competition. The hatch is small, there’s only room for one.

  9. Home Sweet Home

    “Blue Scout, Control here,” declared the disembodied voice in my helmet. Who else would it be, I thought, but didn’t say. Instead I responded as regulations required with a crisp,
    “Control, Blue Scout, Copy.”
    “That’s far enough Kenra. We have you on monitor.”
    “Copy, Control.”
    I turned back and looked toward the ship. The bridge tower soared above the dish-shaped body of the craft we called home. Home, small as it was, dwarfed a structure that looked like a tiny terrestrial bound cousin to our ship. Supposedly the natives had constructed it as a place for competitions of some sort. It was hard to imagine a species so tiny could build anything more than a nest. Data indicated thousands of them would fit in that building.
    Through the visor of my helmet the poisonous atmosphere looked harmless enough, though the mist would dissolve me in a matter of minutes. I shuddered a little. Their little trails were wet with pure dihydrogen monoxide. Before he died, one of our prisoners told us they actually drank the stuff!
    A soft chime reminded me that I was at 25% level on my atmospheric tank. Time to head back.
    “Dad, er… Control”, I am returning to base.”
    “Copy Kenra. See you soon.”
    OK, so it wasn’t a big expedition. Just a short voyage to wipe out a nest of these disgusting creatures. Still, it was my first mission! Jogging, my five legs made fast work of the trip back to our ship. Home Sweet Home.

  10. The rain fell steadily, but did nothing to cool the swampy heat of the day. He stood in the endless line, outside the Evac Center, aka “The Dome”, unable to see either the beginning of the line or its end.

    “If there was any other way…” Joe thought, but there wasn’t. He had only the clothes he wore. Everything he owned, swept away in the hurricane. Nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep… Losing control was a strange feeling, foreign to him.

    At last he reached the head of the line. Joe handed his completed forms to the young woman behind the folding table that served as her desk.

    “Own or rent?” the woman asked.

    “Own,” Joe replied.

    “And your mortgage?”

    “No mortgage. I own the house.”

    The woman sighed heavily. “When you buy a house, you have a mortgage.”

    “I told you, I own the house.”

    “If that is your attitude, I cannot help you. Next in line, please!”

    “But you don’t understand! I am not trying to be…”


    The man behind Joe pushed him. “Move it, Buddy.”

    Joe whirled and punched the man. Just hard enough.

    Three days later he was released from prison, clean and dry, with bus fare out of the city and a stomach full of food. The bus passed the Dome, still teeming with refugees. He could smell it from a block away, and he smiled.

    Not the best solution maybe, but his solution. He was in control again.

  11. No one heard or saw it land. It just appeared that Saturday morning. It had to be from outer space. The parking lot was filled with cars, but no people could be seen.

    Watson, my miniature Beagle, startled me with a rumbling growl as we inched closer to the glowing form. Before I could turn, I was wrapped up and carried away by giggling sounds. I couldn’t break free.

    Suddenly, we stopped. I was stood upright and uncloaked. Watson, lying at me feet, was happily chomping on what looked like a hot dog.

    Surrounded by an Aurora Borealis of wiggling, mumbling forms, one hovered close, and whispered, “I’m the only one who speaks your tongue. We’ve come from Marvennepsat to test the opening of our new fast food enterprise that’s sweeping the cosmos. We thought we’d try Earth as our newest location.” It engulfed my shoulders and nudged me towards a counter. “Let us know if you think we’ll make it here. Order anything you like from the menu. It’s on the house,” it offered, and disappeared into the frolicking clique.

    The menu listed “Sauted Thumbs, ”Par-boiled Toes,” “Pickled Earlobes,” and “Chocolate Covered Puppy Dog Tails.” I became terrified realizing they came to Earth just to stock their larders.

    Reaching down, I yanked Watson away from what looked like a big “sausage” from Heaven knows who or where, and raced to my pickup to escape to the temporary safety of home.

  12. Don had been standing at his spacious office window beaming at his brainchild, safely nestled in the new dome across the street, when Sandy burst through the door.

    “Mr. Langston…” Sandy sputtered breathlessly.

    “What is it Sandy?” Don said, without turning.

    “There’s been a terrible accident sir.”

    “Where?!?” Don said, spinning around slowly. “Here?” He hissed, trying to quell the suspicion brewing inside him.

    “No sir…in the dome…”

    “The machine…” Don began, his voice trailing off into an incoherent whisper. The dome had been built with the sole intent of housing the world’s first human cloning laboratory. Today was its grand opening. Don felt dizzy. He’d trudged through endless legal battles and poured his life savings and two marriages into this. This was supposed to have yanked him out of obscurity. This would have made him a God.

    “The machine works…” Sandy said, as if privy to Don’s thoughts.

    “Then…?” Don said, his eyes flaring at Sandy.

    “When John, our first subject’s clone was “born”, he quickly demonstrated a far superior understanding than John…he even, rather calmly, accepted his nature.” Sandy paused, feeling for the right words. “John however didn’t. He tried to strike it, but underestimated that it also had a far superior strength than him…just one blow to the head was all it took.”

    “The press…” Don whispered. “Did they get a whiff of this?”

    “No sir.”

    Don turned back to the dome. “I hope Adam’s ready to be the world’s first clone.”

  13. When I wake up, Mazie has already left our level for her Dome maintenance job. I burrow under the covers and call to home-net. “Scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee, please.” By the time I dress, breakfast will be on the table.

    I hum a pleasant tune as I consider what canvas I will start today. Perhaps the vid-wall will inspire me with beautiful visions of a tree-lined soccer field inundated by laughing children. As I enter the great room, however, I am shocked by an enormous blue wall, covered with one word – “ERROR”.

    I buzz Mazie’s comm. She responds quickly. “I know, Mom. The whole Dome system is infected and I’m tracing the hacks now. I should be back to reconfigure our vid-wall in a few hours. Please be patient.”

    A few hours? I’m not the Luddite Mazie believes. I can reboot our personal devices.

    When I enter our code and scan my retina, the blue dissolves. Now I see children playing on a colorful hill. But a closer view reveals the hill to be mounds of ugly trash – discarded appliances, cardboard boxes, and household garbage. And the children are filling bags with junk.

    This is disgusting. Just before I gag, Mazie enters and sees the horrible wall. She says, “Mom, I asked you to wait for me.”

    “Why would you own a program of such despicable filth?” I ask.

    Mazie shakes her head. “The vid-wall is shut down,” she answers. “You’re looking through clear glass at the OUTSIDE.”

  14. A first trip to a new locale is always exciting—an opportunity to see and learn things. Susan, Mary, and Fran always began a trip with a sight-seeing tour.

    The sky was overcast and the ground was wet. It had rained overnight and there was more on the way. Fran sighed. This happened on their trip to Chicago when they went to the observatories atop the John Hancock Building and the Willis Tower. This happened in New York at the Empire State Building and the crown of the Statue of Liberty. This happened in Seattle at the Space Needle. They rarely observed anything in observatories.

    Today was no exception. They entered the observatory with their tour group and their guide directed their attention to the northeast. The nation’s prime minister was arriving later for a large gala, held inside the white dome located near the Olympic stadium. They could clearly see the towering structure designed to house the Olympic flame. All smiled at the memories of seeing that event.

    Small groups gathered around telescopes for a closer view: the brown hangar where the limousines would park, the white-domed structure for the actual event, the Olympic Stadium. Susan and Fran noted various details, but Mary was quiet. “Do you see the dome?” Fran asked.

    “All I see is gray. I don’t see brown or white or anything.”

    Fran and Susan looked at each other and then at Mary and the telescope, pointed up, between them. Fran pushed it down.


Comments are closed.