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.
13 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Dude”
A bell was ringing. That’s all she could remember before she succumbed to darkness. Later, she caught snippets of conversation around her, but couldn’t make sense of what she heard. The voices were angry, hysterical, defeated.
“…all that money…lost.”
She felt pressure on her head, but couldn’t move.
“She’s no good to us now.”
“Where do we go from here?”
Failure. Where had it all begun? She tried to think. A ring. A man offered her a ring. He was sweating. She was excited. With his help, this was a chance to get out of her circumstances.
“Is she alive?”
“What difference does it make?”
“…it was close.”
“Yeah, until the end.”
“She sure fooled us.”
“Can you beat that?”
“She was good…until then.”
Memories became clearer. A man’s ring. Lying on her back. Looking up at Dude’s black, rubber teeth. “…eight, nine, ten.” A reverberating bell sounded in her head again. As it got fainter, a few more words came through.
“She’s the lucky one.”
“Yeah, we have to face the commission.”
“They’re going to crucify us.”
“They’re not gonna believe we didn’t know.”
“…a woman in a man’s ring.”
by JP Marentay
The man looked around. Nobody.
“Psst. Hey. Dude. Up Here”
The man looked up. Nobody. Just that giraffe, chewing. He wonders why anyone would want to meet about a job at the zoo. Specifically this zoo, and not the nicer one uptown. Specifically this bench at this zoo. He began to think this was worse than odd. He began to think it was a joke. A cruel joke. He needed this money. He just kept looking up at the giraffe, tears forming in the corner of his eyes.
“Take a picture it’ll last longer. Maybe you don’t want this job”
That got his attention.. It was the giraffe. It was speaking to him.
“Look buddy, we got your number off Indeed. Maybe we read it wrong, you are looking for work, right?”
The man nodded, slowly.
“OK, well we need someone to advocate for us, speak for our needs, help us. You’ve got that advertising experience, right?”
The man nodded again
“Ok, so pay isn’t quite right for an exec, but it’s hard times everywhere. If you want the job, don’t say anything. There’s an envelope with your first check under the bench. We’ll send instructions by mail.”
The man reached down, grabbed the envelope and ran off.
Andrew and Hector came out from the shack. “That’s Number one thousand.. A couple of them are bound to tell, especially when the check bounces.” Andrew chuckled.
“Yeah,” answered Hector, “I think we’ve saved the zoo.”
I opened the mailbox and let out a gasp. It had come. It had finally come! I’d lost hope as one week passed, then two, then…
I just needed to rip it open, and I’d know. But I can’t, I reminded myself. The drawing had been of Dude, and I promised myself he’d be there when I opened it. It was my future in my hands, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. I’d wait.
I quickly checked the clock. 9:32. It opened in 28 minutes. Work started at 11:00… It’d be close. I ran to my car.
It was a twenty-minute drive to the zoo. At least, it usually was. I got there at 9:48. Flashing my pass, I parked as close as possible.
I nearly fell out of my car, but it didn’t matter. I ran through the zoo, following the signs to the giraffe exhibit.
“Hey, Lela!” Mark called as I hurried past him.
“Hi!” I yelled back. “I can’t stop. It came!”
I could hear him laughing behind me as I turned the corner. He knew who I was looking for.
“He’s waiting for you!” He yelled. “Good luck!”
I smiled to myself, not stopping.
As I turned the last corner, I was out of breath. But I was so close. I sprinted the last steps up the boardwalk.
“It came!” I yelled. And then I ripped open the letter.
We are pleased to inform you…’
I was in!
Hey, hey, guys! Can I have your attention for a minute?
I just want to remind all of you that it has been four years now since we assumed our present positions. Four long years… For some of us, most notably yours truly, those four years have been filled with almost unbearable stress, while others among us — I am not naming any names — have had what amounts to a long vacation free from care.
I know being the star attractions of a jungle park is not an easy job for any of us – constantly on the alert for visitors, ever ready to entertain them with cute or clever or scary tricks, but come on, Dude, four years, four long years of being Lookout, always with an eye on the front gate, not a moment for myself or the little woman. And don’t even get me started on what the little woman thinks of my job.
Seriously, we need to have a general election. I was hoping to get a sleeping-picturesquely-in-the-shade position. I would be good at that.
Yeah, I know I’m the tallest. And the handsomest? Who said that? You, Hyena? Well, thank you. That’s very nice of you to say so. You really think I’m the handsomest? Of all the animals? Even handsomer than the tigers?
I guess the first one our visitors see should be the handsomest….
Okay, I’ll keep on being Lookout, but only for another four years, and then that’s it.
Bloody death crouches behind him. He pauses, then decides he is safe. His failure is the lionesses’ success. Soon claws will tear him.
“Cut. Everyone break for lunch.”
“What? You thought that was real? Green screen work. I’m a giraffe, not an idiot. Dude.”
In the heart of the Serengeti a battle as old as time was being waged. Onlookers on safari watched as a pack of spotted hyenas attacked a giraffe.
“Dude, look at ya, look at ya!” said a scarred hyena, “you’ve got a long neck and skinny legs. I mean how do ya stay up?” The other hyenas laughed.
“Just what are ya, huh!?” said another hyena with a stub for a tail. “I mean dude, you’ve got spots like a cheetah and ya sort’a look like an overgrown zebra.” Another roar of laughter came from the others who circled the giraffe.
“And, and what’s the deal with those horns on your head?” a third hyena whose crest resembled a mohawk said. “Really dude, are they even horns? What are they for? At least the wildebeests use theirs!
“You’re just a bunch of thugs is what you are,” said the giraffe. “Why don’t you go pick on the lions? I’m sure they’ll have more to say.”
“Did you hear that fellas?” the scarred one said, “dude here called us thugs. I don’t know about the rest of yous, but I’m insulted. How ‘bout we show ‘em what we’re all about?” The others sneered and began nipping at the giraffe’s legs. The giraffe swung its club-like neck at scar face breaking his leg; mule kicked no tail breaking his ribs, and ran after mohawk.
The hyenas in retreat, the giraffe shouted, “Dudes, dudes, where ya going, huh!?”
Along with the birds in the treetops around him, he was the first to see the morning sunrise, and the last to see the sunset. Everyday, he saw breathtaking views of the Serengeti plains surrounding him. All he wanted were the sweet succulent leaves atop the nearest tree.
Late in the afternoon, he spot the poachers, knowing full well, they were here for the elephant and rhino horns, and not for him. However, he was the tallest and it was his duty to warn the others, so he did. He kept watch on the poachers as they made camp nearby.
He watched as Dobbs, the guide, drunkenly, teased Dude, “I’m telling you, these critters are almost as stupid as you are. We’ll have the lot shot and their ivory bagged before the wardens even know we’re here.”
Dude drunkenly protested, “Hey! What do you mean, stupid? I’m smarter then any of them critters, and I can prove it, too! Just wait until dawn, I’ll show you!” With that said Dude stormed off into their tent and passed out.
Dobbs stayed up drinking. Later in the moon light, he could just make out a dark undulating mass moving towards them, but he was to drunk and passed out, just before the stampede passed through their camp.
High in the tree tops the Giraffe knowing he’d done the right thing, happily chewed the moist green leaves, as he watched the hyenas tear apart the trampled remains of the poachers.
“Hey, dude, what’s up? Did April have the kid yet?”
Oliver stops munching on his acacia leaves and looks at his buddy. “Not yet, man.”
“Isn’t she, like, way overdue?”
“It’s not an exact science, you know,” answers Oliver. “But she is pretty nervous and upset about the audience.”
“You mean that camera they stuck in the birthing room?”
“Yeah, man. I guess there’s thousands watching her, every minute. It’s worse than paparazzi. She’s a mess.”
Suddenly a low, loud rumble emanates from April’s quarters. “Ollie,” she growls.
Oliver hurries toward her. “Is it starting?” he asks.
“Not yet,” April says. “But did you hear the news from Denver?”
“Kipele had a boy, named him Dobby.”
Oliver stops chewing his cud and tilts his head. “How? I mean, did you even know she was pregnant?”
“Nobody knew, Ollie. She kept it secret for 15 months! Imagine that,” says April. “And she’s not even naming the father.”
Then April moans as she feels a sharp kick in her side. She looks up at the camera in the corner. “I wish I’d been as smart as Kipele.”
Gee, fella. I didn’t mean to slam your head. Just wanted to knock that thing you were pointing at me out of your hands. With all those fancy attachments, thought your camera was some sort of poacher’s gun. Come on. Wake up!
Gigi, the giraffe, stretched over the wrought iron fence and began licking the face of the collapsed newspaper photographer. Her slobbering tongue wiped his cheeks.
Suddenly, she recognized him.
Wondering why he was being slapped with warm liver, he opened his eyes and gasped. Clutching his camera, he tried to back-slide away from the enormous tongue whipping in and out below Gigi’s spraying nostrils. The small group of zoo customers that gathered were laughing, poking each other, pointing at the frantic man and the adorable giraffe apologetically blinking her beautiful eyes.
“You okay, mister,” someone shouted. “Whatcha doin’?”
“Doing a story on Gigi’s life in the States,” he answered. “Several years ago, we found there were under 50 giraffes left in West Africa. We chose her to be sent into captivity to save her life.” He reached up and patted her nose.
If that jerk touches me one more time, I’ll make him regret it. Why don’t they leave me alone? Why am I in this prison. I want to go back to my life on the savanna. Live and die in peace, free, with family and friends.
Here comes that hand again. Okay. You asked for it, fella. Maybe this’ll get me back home.
“Dude, I’m telling you for the last time, they’re not steering devices!”
“Well, my sister said you let her ride you and she used your horns to turn you right and left!” the blond boy whined.
Chaucer sighed. “They’re not horns they’re called ossicones. Besides, I don’t give rides. I’m a giraffe, not a horse.”
Chaucer chewed his breakfast. The boy stuck out his lower lip. “She said you did! My mommy brought her to the zoo yesterday and she said she ‘drove the giraffe’. She told me all about it.”
“Look, dude, she was pulling your leg. There is no way she could have even reached my ossicones seated on my back. She would have to sit on the back of my neck and that would never happen.”
This kid just will not let up, Chaucer thought.
“Dude, I’m not an ox that can support the weight of a yoke on my neck let alone a gawking, squawking kid. Why do you think there’s a fence between us? No humans allowed beyond this point.”
“But she said!”
“I don’t care what she said, it never happened. And why didn’t you come yesterday with her and your mommy?”
“Zoos are for babies. They’re boring.”
Chaucer rolled his eyes. “Duuuuude, seriously, if that’s the case, why are you here now?”
The boy was silent.
Chaucer laughed. “Admit it, zoos are kinda cool …”
“They’re not for babies, are they?”
“Come on, dude—now, who’s your daddy?”
Title: See All
“I see it.”
“What do you see?”
“What you are looking for.”
“How do you know what I am looking for?”
“That is very obvious.”
“I can’t believe I am talking to a giraffe.”
“I can’t believe you are either.”
“You’re a turkey.”
“You’re not one to talk, and I am not a turkey.”
“Do you have a name?”
“You can call me Dude. What do they call you?”
“The tribe calls me OG.”
“Oh, I’ve heard stories about you.”
“You know the ones – you are bad luck, how none of the tribe will hunt with you, and some other ones that are funny.”
“Aren’t you afraid I could kill you?”
“No, not really.”
“Why is that?”
“Please…I heard you are not a great hunter. You’re not even carrying a weapon.”
“So, what am I looking for?”
“A better question is why are those lady hunters tracking you?”
“What lady hunters?”
“I can see them in the bushes over there.”
“Are they carrying spears?”
“No. I don’t think they want to kill you. They’re smiling.”
“How can you be sure?”
“They have what you lost.”
“What did I lose?”
“What you’re looking for!”
“Come on Dude…why are you laughing?”
“They just threw what you lost up in that tree. Look.”
“Why would they do that?”
“I think they want you to climb the tree to get it back.”
“I’ll just make another.”
“Really? That should add some funny stories about OG the naked hunter.”
As Giraffe looked down on the land. The land upon which was no sign of grass. The land on which was his friend Goat, who stood hungry and exhausted. Looking up to him for some leaves, some food that his friend could share with him.
As the Giraffe went for the first time and got some leaves. The goat expected the leaves, but the Giraffe stood there chewing with satisfaction. He went the second time and the Goat expected the same, but again the Giraffe chew and finished the leaves.After waiting for a couple of times, Goat with hunger in a low voice asked Giraffe for some leaves.
Giraffe said nothing and stood there chewing having forgotten about his friend.Goat thought to himself he might not have heard him, because of the low voice.The Goat before shouting saw some leaves on the ground; which had fallen while giraffe ate.
The Goat in his full might shouted, but Giraffe ignored. Goat after understanding the fact that his so-called-friend whom he had met a day earlier was selfish. Having realised that everyone was not to be trusted he left the area in despair.
Jeffery the giraffe stood under the tree where they told him to wait, thinking maybe he should leave, that maybe it was all okay.
But then someone ambled over to him. It was Doctor Orangutan dressed in a lab coat, with a stethoscope around his neck, sans pants.
The doctor looked down at a clipboard, then way up at Jeffrey. “So how can I help you?”
Jeffrey colored with embarrassment, as much as a giraffe can. “Well,” said Jeffrey, “I have to use the bathroom at night, a lot, and I’m afraid something’s wrong”.
The doctor took a pen from his coat pocket and said, “I understand, but that’s perfectly normal for a giraffe your age, what is it twenty?”
Jeffery nodded again. He was good at nodding. He took a deep breath and sighed heavily, feeling somewhat relieved.
The doctor scribbled something on the clipboard and put his pen back. “So for now I’ll examine you, then you’re off to the lab for a PSA test. I’ll schedule you for another exam in a few weeks, okay?”
Jeffery nodded but the thought of the examination made him nervous and embarrassed again.
The doctor took a latex glove from his pocket and snapped it over his right hand. Sensing Jeffrey’s anxiety, the doctor said, ”This will only take a moment.”
The doctor went behind Jeffrey. Jeffrey felt his heart speed up. The doctor moved Jeffrey’s tail.
Suddenly Jeffrey’s head snapped up and his jaw went crooked. He blurted out, “Duuuuuuuudde!!”
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