Stacie Haas Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Stacie Haas is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.)

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:


riders flashfiction prompt copyright KS Brooks theodore roosevelt national park north dakota june 2001
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by Stacie Haas

The trail was cold, colder than the ice in Dagger’s heart. He persisted in leading his horse up the ridges and through the valleys. The posse followed, their horses exhausted by the four-day search. They blew hot breath through flaring nostrils, a kind of quiet protest. The riders didn’t even have that. Shorty, normally the voice of Dagger’s conscience, had already had his head chewed off for suggesting a short rest. No one else dared protest.

What were they searching for exactly? An unnaturally broken branch or some clue like an article of the lady’s clothing or a whiff of her perfume? A chill or other unexplainable feeling as they passed through a certain place? Shorty figured they’d find her body before anything else.

Dagger had a reputation for wooing the ladies—and for scaring them off. What happened to Miss Rebecca was a strong case in both ways. She fell hard and ran away fast. But Dagger had never searched for one before. He had never neglected his horses or men in pursuit of a woman.

Dagger’s eyes were fixed forward. Rebecca’s sweet nothings had warmed his bed and his blood until she muttered her final sentence. “Callie’s at the willow tree.”

Callie had been the first woman to love and leave him. She promised that, one day, she’d get word to him on how to find her. Dagger didn’t know where the willow tree was, but no matter what else he did, he was getting his mama back.

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.