Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Battle Royal

snowball fight 1981adj 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, 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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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Battle Royal”

  1. “And you say this is the way you found them?”
    “Yep. Had us one battle royal last night . . . huge, and I mean HUGE snowball fight while clearing the driveway. I thought ole Jed and his son, Luke, were going to get the better of us. Man, those guys could put together snowballs and fire them off faster than an UZI on full-automatic. I mean, we had everything we could do to just to protect ourselves, much less make a few snowballs and get off some shots at them!”
    “So, what happened? They’re frozen. Frozen stiff. Appears you guys absolutely plastered Luke—look, his head is covered in ice. Did you knock him out or something? And Jed is still bent over with his hands in the snow, as if he’s making a snowball. God, did he suffer a heart attack? This doesn’t make any sense at all.”
    “I know. They were beating us so badly that we retreated to the garage, took off our parkas and boots, and went in for hot chocolate. John went upstairs and fell asleep, and I dropped on the couch to watch some television. That’s the last thing I remember until this morning, when we found them like this. Just unbelievable.”
    “Well, I guess you’d have to say: they won!”

  2. [With apologies to Kat. 😉 — Dale]

    “People are such idiots.” Detective Brad Wilson projected world-weariness with each word. He handed the photograph to Medical Examiner Shelia Fontaine. She’d done the exam while Wilson waited for the results. Now they loitered outside the exam room, blocking the sterile white hall. Not that anyone else was about. Most were taking a snow day.

    “A snowball fight of all things,” Wilson continued. “The lady who took this photo, what was her name, Rivers?” He pulled out a small notebook and consulted it. “Brooks. A neighbor. She said it was the snowball fight to end all snowball fights. Eleven teenagers ranging all over the neighborhood from noon until two. The deceased looked like he’d been spackled with five coats of the stuff by the time she saw him.”

    Fontaine handed the photograph back. “What’s your guess?” She loved to watch Wilson crawl out on a limb. He frequently made it onto surprisingly thin wood.

    But not this time. “Accidental death by snow. I wouldn’t dare speculate further. You tell me.”

    Oh, well. But, she consoled herself, this would still be fun. “Not frostbite.”


    “Nope. Doesn’t look like he inhaled the stuff and drowned in the meltwater, either.”

    “Okay. Which leaves what?”

    “Stomach contents suggest poison.”


    “I’d have another talk with that Brooks character,” Fontaine said with a smirk. “From what you’ve told me, our friend died a good hour before the snowballs flew!”

  3. Wendell Neeps preferred his snowmen naked. Clothed, they seemed threatening, brooding with menace. Unclad they were mere objects that aroused in him no enmity. If, however, he encountered any togged-out snowman, he attacked it with fury unabated.

    This dread of inanimate objects in clothes was not confined only to those made of snow. Wendell was forbidden access to the Crestview mall, being banned after an unfortunate mannequin incident.

    Neighbors on Oak Street in close proximity to the Neeps home understood. They never dressed a snowman, not even with a scarf or top hat. This made Christmas a depressing time for Billy Jarvis.
    Billy was born with fashion in his blood. To be forbidden to contribute his sartorial gifts to the decking of the holidays—well, it ruined his joy. He just had to do something to restore the balance of Christmas—and that meant dealing with Wendell Neeps.

    Late Christmas Eve, in defiance of the neighborhood agreement, Billy erected a “special” snowman right on the Neeps’s front lawn. Billy had dressed it to the nines. In the morning while unwrapping presents Wendell spied it. He charged from his front door and launched himself headlong at the offending figure.

    Billy had made his snowman with a secret—a core of ice. Wendell received a concussion and had to spend Christmas at the hospital where psychiatrists determined he was a danger and needed to be kept from harming himself and others.

    Billy celebrated by sewing clothes for every snowman in Crestview.

  4. Empty Rewards

    By Annette Rey

    “I have the most beautiful curly hair, Cora.”

    “Yes, you do, Princess Phyllis.”

    “And my father loves me.”

    “Mm-hmm, Princess.”

    “But my brother Phillip hates me. We look at each other and we release raging gargoyles upon one another.”

    “May I say, Princess, he loves you.”

    “Do maids know about love?”

    “Yes, Princess, we know love.”

    The door burst open and through it dashed the young Prince, his straight hair blowing behind his head like the wings of Mercury.

    “Come, Phyllie. Father is commanding.”


    “Children, I am impatient with your lack of effort to reduce your quarrels, so I have set up a challenge for you. You shall have the opportunity to pummel one another with all your energy. After the battle, I shall tell you the results.”

    A servant handed each child a royal purple pillow. They swatted one another furiously until they collapsed, exhausted.

    The King spoke, “The battle between royals is deemed a draw. You are both losers, no matter how hard you fought. Remember this lesson if you ever quarrel again.”

  5. The snowball smashed the side of my head sending me flying on the snow. It took me a while for my double-vision to recover. How could a simple snowball hurt so much? When I rose from the freezing snow, I noticed little specks of crimson blood staining the white dust.
    Bruno stood there and laughed at me. “Good for you, twerp!”
    “Did you put ice in there? What’s your problem, man? You could have killed me.”
    “Ice, no ice what’s the big deal? You fell because you’re weak.”
    And he pelted me with snowball after snowball. “Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop,” I shouted
    “STOP.” It wasn’t me that said the word, but it made the flurry of snow cease.
    Mister Johnson glared at Bruno. “You bullying Tim again? It’s Christmas dammit!”
    And Mister Johnson made snowball and began shooting an incessant cascade at Bruno.
    Miss Elysa asked Mister Johnson. “What’s happening?”
    Mister Johnson replied: “He’s been bothering Tim again.”
    Miss Elysa pursed her red lips. “Not on my watch!” And she joined Mister Johnson. Soon, the Browns and Kennedys did the same as and threw ball at Bruno in outrage.
    I never saw something like that in my whole life and only snapped out I realized my gaping mouth made my teeth painfully cold.
    I was making a ball of snow, when I saw a piece of Ice on the ground. I thought for a moment, then dropped the snowball and shouted. “Stop it everyone. He doesn’t merit this.”

  6. POW! A snowball hits me square in the face! The melting slush slides down my cheeks soaking into my fuzzy scarf, changing it from soft and warm to cold and soggy.

    A snowball in the face is part of the fun of a snowball fight, but what really irks me is person who threw it, Bobby Barns. God I hate that kid.

    He has a laugh that comes across as if he were saying, “Ha-Ha-Ha! I’m Bobby Barns and I’m awesome!”

    “HA-HA-HA! Wiener Wendell got one right in the kisser! How does feel wiener? HA-HA-HA!” Bobby shouts, pointing at me.

    Everyone laughs along with him.

    “SHUT YOUR FACE BOBBY!” I fire back with a snowball!

    Dodging it with ease, Bobby shoots back, “Ha! You suck wiener!”

    The battle resumes with everyone throwing snow at any and every open target.

    Ducking behind a parked car I begin crafting the perfect snowball. Making it bigger than normal. Packing it tight, making it hard as a rock. Sanding it smooth, giving it a perfect aerodynamic surface.

    Peeking over the car’s hood I see Bobby throwing snowballs everywhere. He’s in the open. I have a clear shot.

    Rising up, I draw back my arm and . . .

    “WENDELL!” a familiar voice yells.

    I see my mother shouting from our front door, “Dinner time!”

    “Okay Mom!” I respond when suddenly –

    POW! Another snowball hits me.

    “HA-HA-HA! Two in row wiener Wendell! You suck!” Bobby shouts with glee.

    God I hate him.

  7. A century after the end of the Great War, the great-great-grandchildren of the ruling houses decided to mark the occasion. Many of the royal families had been stripped of their powers and possessions and even their homelands. Some of the cousins lived in Great Britain but many opted for warmer climes in the passing decades.

    And with the announcement of the wedding engagement in one of the remaining ruling families, they decided to celebrate that and mark the war centennial at the same time. They agreed to meet in Switzerland.

    The Russians and Germans, and to some extent the English, were used to the cold and the snow. But the Italians and Greeks preferred the more Mediterranean climate.

    But old habits die hard, especially when there is a century-old grudge to settle. One cousin proposed a snowball fight, winner take all. Even though grown men, boys will be boys and all the cousins ran to get into their winter gear. No one asked what “all” the winner would be taking, but odds were it would be most of Europe.

    The warmer-blooded kin didn’t understand snowballs—burying people in the sand on a warm beach they could do, so they started by tackling the groom-to-be and burying him in the snowbank.

    The big brother must of necessity pick on the younger brother, so he took advantage of his plight and lobbed the first round, right in the face.

    Hence, the winter of 2017 hereafter became known as the “Battle Royal.

  8. The strategy took months to perfect – fly low – drop two snipers – assassinate. J­oe and I listened attentively as the officers explained the details, then, with a sharp salute, sent us on our mission.
    Yelling “Geronimo”, we leaped into the blinding snow storm. The blustering winds swept our parachutes off course. We missed our target of Hitler’s Eagle Nest.
    We landed in the Black Forest near a secluded cottage. A bearded old man recognized our uniforms, harnessed his panting Leonberger, and motioned us into his weathered cabin. He offered a steaming mug of potato soup from the kettle at the fireplace, then supplied blankets and motioned us to hide in his cellar.
    Next morning, Joe and I decided to drop the mission and head back home. We thought, after our feeble attempt, the enemy was alerted to possible attacks, so retreat would be wiser.
    We thanked our guardian angel, and cautiously headed for France’s border.
    It was a torturous journey. The snow swirled through the bending trees, whipping our weary bodies onward. We seemed to have lost our way. Joe stumbled and leaned against a supportive Pine. As we rested, a curious black and white badger crawled out of its tunnel. Grunting and screeching, it turned its long nose to the West. We followed its direction and instinctively realized it was pointing to France, just a short distance away. We nodded our appreciation and trudged on to safety, silently thanking man and beast for their inexplicable help.

  9. My grandsons are thrilled to become trapped by a huge snowstorm. Snow lies deeper than my waist. I’ve managed to shovel only one escape route to the street. Although the boys brought few extra clothes, I bundle them up and send them out to play. They climb the piles by the sidewalk and lumber through deep drifts.

    Soon the battle royal begins as they fire snowballs at each other. Dan begins building a fort. I return to my household chores.

    The door crashes open and Dan runs into the hallway with a look of terror on his face.

    “My tunnel collapsed,” he gasps. “Joey’s buried.”

    I rush outside to enormous mounds of snow and no sign of Joey. “Where?” I scream. Dan points toward the middle of the yard.

    I grab a shovel and dig. Behind me Dan whispers, “I told him not to crawl in.”

    I shout, “Just help me.”

    Time slows as we shift snow. Then I hit something more solid. Frantically, I scrape with my numbed hands. Joey lies face down in the soft snow.

    With strength I didn’t know I had, I carry his limp body inside. Dan stands quietly dripping on the kitchen floor. He mumbles, “I’m sorry, Grandma.”

    I cannot respond with my usual, “It’s OK.” I nearly drop Joey when I hear him gasp for air. I begin stripping his wet clothes and warming him before dialing 911.

    Finally, I turn to my tearful grandson and tell him, “It will be OK, Danny.”

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