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.
11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Waiting for Santa”
“I simply don’t know what’s gotten into Barty. He’s been going to that door every day for the last week, standing for hours, as if he expects Santa himself to descend from the sky in a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer.”
“Nine tiny reindeer, Elise,” her husband quipped, trying to lift her spirits.
“Oh, Brian, you know what I mean. He misses Jimmy. This was always a special time of year for them. It was exactly ten years ago, on Christmas Day, that we brought Barty home. Remember?”
“I do. We found him in a shelter the day before Christmas, kept him at the Williams’ overnight, and then, on Christmas morning, picked him up and presented him to Jimmy.”
“The two of them bonded instantly. Where one went, the other followed, and it wasn’t always Jimmy in the lead. They were inseparable. I thought that dog’s little heart was going to break when Jimmy enlisted in the Army and went off to boot camp.”
“I know. He didn’t eat for a week. I thought he was going to jump out of his skin when Jimmy came home before being deployed to Iraq.”
“And then we went through it all again with Barty. And remember our anguish when we learned how Jimmy had been severely injured when that IED exploded under his HUMVEE outside Adhamiya?”
“Thank God he pulled through, Elise. Now, if only Santa delivers him home in time for Christmas.”
He’ll be here soon. I know he will.
He’s never disappointed me.
And I’ve always been good. I stay out of trouble. I’m always behaving and do as I’m told.
It’s just about time for him to arrive, I think. At least I hope so. It’s always so hard to wait.
When he comes, there’s always a treat or two. Something to look forward to — and I do. Always.
I’m nice and warm inside the house. The cold & snow outside — well, I like it right where I am. Warm. Safe. Comfortable.
Oh joy !! Here he comes NOW !!
Some people call him “Nick”, my owner.
I call him Santa. Everyday.
Oh, man…..look at this mess. It’s not my fault! Honest!
Everyone has been so busy lately doing weird things. Like putting that tree right in the middle of the living room. How was I to know the tree wasn’t for me? I saw it there, and I used it. What else did they expect? They didn’t have to whack me with that newspaper and call me a bad doggie.
All I was doing this time was looking for a little snack. That’s all. There was a big open bag sitting on top of the counter. It looked like a bag of doggie treats, and there was nobody around, so naturally I went for it. It turned out to not be treats at all. It was white powdery stuff. Tons of white powdery stuff.
How was I to know? All it was doing was checking it out. It tipped and went all over the place. Covering the floor and the countertops and the table, billowing up over everything like a huge cloud. It scared the life out of me, I tell you. I ran and hid. I could hear everyone yelling and screaming about the mess, so I thought I would just go outside for a bit until things cooled down.
That’s when I saw just how far that white powdery stuff had spread.
I’m really in for it now.
Ziggy stood by the door anxious to go outside. Once out, the little, white dog raced through the forest blanketed in snow to a bustling Main Street. The air was brimming with many enticing smells.
He found the back door of Angeline’s antique shop open. Although she was busy working on something at her bench, she quickly produced a biscuit from her pocket.
“Happy Christmas Eve, little fella. I am fixing a music box.” He watched raptly as she ran her hands over the box until it became engulfed in a glittery burst of swirling light. She smiled as a song began to play.
Later, he followed her to the tree lighting ceremony and could sense the group’s collective disappointment when it didn’t illuminate.
Ziggy nudged Angeline’s leg; he knew she could fix this too. She knelt down and whispered, “You need to create a distraction.”
Immediately, Ziggy yanked a toy from an unsuspecting girl. She squealed, “Stop, Ziggy! He stole my doll!”
He darted through the crowd, ignoring those calling his name and deftly outmaneuvering the hands reaching for him. Everything stopped when they heard a loud whoosh and saw the colorful lights now shining brightly from the tree. Ziggy wagged his tail happily when the crowd began to cheer with delight.
Angeline returned the absconded toy to the appreciative girl and snuck a treat to Ziggy.
Ziggy returned home and fell asleep by the fireplace while waiting patiently for Santa, dreaming of biscuits and his favorite meat pies.
Waiting for Santa
I am struggling to hang the bauble on the Christmas tree. I always struggle. But this year is worse.
It’s my Multiple Sclerosis, MS as people call it. The doctors are not hopeful. They never are with people like us. This year they are at the lowest ebb of hopeful. Almost hopeless.
So, this could be my last Christmas. But then again, I hear this story every year. Every year I reach towards the next Christmas. Every Christmas then becomes special. So far, so good. This year is special too.
More special, because my estranged dad, who left mum 15 years ago, is coming to visit. I have got used to his absence, but have never accepted it.
I remember the times I used to “pray” to Santa to bring me one thing or another. I wrote letters and I told my parents what I wrote. The next thing I knew, I found what I asked for under the Christmas tree. My dad played along with my illusion, long after I knew!
Now, Santa is coming back into town and it looks like our dog is expecting him too.
My MS and my expectant, tingling feeling of dad making his appearance again, makes me drop the next bauble.
‘When is he coming’, I ask for the thousandth time.
‘He should be here anytime now’, they say.
Just then, the phone rings.
‘Oh my God’, Mum screams.
She sobs and I drop another bauble. This one breaks.
Karen noticed her son and his dog staring out at the snow-covered lawn. She heard Jamie whisper to his pet, “I hope Santa can bring me a train.”
Karen slammed the cupboard door then jammed her fists into her thighs.
Jamie’s dad had left in another drunken rage almost a week ago. Usually, he returned in a day or two, contrite and crying. This time the argument stemmed from him quitting yet another job right before Christmas — with no food or money in the house.
Karen tousled her son’s hair and brushed a tear from her eye. Jamie wrapped his thin arms around her neck. “It’s OK, Mom.”
At that, the tears blurred her vision as she hugged her child tightly. Why had she inflicted so many years of living with an alcoholic father on him? It was time, time to stop waiting for a change, time to swallow her pride.
In her six years of marriage she had not once told her parents of her misery, not once asked for help.
She walks into the bedroom and picks up the phone. When the deep voice answers, she says, “Dad, remember that train set I used to have? Is it still in your attic?”
“I have to leave the door open or the dog goes crazy.”
“You should get rid of that dog. He bites.”
“He only bites you. Anyway, my wife loves that dog.”
“I think she loves the dog more than she loves you. Do we have time for one more drink?”
He pours two shots of Crème De Menthe which they down with gusto.
“Who’s playing Santa Claus this year?”
“I think it’s some kid from the 4-H club.”
“Didn’t you used to do it?”
“Long ago, before the accident.”
“How’s the leg?”
“You mean the stump? It aches.”
He takes another swig from the bottle of Crème de Menthe.
“Maybe you want to go easy on that.”
“I like it. It puts me in that holiday mood.”
“I think I hear singing.”
“Must be carolers. Santa’s on his way. Where did the dog go?”
“He took off down the road.”
He looks out the door.
“Want me to wheel you over to the door?”
“Nah, I’m good.”
“You going to put on pants?”
“Hand me that blamket.”
“What’s a blamket?”
“Blanket, dammit. You know what I mean.”
“Not me. Maybe the 4-H club will bring an action if you set there with no pants on.”
“I’ve got the blanket.”
“When’s your wife coming back?”
“Not any time soon. Been six months.”
“She left you the dog.”
The Christmas revelers arrive.
“Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas! Jesus, your dog bit me!”
“Sorry kid, have a drink.”
A little Jack Russell Terrier named Benji sat by the open door waiting for Papa to come home.
Mama worked in the kitchen preparing breakfast for Papa whom she knew would be home soon, occasionally glancing down at Benji with a smile.
Papa found Benji wandering the streets years ago rooting through garbage. Bringing him home to Mama, they cleaned him up, fed him, and gave him a name. From that moment on he was family.
As Mama finished setting the table for breakfast Benji began yipping with excitement! She wandered over to the door to see what the excitement was about. Looking to the sky above she saw eight majestic reindeer pulling Papa and his sleigh through the air.
Papa brought the sleigh to a gentle halt on the snowy plain next to the kitchen. Mama, Benji and a few Elves came out to greet him.
After breakfast Papa, Mama, and Benji ventured into the living room to warm themselves by the fire. Papa presented them with gifts he brought from far away.
Mama received a soft comfortable robe with matching slippers made by the finest tailors. She loved it.
Benji received a specially made rawhide bone stuffed with the best meat and cheeses from around the world.
As Benji gnawed on his bone Mama and Papa cuddled by the fire as Papa told stories of his night’s work. They were a small family but a happy one who enjoyed Christmas as much as any other.
It was a snowy winter morning, too, when it all began years ago. I remember how she giggled when she first saw me and oohed and aahed reaching under the Christmas tree and pressing my ribbon wrapped body to her cheek. Puppy love at first sight. She plunked me onto the piano and began playing Christmas Carols, ignoring a mistake here, a slur, there.
Through the years, at her twice a week practice, I’d sit beside her on the piano bench and revel in the music she played.
At her first recital, she walked onstage clutching me to her heart, sat me beside her, and began thrilling the audience with her bravura, senza misura brilliance. She stood, pressing me to her breast, and gave her six-count bow accepting the thunderous approval of her astonished listeners.
From then on it was performances around the world, country after country, year after year. Time marched on.
It was in a luxurious villa on Cap d’Antibes where she first began to feel off beat. She had just given a private performance for appreciative friends at a small sunset soiree. While sitting on the patio enjoying the soft Mediterranean breezes, I hopped onto her chaise and instantly knew, from her wan complexion, we had to get home to her doctor.
Hopeless, he confined her to bed. Sorrowful months passed.
As they lowered the casket’s lid, I turned for one last heartbreaking glimpse, then wandered out of our remarkable life into the lonely, funereal snow.
Sam the dog understood a lot. He knew the big fir tree in the house was for decorations, only.
He knew there were a lot of boxes covered in paper under the tree. Why he wasn’t sure, but they were there, not to be touched.
He knew there is someone named Santa who was supposed to come down the chimney and this is where he was confused: the house didn’t have a fireplace.
But all the humans, even those on television, kept referring to Santa Claus riding on a sleigh pulled by tiny reindeer. One of them even had a light bulb for the nose. THAT was what Sam had to see for himself.
He watched his family for clues. He noticed people went out and returned with packages.
So far as Sam could tell, no one used a window or came into the house by any route than the door. So Santa would have to do the same—and he always came with packages.
As preparations heated up, he could tell today was the day. He kept his eyes peeled on what his family would do, and every opportunity he got he ran to the door and waited.
There was no way Santa would get into this house without Sam seeing him!
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