Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Sunflower

sunflowers flash fiction writing 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, 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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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Sunflower”

  1. Devin and Janine laugh cheerfully as they skip out of the forest holding hands.

    Janine jerks to a sudden halt.

    “What’s the problem babe?” Devin asks, puzzled by her expression.

    “Sunflowers. . .” she says pointing.

    Devin turns to see. . .

    A field of beautiful sunflowers.

    “Yeah, so?” he replies.

    “I-I’ve heard stories. . . A hidden field of sunflowers. . . whe-where people go and never. . . return.”

    “Yeah I’ve heard the stories. They’re told to scare children, to keep them from wandering in the woods. They’re just stories. C’mon”

    Janine shakes her head. “No. . . I’m scared.”

    Not wanting to ruin the moment Devin says, “Wait! I’ll show you.”

    Quickly he runs into the field, jumping around playing with the flowers.

    “You see! Nothing,” he says with a smile.

    Extending his hand out to her, “See. It’s okay.”

    Janine gazes at the field then turns to Devin. Slowly she takes his hand and smiles, “Okay.”

    They run, laughing, into the field.

    Falling to the ground, rolling amongst the flowers, they begin kissing and fondling each other.

    Pollen fills the air, gently landing on them.

    They fall into a deep sleep.

    Suddenly roots burst from the ground wrapping around them.

    The ground opens, slowly consuming them. The earth quietly covers their bodies.

    A gentle breeze blows. . . . New beautiful sunflowers sprout, filling the patch of earth where the lovers once lay.

  2. “Hi, Dr. Colleen Harland. We’re grateful that you squeezed in a visit,” Grant said enthusiastically.

    “Thank you. I’m curious about the room you described in your message. You’ve had considerable success?”

    “Yes. Please put on the bee suit.”

    After covering up, they entered a massive warehouse space that contained five acres of bright yellow sunflowers. She scanned the surroundings, the ceiling had been painted to resemble a pristine blue sky. Simulated sunlight warmed the spacious area, and images of pine trees covered the walls.

    Dr. Harland followed Grant along a dirt path. “Here are the rows of hives. As you know, the bees almost had reached extinction before the Earth became enveloped in a thick smoggy blanket of pollution that made life outside untenable. That made it trickier for us to salvage the species. However, we’re pleased to report that after a five-year effort we have a thriving population. We’d like your endorsement to replicate this in different locations around the world. In a few years, we could have real honey back in stores.”

    “Impressive,” she murmured.

    As they walked back, she paused by one sunflower towering above the rest. “It’s lovely in here. Quite a reminder of how the Earth used to be. It’s tragic that there will be an upcoming generation of children that won’t know what it’s like to play outdoors and breathe in clean fresh air. I miss those clear sunny days.” She pulled off her glove and touched a velvety petal. “You have my endorsement.”

  3. Oddities had always intrigued Harrison. The latest to capture his attention was a field of sunflowers all the same height, with one single sunflower towering above the others. Why was this so? How had it happened that one lone sunflower out of thousands had grown to such a height? What was different about this one plant?

    Harrison secured the backing of scientists and horiculturists, then set out for the region where the sunflowers grew, armed with truckloads of measuring tools, DNA testing equipment, and recording instruments.

    First he interviewed the owners of the field. They had no clue why one sunflower was taller than the others. In fact, this was the first they had heard of it.

    He interviewed the owner of the fertilizer company and found no explanation there.

    A random sampling of plants brought to him for testing showed nothing unusual.

    Frustrated, Harrison finally visited the field. He hired a man to drive all the way around it. And he did not see a single tall sunflower.

    “What are you looking for?” the driver finally asked.

    “This.” Harrison showed his photograph of the lone sunflower.

    The driver laughed. “Oh, that. It went viral, but it’s not real. A high school kid faked it to illustrate a paper on gullibility. But I bet you knew that….”

    Harrison sank back in his seat. “Of course,” he mumbled. He realized he was no stranger to the greatest oddity of all, the human ability to believe almost anything.

  4. The shape shifting prisoner 128754 trying to escape killed the pilot and everyone else board the Transfalgamorkian prison transport. It crashed the transport on the nearest planet, earth. Crash landing in of all places a genetically modified field of identical sunflowers.

    As prisoner 128754 made its way through the field a guard combat ship passed over head hunting the shape shifter. The only problem for Thrall the pilot was how to find the shape shifter in this field of all identical sunflowers. It was literally like looking for a needle in a haystack only worse because the shape shifter was now disguised as one of the million sunflower plants in the field.

    As Thrall scanned the genetically identical plants in the field he worried that he would be unable to recapture the escaped prisoner. Then he spotted the fiend when the killer made a stupid mistake. Quickly, Thrall put his craft into a hyperdive and netted the escaped prisoner.

    The prisoner squirmed in the net, until finally shape shifting back into a Transfalgamorkian, “How did you ever catch me so fast you prison guard scumbag?” It demanded.

    Thrall laughed at how easy it was to capture the escaped prisoner. Especially, when he remembered all sunflowers face the bright earth sun and the escaped prisoner was the only sunflower that turned away from it.

  5. “What are you and Winnie thinking about Denise?”
    [No response.]
    “Denise, honey?”
    “We were just thinking how beautiful the forest is this morning, with all the trees, and grass, and wonderful fields of sunflowers around us.”
    “And the birds, too, sweetheart. And let’s not forget the animals,” he said, as a brave brown squirrel ventured down the trunk of a nearby oak, hoping for a handout.
    She giggled at the sight of the squirrel as he first took tentative steps down the trunk, stopped, and then, raced down to the foot of the tree. There, he paused, turned to sniff the air, and cautiously, in a crouch, like a tiger closing in on his prey, inched ever closer to where they sat, his eye on the prize: a luscious pecan reclining in the palm of her father’s right hand.
    In a flash the pecan and the squirrel disappeared back up the tree, the only sign they’d ever been there being the pecan dust filtering to the forest floor from the branch above them as the little fellow made short work of his treat.
    Several seconds passed before Denise spoke. “Can I ask you something, Daddy?”
    “Of course, darling. You know you can ask me anything.”
    “Can we start recycling today?”
    “Why do you ask?”
    “Because I want to help save the planet.”
    “And why do you want to do that?”
    “Because this is where I keep my stuff.”

  6. Detective Dawrder’s car sped down East Boulevard closing in on the thief who just robbed the Jewelry Exchange. They careened through the streets of Bizmark until they reached Highway 94, then looped to the right, heading east. She assumed he was pushing for Fargo, but after a while he suddenly swerved left and zoomed north.

    “Where the heck’s he going? I’m not going to let that sucker get away,” she cried out to no one.

    Another turn and she realized he was headed for Carrington, and one of those immense sunflower farms. The one hundred twenty-five mile chase lasted almost two hours.

    He crashed into a wall of sunflowers, leaped from his car, and disappeared into the maze of stalks.

    Dawrder unbuttoned her holster’s flap and climbed onto the hood of her car to see over the tops of the smiling sunflowers. One of them stood twice as tall as the others and seemed to be weaving side to side. She ran into the field and found the thief cringing against the swaying plant.

    ”Gotcha,” she smiled, pointing her gun and tossing handcuffs to him. “Put’em on.”

    “Howdja know?” he stammered. “Who are you?”

    “Yeah, creep. Don’t you watchTV? I’m one of those dedicated detectives who investigates criminals and turns ‘em over to the district attorney who prosecutes the offenders. We had you pegged for months.” She winked, and pulled him to his feet. “My name is Dawrder. Lauren Dawrder.”

  7. Trevor had planned this day for weeks. He wanted the perfect romantic spot. As they drove to the sunflower field, he touched the small box in his pocket.

    But when they pulled into the parking area, Trevor’s throat tightened. Instead of lovely golden flowers reflecting the afternoon sun, they saw drooping plants and wilted petals. Many had even been trampled by deer.

    They walked into the field, but Trevor had never felt so disappointed. So much for his romantic gesture. “Might as well go home,” he said. Melissa lingered in the field a few moments longer.

    Back in their tiny apartment, Trevor finally tells himself, “To hell with it.” He walks up behind Melissa and wraps his arms around her waist.

    As she turns to face him, Trevor drops to one knee, pulls the box from his pocket, and flips it open. “I wanted the day to be special,” he says. “But, will you?”

    Melissa smiles. “Of course, I will.” Then she withdraws a small baggie of sunflower seeds from her pocket. “I wanted to share something special with you, too.”

    “What are they for?” Trevor asks.

    “Our garden.”

    “There’s no space for a garden.”

    “Not here,” Melissa responds. “Granddad offered to help buy that house we’ve wanted.”

    Trevor leans against her legs. Melissa kisses the top of his head. It is a beautiful sunflower day, after all.

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