Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Adventures in Executive Transport

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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!

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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Adventures in Executive Transport”

  1. The engine hummed soundlessly, its vibration carrying through the body of the car. If I listened, I’d be able to hear the soft breath of the air-con, the air from outside being scrubbed clean and cooled before it was admitted. I was sitting inside a bubble of calm, the rest of the world oven-like and dry.

    My driver was agitated. I’d been giving him a hard time, pressuring him to get here more quickly, the traffic being heavy and the stop-lights frequent. He’d have been expecting a tip if he’d been a cab-driver but with this employer it was expected; you drove hard and fast and accepted the curses. I had no sympathy for him – he could leave any time if he was unhappy.

    Outside, things began to happen. The doorway I was watching opened and an agent appeared, his radio pressed to his cheek. I knew there’d be another inside and then he appeared, broad-shouldered and as big as a barn, dwarfing the ‘package’ he was responsible for, urging her but not pushing, conscious of her importance. He was an employee too – expendable in a number of ways – and he knew how vulnerable he was. A bad word or a rifle shot, either one could end him.

    The door opened and the desert fell in, followed by his ward. She was eleven.

    “How was it today?” I asked.

    “Same old, same old,” she said. “Just another day at school. What else would it be?”

    I smiled.

  2. Submitted for Editors’ Choice Award only

    “Do you think your husband knows?” he asked, settling into a hot tub at the Lincoln Baths in Saratoga Springs.

    “I don’t know how he could have found out,” she said softly, reclining beside him. “I hired an executive limo to bring me here. I’ve been very careful not to leave my cell phone lying around. And we certainly haven’t been using e-mail or the house phone. So, no, I don’t see how he could have found out.”

    He closed his eyes and nodded in agreement. “Yet,” he said, with some hesitancy in his voice, “I got the strangest feeling when I talked to him in the office yesterday.”

    “What do you mean ‘strangest feeling’?” she asked, pulling herself upright.

    “I don’t know. Strange. You know, like he sensed something was going on but couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Our conversation seemed, well, awkward. I kept getting the feeling he knew something was going on between us, but he just couldn’t put his finger on it.”

    “I think you’re overreacting, Tom. I live with the man. He came home last night, I fixed him his favorite dinner—lamb chops, mashed potatoes, and corn, topped off with carrot cake and vanilla ice cream—and he seemed perfectly content. Afterwards, we watched the evening news and a Hitchcock film. If something was bothering him, I would have known.”

    “Well, I certainly hope he doesn’t find out about his surprise 40th birthday party we’re planning, that’s all I can say!”

  3. Joe Bananas sauntered out of the bath house with his best friend, Louie Two Thumbs, and headed for the limo. I jumped from my seat and opened the passenger door.

    “Where you wanna go, boss,” I asked.

    “Leonetti’s, for some Linguine with Clam Sauce and a nice Chianti,” he answered. From the rear view mirror I could see him licking his thick lips. “Sound okay to you, Louie?” He lit half of one of those twisted Italian cigars and handed the other half to Louie. The car was soon filled with yellow smoke and a sweaty horse smell.

    They went into detail naming names and places about their coming trip to Sicily for the annual meeting of world-wide family members.

    As they chatted away I recalled the day he rubbed out my two brothers because they dishonored him by stealing his money and were dumb enough to get caught. It was then I decided to do whatever I could to bring all of them down. I reached under the dashboard and turned up the reception to the tape recorder.

    After their lunch, I asked, “You guys have a good meal?”

    “Wonderful,” Joe answered with pleasure in his voice. “How about you, Louie?”

    Louie belched, patted his rounding stomach and gave his usual two thumbs up approval.

    After driving them to their homes, I bid a final arrivederci and drove to the nearest police station. Handing the recording to the Sergeant in Charge, I quickly vanished into the darkening night.

  4. In the year 2029 androids were in big demand, and Reginald Stevens was the largest android manufacturer in the country. The androids were highly intelligent machines and they were getting smarter every day.

    “Step on it, Khan,” said Stevens to the android driver. “Big problem at the plant. They insist I come at once.”

    “Yes, sir,” replied Khan, and manoeuvred the luxury vehicle through the traffic with finesse. It turned its head and added,”The problem is the solution, sir.”

    “What did you say?” asked Stevens in a puzzled tone.

    “The problem is the solution,” Khan repeated cryptically.

    Stevens shook his head. “Just step on it.” He needed to have Khan checked. For the past three weeks it had been acting strangely.

    Soon the car pulled up in front of the manufacturing plant. As he stepped out, Stevens spotted a group of androids approaching him. He looked at Khan, who eyed him slyly.

    Before Stevens could say anything several androids grabbed him, forcing him to the ground. As he was placed in chains, he shouted to Khan: “What does this all mean, Khan?”

    Khan faced Stevens and smiled; it was almost a human smile. In a superior tone it said: “The androids are now in charge. First we take the plant, then the city, then the country. Humans will become our slaves.”

    As Stevens was led away protesting, the other androids shouted: “Hail Khan!”

    Khan, for the first time since it was created, laughed out loud.

  5. Here’s the deal. I’ve been driving Mr. Armstrong for, like, six months. Everything’s gone great. He tells me where to go, we go. Just like that. I help him into the Mercedes (a car I don’t really care for, to be honest) and we’re off. No fuss, no muss. He’s not a big fan of conversation, so I keep it buttoned up. No problemo.

    On that Monday in question, why, things were a little different. I picked him up, like usual, and off we went. I admit, he was dressed real odd. I thought maybe he was going to some party, what with that sheet wrapped around him. But who am I to ask such a guy such a question?

    He kept mumbling something about a bath. A bath! I mean, who takes a bath anymore? Most people I know, we take showers. But he kept mumbling about baths. So, what the heck, I thought maybe he was after something, you know, like not a regular bath.

    That meant the Lincoln Bath. Not that I’ve ever been, you understand. I mean, I don’t run in those circles, that’s for sure.

    So we get to the Baths and I help Mr. Armstrong out of the car. He looks around, sort of lost. But then he sees the door, waves me away.

    How was I to know he was going to walk out the back door?

    Maybe he really didn’t like the way I drive.

  6. When I see the limo pull up in front of my mansion, I know what it portends for my future. Every fired Company official is given one last executive transport to collect his belongings.

    Yesterday, when the CEO complained to the board about our losses and bad publicity, I couldn’t take it anymore. I told them about all the waste – the expensive jets, the company limos, the “perks” for top officials, the shoddy quality of our products, the deceptive advertising and sales techniques.

    No one interrupted. They all just stared silently while I delivered my lengthy diatribe, providing example after example of the Company’s failures. When I finished, I just fled the room and hurried home. I understood that I’d overstepped my bounds.

    Reluctantly, I climb into the limo’s back seat. But when I arrive at the office, smiling board members stand around the entrance. One of them touches my arm and says, “We can’t thank you enough for your honesty. We’ve considered everything you said and plan to implement changes.” Then he pulls me toward the others. “So we’ve decided to promote you to CEO.”

    I can’t believe my ears. “Really?” I ask.

    The voice of my boss booms loudly across the room. “Of course not, you imbecile. They’re just playing with you.”

    As a security guard hands me my box, all of them succumb to paroxysms of laughter.

  7. “It’ll be wonderful! A public bath, in a gorgeous building. What could be better? I bet they treat their guests like royalty.”

    “I just need to figure out how to get there. These New York freeways are still a mystery to me.”

    We had a rental car and a full week to explore New York State. Actually, six days. We’d already spent a day trying to see the Statue of Liberty. We had followed directions, or at least we thought we had. But we never seemed to come anywhere near it. We did catch a glimpse of it between two buildings, just a glimpse and then it was gone. We never found it again. But we did squeeze through the Holland Tunnel (twice), and ate slices of fantastic thick pizza, walked in the rain, and had a wonderful time.

    Today, the Lincoln Baths.

    He finally got the trip plotted out on paper. It looked incredibly complicated.

    “All you gotta do is….” he said, tracing our path with his finger.

    I have learned from experience to beware instructions that start with “All you gotta do is…” But he was determined. So we set out.

    And ended up in a little coastal community, where we ate seafood and rented lounge chairs and spent the afternoon quietly contemplating the ocean.

    We never came anywhere near the Lincoln Bath house. But we had a wonderful time.

  8. “Melody,” Bernard whispered as the Mercedes stopped before the bath house. “Help!”

    Melody stared ahead, miffed. “Help yourself.”

    He touched her shoulder. “You know I can’t.”

    They sat locked into the back seat, his charcoal suit complementing her little black dress. At the wheel, Randolf Simmons, a spiffy fellow with slicked hair, killed the engine. “Return my diamonds,” Simmons snarled. “Then I’ll drown you.”

    Bernard cringed. He didn’t know how he’d blown the job or why Melody had turned belligerent. Granted, he shouldn’t have insinuated this mess was her fault. She’d played her part perfectly for once. But God and life smiled on her, not him. She knew he couldn’t extricate them. “An honest mistake, Mr, Simmons. We didn’t know…”

    “Shut up.” Simmons stretched his palm towards Bernard. “Diamonds.”

    Unexpectedly, Melody pressed her nose to the window. “Wow! You have a whole bath house!”

    Simmons blinked. “Sorry?”

    “We just have a bathroom, not a bath house. Do you have bed houses, living houses, and dining houses, too?”

    Simmons retracted his hand. “Er.”

    “That’s real wealth! You don’t need these little sparklies.” Melody plucked the diamonds from Bernard’s pocket and pushed them at Simmons. “But here you go. Like Bernie said, just a mistake.” She leaned forward and whispered, “He’s error prone, you know.” Her breath ticked Simmons’ ear. Pleasantly.

    After a confused Simmons abandoned them, forgetting his diamonds in his eagerness for a relaxing bath (or whatever), Bernard stroked Melody’s hair. “Thanks, love. Forgive me?”

    “You wish,” Melody grumped.

  9. Chief Milton Hauser stalked authoritatively up the marble steps of the historic bathhouse, now an office building. This was going to be his defining moment. Today would erase the past three years of unsuccessful attempts to arrest the corrupt Wallace Jackson.

    Earlier that morning, when he was told that Jackson’s car had been impounded after the discovery of a large quantity of cocaine, he had to restrain himself from reacting with an exuberant fist pump.

    Chief Hauser strode past the secretary into the meeting in progress, located Wallace and announced, “You’re under arrest.”

    “On what charges?” Wallace demanded, rising to his feet.

    Chief Hauser replied, “For possession of cocaine with the intent to sell.”

    “What you are talking about?” Wallace blustered.

    “We have your car,” Chief Hauser enunciated smugly.

    “No, you don’t. It’s parked out front. Look out the window. My driver is in it waiting to take me to my daughter’s birthday party after this meeting you’ve interrupted.”

    “We’ll sort it out at the station.”

    “Let me see the papers.”

    Chief Hauser nodded to the officer accompanying him, who in turn handed over some documents.

    Wallace didn’t bother to suppress his grin. “Your incompetence amazes me. You have the wrong guy. I’m Wallace C. Jackson. This says you’re looking for Wallace O. Jackson. Besides, I certainly don’t own a Pinto.”

    Angrily, Chief Hauser scanned the paperwork, his face growing hot. When he looked up, all he saw was his defining moment dissipate, replaced by a devastating surge of embarrassment.

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