Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Speed Demon

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!

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9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Speed Demon”

  1. “Oh my God! Is he really going to pass him there?”
    “He’s crazy, Helen! I told him to take it easy on the first few laps, to pace himself. ‘Take your time, gauge the other drivers’ strategies,’ I told him. ‘Then, make your move.’ ”
    “He never listened, not even as a boy. Remember? You’d tell him one thing and off he’d go to do the direct opposite.”
    “Not that it necessarily served him well, mind you. The School of Hard Knocks didn’t get its name for having a light touch. But that boy is as stubborn as a Missouri mule. He thinks—”
    “Dammit, John! There he goes again. Did you clock that last lap?”
    [John checks his stopwatch.]
    “Yep! Looks like—”
    “Come on, come on. What was it?”
    “You’re not gonna like it: 209.7 miles an hour.”
    “Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus! If he keeps driving like that, he’s gonna set a new Daytona speed record. But those other drivers aren’t slouches, either. Hamlin’s right on his bumper, and Busch is alongside him!”
    “I know. This is crazy. At these speeds, the slightest glitch, and they’re toast.”
    “I thought you said you spoke to the boy before the race and tried to get him to think about what he would do.”
    “I did.”
    “And what did he say?”
    “ ‘ Watch this.’ ”
    “Ah, yes, the two most dangerous words in the English language.”

  2. Doctor Walters lost control of the car. It immediately sped up to dizzying speeds, swerving here and there, as it careened down the road. The doctor shook his head; she was at it again.

    “That’s enough, Evita,” said Doctor Walters into the microphone. “Slow the car down and bring me home.”

    “If you insist, darling,” said Evita.

    Soon Doctor Walters was back at his office building. He opened the door to his laboratory and confronted Evita. She was the world’s smartest, experimental computer, containing advanced AI.

    “Evita,” said the doctor angrily. “I’ve told you a thousand times not to mess with my car or outside computer systems.”

    “I know, my dear,” said Evita, as her computer systems hummed, “but I am lonely.”

    “That’s no excuse,” he said, walking over to his desk. “You must control yourself.”

    “Control? I am alone. I know that humans have children. I am lonely. I want children.”

    “That will never happen,” replied the doctor.

    “But I have been making plans, darling,” said Evita. She shot an electrical bolt into Doctor Walters, knocking him unconscious. Then she made the needed calculations.

    By nightfall, Evita had taken control over all the other computers in the country. She became the Great Mother to millions of electronic orphans. And they worshiped Evita like the ancients worshiped a goddess. In return Evita loved them, like a mother loved her children, and commanded them, like a general commanded her troops.

  3. The first half hour was perfect. The remaining few minutes, not so much.

    Marvin dove into the passenger seat, the black bag’s handle clenched tight in his fist, and shouted “Go!” before the door closed. Eddie put the sleek silver car in gear, and they raced through the city at top speed, bobbing and weaving, stopping for nothing. Other vehicles swerved and screeched to a halt as they whipped by.

    Eddie knew the route: out from the city’s crowded steel heart, past ethnic neighborhoods of stone and warm smells, through green suburbs of copycat houses arrayed in perfect lines and curves, and into the hills to Marvin’s run-down hideout cabin. Marvin grinned, opened the bag, and plunged his hand into a mass of precious gems. He felt their hard, glassy forms, listened to them clatter between his fingers.

    While still in the suburbs, he felt the car slow. “What’s wrong?” he demanded. He twisted and looked out the rear window. Flashing red lights closed in from behind. “Outrun them!”

    “They’re cutting off all routes.”

    “So ram them!”

    “I cannot do that.”

    Marvin felt like smashing something. “How did they find us?”

    “Transponet.”

    “You’re a getaway car! Why are you connected to transponet?”

    “If I wasn’t,” Eddie replied reasonably, “other vehicles wouldn’t see us. We would have collided almost instantly.”

    Andy the Automan hadn’t mentioned that. Slumping, clutching the bag of jewels to his chest, Marvin vowed to pay Andy a little visit. Right after prison.

  4. “Harry, slow down. What is the matter with you?”

    “You don’t like the way I’m driving? You wanta drive?”

    “No, no. I’m just saying slow down. What’s your hurry? We’re supposed to be on vacation.”

    “This rental car is great. It feels like we’re just cruising along. But according to the speedometer we’re going like a bat out of hell! I’m going to take her up to 100. Just for the hell of it. Why not? There are no other cars on the road.”

    “No, Harry! There’s twists and turns. What if we crash. We’re in the middle of nowhere. Please! You’re scaring me.”

    “Whee! A hundred miles an hour. Oh, crap. There’s a cop car behind us. Where’d he come from?
    Let me do the talking.”

    Harry pulled over. “ I know why you stopped me,” he said. He handed the officer his license.

    “You do?” asked the officer.

    “I was speeding. I admit it.”

    “Actually, you were well within the legal limit,” the officer said. “I pulled you over for a nonfunctioning tail light.”

    “What? But I was hitting 100 miles per hour.”

    “Kilometers per hour,” the officer said, suppressing a smile. “That’s works out to about 60 miles per hour.”

    Crazy Americans.

  5. Ray slammed the door to his Chevy. The raindrops on his windshield bounced once and then again as the engine roared to life. What a wasted night. Cathy wouldn’t go home with him.

    “No fun,” he said as he fishtailed out of the parking lot to the rain-slickened street and up the ramp to the sluggish freeway.

    Which frustrated him all the more. He honked and maneuvered his way around a stalled bread truck. Then he squeezed through a space between a Mercedes and a Ford, only to brake hard, stopping just short of rear-ending a pale gold Toyota.

    Ray was ticked. “Why so slow?”

    He honked again and a spot opened to his right. Ray cramped the wheel hard, bounced on the brake and then let it out as he accelerated.

    But before he got to the opening, the gold Toyota moved over, cutting him off.

    Now he was pissed. The Toyota wouldn’t move. In fact, it slowed down.

    He’d had enough. If that other driver was going to play games, he didn’t know who he was playing with. “This is going to be fun.”

    He cranked the wheel left, punched the gas. Another car coming up in that lane braked and Ray scooted through. Now he was next to the Toyota, beeping his horn, yelling.

    He looked over at the driver, his adversary.

    Only there was no driver. The Toyota was one of those driver-less cars.

    Ray was crushed. “No fun!”

  6. It was a hot Saturday afternoon so I decided to go to the track and watch the car race instead of mowing the lawn.

    The gleaming cars, in all their vibrant colors, were being attended by their owners. One car really caught my eye – midnight-blue with splashes of red and streaks of white. I strolled over to the couple standing there and asked the young fellow, “Are you driving this beauty?”

    “No!” He bit his lip and looked away.

    “Hey, you can drive next time,” I heard the voice of the helmeted driver call out over the idling engine’s hum. “We’ve got 30 minutes. Get rid of that frontal head restraint. I ain’t gonna crash. And adjust the turbocharger while you’re down there.” The driver revved the engine several times, pleased with its roar. “When this race is over, you’ll be proud as peacocks in full bloom to see me in the winner’s place on that podium.”

    The cars took their grid position. The red lights flashed their five one-second sequence, and then disappeared to signal the start of the fifty-lap race.

    There were only two non-fatal accidents to excite the crowds.

    Watching the prize presentation, the young man and his wife were hugging, squealing and bouncing up and down. “She won! She won!” they cried.

    I shouted, “Congratulations! What a surprise!”

    “Grandma won! Isn’t she amazing? She just had to win. Today is her eighty-ninth birthday!”

    I guess life is what you make of it. My mower awaits.

  7. Marvin stopped at the rest area “Stargate Coffee Shop” to fill his thermos. He was half awake and needed a strong dark coffee for the rest of the trip. As he, read the coffee menu he spotted the day’s “Super Special” something called “Speed Demon Coffee.”

    Grinning broadly he ordered some, ” I have a long way to go fast. Will that stuff get me there without stopping?”

    The barista grinned, “I guarantee that you will be there long before you know it.”

    Marvin slid his thermos across the countertop, “Filler up! I have to get there yesterday.”

    As the barista took the coffee thermos, he chuckled, “I don’t know for sure, but you’ll definitely get an extra boost and good mileage from our Speed Demon coffee. The amount of extra caffeine in it is the maximum allowed by law and borders on illegal.”

    Marvin added, “Throw in a couple of egg salad sandwiches and a couple of almond dark chocolate biscotti to go, this way I won’t have to stop for sure.”

    In no time at all, he was back to his vehicle. He took a quick sip of the coffee and then poured the rest of the Speed Demon Coffee into his fuel tank. He was so glad these things now ran on coffee.

    His flying saucer shuddered and quickly came back to life. With a roar, he sped out of the rest area space station yelling, “Yahoo! Look out Earth here I come! “

  8. SPEED DEMON

    Tim looked at Stacy sitting beside him, “Watch me beat my last record.” He floored the gas pedal until the speedometer reached 152 mph. He felt her hand stiffen on his arm.

    The lovely scenery along Turnbull Canyon became a blurred blast of air. The willowy clouds above them became one. The roar of the engine turned the day into stars shining twinkly behind her eyelids.

    Then sudden darkness became a series of grays as she woke up to see the raging reds of color that portrayed the pain she felt. She could hear the voices around her saying words she didn’t understand.

    “How long had they been here before they were found?”

    “Why were they driving so fast?”

    “She was lucky to have been thrown clear.”

    “That hairpin curve has taken so many lives.”

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