Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Feeding Time

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: Feeding Time”

  1. “So, whaddaya think, Nigel?”

    “Whaddaya mean, Lesley?”

    “I’m talking about you-know-who.”

    “You mean Cedric?”

    “Shhh! I don’t want him to hear us. But haven’t you noticed? I mean, what’s up with him? Here we are, the epitome of aristocratic elegance, with our sleek beaks, svelte bodies, precision feathered eyebrows . . . there are none more beautiful than you and me in the entire Empire. And this is what we are purported to have produced as offspring?”

    “I see your point, my dear. It had crossed my mind to raise the subject earlier, but I didn’t want to upset you.”

    “Upset? That doesn’t begin to describe how I feel! I don’t know where to begin. For example, what is that on his body, Nigel? Certainly not down feathers!”

    “I’m more concerned about his eyebrows! Where are they?”

    “And where did that mustache come from? He looks like that American comedian we sometimes see on the tele late at night . . . what’s his name?”

    “You mean Groucho Marx, my dear?”

    “Yes, Groucho. All that’s missing here is a tiny cigar.” [She snorts.]

    “Oh, that’s a good one, Lesley.”

    “So, what are we going to do, Nigel? This is just so embarrassing.”

    “I think our best course of action is simply to leave him at Mervyn and Valerie’s this evening, after they fly off for dinner.

    “Oh, and by the way, Lesley, that reminds me: why does Cedric appear to take after Mervyn, anyway?”

  2. Peeking over the edge of her nest, Terry Pterodactyl scanned the vast Bavarian countryside. Frustrated, she opened her beak and screeched, “Food! I’m hungry!” But, no answer. She knew her Mama would soon be back with more munchies, but her tummy rumbled to be filled.

    She enjoyed the small snakes and bugs all youngsters got dropped into their begging beaks but longed for the taste and heady smell of fish and other sea life she heard so much about.

    Mama soared and dipped over the sea searching for a morsel she could snap up and bring back to Terry. She’s old enough to try a new kind of food, she thought, and there it was, flipping in and out of the water beckoning her. She flapped her five-foot wing span and quickly dove for her target, flashing the sharp teeth in her long beak.

    Meanwhile, famished Terry had fallen asleep while waiting, and dreamed someone like her Mama caught and flew away with a small baby shark swimming next to her enormous Papa. He followed her to the small seaside village she nested behind and began devouring unsuspecting Pterodactyls splashing in the warm waters. Revenge was sweet, he mused.

    Terry jerked awake and trembled. What a horror, she thought.

    Little did she realize that millions of years from then her nightmare might be the theme for a thrilling shark adventure called Paws, Laws, or something like that.

    She politely refused the flapping fish her Mama brought back.

  3. “Feed me. Feed me. Is that all she can say?”

    “Actually, it probably is. She’s still very young.”

    “Just once I’d like to hear her say something else. All I ever hear is feed me, feed me, over and over.”

    “I feel your pain. I do.”

    “And that orange mouth. That sucker is like a beacon to predators. But does she ever close it? No. Constantly yapping about food. Good thing she’s an only child. If I had more than one like her I’d go crazy.”

    “Oh, nonsense. You’d do just fine. You’re a wonderful mother.”

    “Not according to Little Miss Feedme. According to her, you’d think I was deliberately starving her. All I want is a little something in return. Some tiny little sign of affection. Something. Why I was so anxious to become a mother I’ll never know. It’s a thankless job.”

    “Give it time.”

    “Wait. What did she say? She said something different this time. It sounded like ‘Hug me’! Oh, Sweetie, of course I will hug you, my precious little darling. Come to Mama!”

    “Actually I don’t think she said hug me. It sounded to me like she said ‘hungry’.”

  4. FEED ME… FEED ME! Mouth open, bigger than the body, demanding… unrelenting. The call constant… FEED ME!

    I know this behavior. It was intimidating before and seems so familiar now. Shades of this manipulation I remember in my own baby boy… feed me. He would even bang his little spoon on his high chair tray.

    Then it came to me. That same gesture of OPEN aggression, “Little Shop of Horrors”. It was 1982, and I brought my young son to NYC for the first time to partake of one of my favorite obsessions, the “theatre”. We were the typical tourists, with eyes agog and minds open.

    The bright lights of Time’s Square with the noise, and the crowds in their hustle and bustle, all knowing where to go and what to do. We stood in a fast-moving endless line to get our half-priced tickets. Then tickets secure in my backpack, my son held tightly to my hand and watched intently as I hailed a cab to the Orpheum Theatre Off-Broadway.

    I had already taken him to Disney World so he was accustomed to the commotion. As the lights dimmed in the theatre and the footlights displayed the stage platform of the flower shop, my boy was transfixed. Not for one minute did his eyes leave the stage or his mouth close until the surprise finale.

    When Audrey, the talking-plant-alien, demanded of Seymour for the first time, FEED ME, I knew my young son had caught the theatre bug too.

  5. John and Henry were life-long friends and, being retired, they were now on vacation with their families travelling throughout the southwest. One evening after supper they decided to sit outside and feed the birds.

    “The other day I was reading an article about Pterodactyls,” said Henry as he threw bits of bread to the birds.

    “What’s a Pterodactyl?” asked John.

    “Big bird-like creature that had a long head and a wingspan of over eight feet.”


    “Supposedly they died out 65 million years ago, along with the dinosaurs. But there have been reports of people seeing them alive over the past few decades not only in the states but in other countries as well.”

    “What?” John looked at Henry.

    “Yup. Even a fella named Herodotus wrote a long time ago about flying serpents and seeing big piles of their bones.”

    As John and Henry were talking, they heard the sound of beating wings. They looked up and watched as a large bird-like creature, with an elongated head and huge leathery wings, pass overhead, and then fly off into the distance.

    “Did you see what I just saw?” asked John, still looking skyward.

    “Sure did.”

    “Don’t say anything, Henry.”

    “Why not?”

    “Remember what happened when we told everyone we had seen the Loch Nest Monster while we were on vacation in Scotland?”

    “Ohhh, ya. I remember. Okey dokey. I won’t say a word.”

  6. “Wanda, we’re all going out to the wire tonight. You coming?”

    Wanda sighed and dropped another worm into the open mouth. “Wish I could, Carol, but this one is so hungry. I can’t leave her.”

    “Mama, mama! Hungry!”

    “See what I mean?”

    Carol flapped impatiently. “Can’t you get Jack to watch her? You need a break!”

    “Jack’s busy with the older girls, teaching them how to fly. We had to get them to leave the nest. He wants to make sure they’re ready. Hold on, be right back.” Wanda swooped down to snatch up another worm for her hungry chick. She thought about all the good times she’d had on the wire, twittering away with her friends. Those were the days, before all the eggs and the hatching and nurturing. She’d been more than just a mama bird.

    “Carol, I really want to, but you know I can’t.” She landed in the nest and delivered another worm. “Maybe in a few weeks when she’s older.”

    “That’s what you said the last time. A few weeks. And then there were more mouths to feed.” Carol squawked. “Suit yourself then.”

    Wanda watched Carol fly off to the wires in the distance. Already some of their friends had gathered, and their playful songs echoed on the breeze.

    “Mama, mama.”

    “Yes, little one? Are you still hungry?”

    “No, mama, sleepy now.”

    Wanda curled up next to her fuzzy chick. Sometimes being a mama really was what she liked best.

  7. “Mama, I’m hungry!”

    Alicia looked down at the three-year-old girl and then out the kitchen window of the double-wide she and her kids lived in. She sipped the hot coffee, bitter but warm on this chilly spring morning.


    Alicia closed her eyes as she held the cup in her two hands. Who would’ve thought this is how she’d end up. Twenty-five years old, three kids, two jobs, and a tiredness that wouldn’t go away. She didn’t want to feed her kids this morning and send them off to school. She simply wanted to stop the world for a few minutes and just rest. Her lips trembled but she closed her eyes to keep the tears back.

    “Mama. I’m hungry.”

    Alicia stared out the window and spied a bird’s nest in the flowering cherry just outside her kitchen. A small bird, a robin she thought, sat in the nest, its beak opened wide to the sky as it bleated for food.

    Alicia knew that little baby was hungry. Where was the mama bird? She wouldn’t abandon her baby, would she?

    And then the mama bird swooped down to the nest, dropped a worm in the open mouth of the baby and then, without even a pause, flew off again.

    Alicia laughed. “No rest for the weary, sister.”

    “Mama. Please.”

    “Yes, baby,” Alicia said, setting her coffee down. “Quick, go wake the boys. Pancakes and eggs this morning.”


    Young Tommy saw the baby bird on the ground. “Mama, come quick!”

    “What is happening?” called mama running out the back door when she heard the concern in her son’s voice.

    “It’s a baby, it fell out of that nest up there.”

    “Tommy, go in the house and get the salad grippers, “ mama advised.

    When he returned with them, she told him to climb up the tree with her help and she would give him the young bird. He did as mama said. She carefully picked up the baby with the salad tongs and handed them to him.

    She said, “Hold it together tightly, so the baby won’t fall out.”

    Reaching the nest, Tommy carefully released the tongs and laid the little bird inside with the other baby bird. He tossed the tongs to his mother and climbed to the lowest limb for her to help him down.

    “Why didn’t you let me use my hand to pick up the bird?” he asked.

    “Because your smell would be left on it, and the mama might not feed it any more. This way the little one may have a chance, if the fall didn’t injure it.”

  9. Andrean looked out the window of her new house at the tree on the edge of the back lawn

    “That irritating tree, I can’t wait until it comes down”, Andrea thought. The remodel on the house was almost complete, but she couldn’t wait to sit on her deck and watch the sunset, which the evergreen blocked.

    Everyone, her fiance’ included, wanted her to spare the tree-Andrea thought of him as a bit of a tree hugger.

    Visiting her mother, she tried to regal her by telling of how she had outbid other buyers, and used sneaky tactics to scare off some of the bidders.

    Instead of smiling about how smart her daughter was, her mother looked disappointed.

    “Andrea, I didn’t raise you to climb over people to get what you wanted in life. Until you started working in your current career you never used those kind of tactics. Everyone deserves their own little piece of happiness.”

    When Andrea drove from her mother’s to her own house she was in a foul mood.

    She walked through the door, and her fiance’cold from the deck,”Come, quick, look what I found”, he pointed into the condemned evergreen.

    Andrea looked closely, and right, smack-dab, in the middle was a little baby bird in a delicate nest.

    “I think this is a good omen”, her fiance’,said,”Our first nest”.

    “Yes, I guess this is….”

    “So, the tree stays…?”

    “Yes…, everyone’s piece of happiness”, Andrea agreed quietly.

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