Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Spelunk

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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5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Spelunk”

  1. Diary Entry #312

    My name is Doctor Obyandorf.

    I am currently engaged in several research experiments. One such study involves probing into the nature of reality. I noticed that everything I see in a mirror is merely a simulation of an underlying framework within which I am merely an observer. I want to find a way to separate that simulation from the framework. Several lines of research seem promising.

    Another study I am engaged in involves an experiment I am conducting on one of my male patients. He is a convicted criminal. The goal is to probe deep into his subconscious, to travel to the very heart of his brutish nature and to discover the inner sanctuary of the criminal mind; where evil dwells.

    Several days ago, I injected a miniature robotic camera into this patient’s brain. With this camera I was able to journey into the deepest recesses of his mind. What I discovered was terrible and hideous; it is almost too horrible to say. All I can relate is I encountered something dark, green, foreboding and evil deep in his subconscious. I may have found the forbidden evil creature . . . the Unspeakable.

    This is good news. Why? Throughout history man has continuously sought to hold dictatorial power over others. The goal of this experiment is to find, and somehow to mask, the evil – the Unspeakable – in man, and to make that power seem lovable.

  2. Would this be the end, I wondered? My aching foot wedged deep into the crack of the tapering stalagmite. The pain was unbearable. For hours, no matter how I twisted and turned, I couldn’t get free. Hopefully, I prayed someone would find my notes to venture into the cave in search of the Shivegul.

    I remembered my grandfather intriguing me with his stories of the ghostly creature haunting the cave. His eyes would blacken as he repeated the tale.

    “The Shivegul was a grotesque, blood-thirsty spirit that lived in the deepest parts of the cave for over three hundred years,”he would begin. “Whoever went in search of it would never return,” and went on to tell of the lives lost in their searches.

    I wondered if his story was true, or just made up to frighten me. That’s what led me on this quest. I didn’t tell grandfather where I was going tonight.

    The cave was enormous. The ceiling covered with bats softly clicking and chirping amongst themselves. Hundreds of stalactites hung like icicles feeding the growing stalagmites below. Of course, I should not have come alone, but….. A faint sound echoed through the cave. I held my breath. Did they find my notes? Were they finally here? The Shivegul?

    A shadow began weaving through the calcium salt formations. Terrified, I cringed and waited. The shadow grew larger. Was it…..? A form finally emerged. It was…..

    Grandfather sat at the dinner table, wondering why his grandson was late.

  3. As long as he had light, he would be okay. Why had he crawled into this cave? It was beautiful and interesting, with the stalactites and stalagmites staring at him from the shadowed corners. But there were other ways to show the guys at the office he wasn’t some backward nerd who was spaced out most of the time and couldn’t take care of himself.

    Now he was lost. He had made a complete circle. He wasn’t absolutely sure this is where he started, but it looked familiar. If he could only remember his way back to the entrance.

    And then his light went out. He pulled it off his head and flicked the switch on and off. Dead batteries. He fumbled for his cell phone. It would be embarrassing, but he’d better call for help. He powered up his phone. The light from its face calmed him until he saw that he had no reception.

    Without further ado, he yelled for help, loudly and over and over and over. His throat hurt and his voice grew gravelly but he kept yelling.

    Until he stopped and listened.

    Someone else was yelling for help. He could hear that voice cracking with fear. Or was it his own voice echoing through the chambers of the cavern?

    Now he was really scared as he fumbled for the light function on his cell phone. Before he found it, he was startled by a tapping on his shoulder.

    “Who’s there?”

  4. (For editors choice only)
    Missed Opportunities

    Melissa and Tony looked around the beautiful cave. The stalagtites shimmered in their head lamps.

    The park ranger had warned them about becoming too distracted by their surroundings, and forgetting where they had come from.
    They had just squeezed through an extra small pinch, which was no problem for Tony of jockey, and Melissa a gymnist.
    But then, they faced three pinches that all looked at identical to the one they came through.
    After exploring and backtracking for hours, they knew they were lost!
    Sitting on a ledge to rest, they didn’t know what they should do. They were new to spelunking or cavingas the pros had called it.
    “We were told to sit and wait for help if we got lost,” said Tony.
    “Really?”Melissa said incredously.
    “I am so sorry we did this; I had no idea how dangerous this is, and I’m not really impressed ,”said Tony.
    “It’s so damp,” Melissa shivered.
    After waiting all day, the park rangers sent in a pro to rescue them. Adam Chance-famous,fossil hunter.
    He could not get through the small pinch, but he called out, and they went in the direction of his voice.
    If Melissa and Tony hadn’t been so distracted, they might have noticed the huge Allosaurus sticking out of the wall, making the ledge they sent on.
    Adam let them out of the cave safely.
    “Did you see anything interesting that I might explore?” Adam asked.
    “No, sorry nothing,”they both said,in unison.

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