Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Falls

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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14 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Falls”

  1. This spot will live in my memory until the day I die.
    It was where he proposed and slipped the diamond onto my waiting finger. Now, months later, as I stood here wiping the tears from my eyes, the waterfall reminded me of my wedding veil. The glistening streams poured down into the bubbling foam like the champagne that filled our glasses that night.
    However, things always change.
    It began when I answered the phone. The caller hung up without a word spoken. The calls started to come at all hours. Then, the envelopes began. High quality stationery addressed in a feminine hand and scented with expensive perfume, all addressed to him. I never let him know of my suspicions. Mother always grumbled he was only after my money, but…..
    This afternoon, he drove me to the falls and confessed of his infidelity, he told me he was going to Rio with my best friend and would file for divorce. He lit two cigarettes, offered one to me, and turned to face the falls.

    “I’m sorry, darling,” he began, “but things don’t always work out the way you plan. I tried to make the best of it. My half of our prenup agreement only gives me four million. You’ll be able to get by on your half.”

    I stood there wiping the tears from my eyes. When his bloody body bounced up through the foam, I pocketed my gun and headed for my best friend.

  2. Two teenage couples went out camping. For Karen, Ashley, Josh and Danny, it was their unofficial senior graduation trip, to the beautiful Crystal Falls Park.

    That first night, they smoked a lot of weed. Karen drank more than the others. Later, as she slept beside Josh in their tent, Karen threw up. She was sleeping on her back, and might have choked on her own vomit, if Josh hadn’t turned her head to one side.

    In the morning, Karen was very “grossed out,” until she and Josh found a stream running off the waterfall, where she rinsed her hair. She was grateful to be alive.

    Danny took a strong hallucinogen. They all walked to the waterfall. Danny saw it rapidly changing colors. “Yo, what color is that?” asked Danny.

    His girlfriend Ashley said, “An amazing ice blue.”

    “Why can’t I stick with a color?” demanded Danny, “I see them all!”

    “It’s just the drugs, dude,” said Josh.

    “I have to jump down and see for myself!” said Danny, edging closer to the waterfall, “I am the Truth Seeker!”

    “Come here,” said Josh, gently steering Danny by the arm, “Tell us what that means, to be the Truth Seeker.”

    While Danny rambled on, the others brought him to the nearest hospital. Karen took him inside, as she was now the only completely sober person among them.

    Two lives were almost lost, then saved, on their unofficial senior trip.

  3. He was a foot taller than her, and she was a foot shorter than him. That put some distance between his mouth and her ears, which sometimes made it difficult for her to hear his soft-spoken words of love. Especially now, with the constant roaring of the falls. But she did her best.

    “This vacation has been beautiful, but sadly lacking” is what he said. All she got out of it was “beautiful” and she assumed he was paying her a compliment.

    “Perhaps it is best that we should part, with our happy memories still intact.” What she got from that was “happy memories” which she assumed they were building right then. She knew she was.

    “Shove you over the falls” came across as “love you” and something unintelligible. “Love you” was enough for her.

    Even when he shoved her over the falls, her delusions were still intact. She assumed she had slipped, and experienced a brief shining vision of him forever mourning the death of his beloved.

    He, on the other hand, was already halfway back to the car by the time she hit bottom.

  4. “Oops!” Wayne stared into the pool at the base of the falls, dismayed.

    Her face eerily bluish in the illumination from her cell phone, Alice didn’t look up. “What’s wrong?”

    He drew in a deep breath, gorging himself on the smell of damp earth and leaves. “Dropped my phone.”

    That got her attention. “Oh no!” Her eyes traced the gossamer streams rushing over dark rock and churning up froth below.

    “Gone,” Wayne moaned. “In the middle of my status update, too!”

    She gave him a quick hug and handed him her phone. “Here. I’ll use my tablet.” She swung her backpack from her shoulders and rummaged around.

    Wayne sighed in relief. “You’re a lifesaver.” But once she had her tablet out and activated, he suddenly turned, phone hand outstretched. “Hey, look at this!” The devices collided and sailed through the air, over the edge, and down into the water. “Oops!”

    “Wayne!” Alice screamed, clapping her hands to her cheeks. “You imbecile! Now what am I going to do?”

    Wayne drew another deep breath, eyes squeezed shut in ecstasy. “Well,” he pondered. “You could enjoy nature.”


    He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. “Or maybe pay attention to me for a change.”

    She pushed him away. “You did that on purpose!”

    Wayne grinned. “Oops,” he admitted.

  5. I start hiking to my secret falls early. The dew sparkles on the wild roses. Sparrows and chickadees chirp their morning business. Hummingbirds buzz through the canopy. Squirrels and chipmunks skitter around searching for sustenance. I love this pristine forest.

    As I draw nearer to the falls, I notice something marring the natural beauty. Disgusted, I bend down to retrieve a cigarette butt and stash it in my trash bag. Who would dare litter this forest, pollute this clean air?

    Shortly after the cigarette, I pick up a Snickers wrapper. Then, to my extreme dismay, I discover an empty plastic soda bottle. My rage grows with every step. I’ve spent my life protecting this fragile environment from society’s filth. Now some pathetic creep is ruining my woods.

    I step around the final large boulder and see my falls. The clear water surges down over rocks with a roar. A cool spray rises into the air and dampens nearby flowers.

    Then I see him. Standing just above the falls, the jerk is lighting another cigarette. I rush toward him, flailing my arms and screaming about his trash. Startled, he spins toward me.

    Suddenly, he slips on the wet granite and tumbles headfirst into the falls. I watch his body crash against the rocks below.

    It takes me a long time to punch 911 on my cell phone. I want to report that there is just one more piece of trash that needs removed from the falls.

  6. The hike up to Wallace Falls had been long, cold, rainy, muddy, and generally unpleasant. Bob and Deanna stood with their backs to the falls as gusts of wind splattered them with mist.

    “Happy Anniversary,” said Bob after waiting for what seemed like forever. “We made it in one piece.”

    “It’s not Niagara,” said Deanna, “but we made it.”

    Bob bit his tongue. This was their Fiftieth Anniversary but Deanna was, after all these years, still talking about Niagara Falls. They had planned to go to there for their honeymoon, a trip Deanna had been over the moon about. But it hadn’t happened then, thanks to his army orders, and later the kids, their jobs, whatever. So, for the last fifty years they had argued about it.

    “Maybe I could make it up to you,” said Bob.

    “Please. All you ever try to do is fix things. It can’t be fixed, Bob. Done is done. Let’s just go on.”

    Bob took an envelope out of his coat pocket and handed it to Deanna. “ Open it.”

    “I’ll wait,” she said backing away from Bob. “It’ll get wet.”

    Bob grabbed her arm. “Not so close to the edge. Open the envelope. Because it’s our fiftieth.”

    Deanna tore open the envelope and smiled at the sentimental words on the front of the card. Inside were two airline tickets to Niagara Falls. She looked up at Bob, tears in her eyes.

    “Time to end the argument, Deanna.”

  7. The Falls

    “I’m bored!”


    “Well, all we’re doing is sitting here. No adventure, no excitement.”

    “Oh Jason, you’re never satisfied. Look around…all this greenery shades us from the sun, the plants are flowering, butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies flit around us. The sound of falling water is like music to me!”

    “Listen, Lily. I saw a great looking pond just a little downstream from here. We can hop-scotch across the falls, make our way there and catch a bite of lunch. Getting there will be great fun!”

    “Oh, I’m afraid…the rocks are wet and slippery. With your luck, you’ll fall, clunk your noggin and end up as fish food.”

    “Nonsense. It’s easy and it’ll be fun. C’mon…I’ll show ya.”

    Off he went.

    Moments later, Lily saw his lifeless body being swept downstream by the rapid current.

    She called out to him: “Mother always said that you were a foolish frog!”

  8. March 24, 1865

    Dear Pa I hurry to rite a few lines to tell you I am well and yet among the living though only by the grace of God and I hope you are enjoying the same good blessings. We are stopped somewhere in Georgia near a falls and it is somethin butiful. It wud be nice to come bak after the war with Molly and an her son. We were on our way to Petersburg and wud be ther now but the Yankees deraled our train two days ago and the engin blew up. It was a horrible site with the enginer and fireman bodies all blown apart. It will take three days before the traks are repared and another engin can come an git us. The accident also kill five men out of forty in our Regiment and injur ten more including Les Winthrop—you remember him from the farm down the rode. He was hurt som as was Sam Harman but both are goin to be fine. Once the new engin is here, we will be on our way agin in time to attack the Yankees. I suppos by now you herd John Guthries bin killed–his Regiment was shot all to peaces. I herd tell his son Aaron was taken prisnor in the same battel and marched away at the point of a bayonet. I asked cousin Billy to take my Bible to Ma in case I should die at Petersburg. Ples rite soon,


  9. Cedar boughs are stringy, not brittle like the fir. They bounce, pendulous, swaying if you hang. I braided three young trunks together here and they have gown entwined for many years. I lean softly under, resting, keeping warm.

    I sit today because it is cold and wet and dangerous with slick rocks and pummeling torrents of ice. I haven’t the courage to scale the cliff or descend nearer to the shore. I cannot fish. I am hungry, but I cannot intervene.

    The wolves came this morning. Their faces were bloody, bellies full. The children pounced on the mothers’ swinging tails, but they were silent and did not interrupt the falls with howls or yips. The elder looked up to where he had caught my eye in the sunshine last time they passed this way. And then they disappeared like mist.

    I smell it now and creep out farther than before, slowly looking, feeling with my arm. I find the bloody bone he left behind the braided trunks. Cedar leaves are scaly, flat, and decay to make the soil soft and quiet. They absorb the moist of waterfalls or heat of sun or sound of footsteps. I heard nothing, but I am grateful.

  10. “That was a lot easier than I thought,” Ben said, reaching out to help Eleanor up to where he stood, atop an incline coated in slippery rust-colored pine needles.

    “Easier? You’ve got to be kidding,” she slipped out between gasps. “Maybe if I was still 30. But we’re in our 80s! We never– ”

    Ben’s eyes got wide and jerked his hand up, quieting his wife. “Do you hear it? Do you hear the water?” Without waiting for her answer, he turned and parted the low-hanging cedar branches to reveal water cascading down a rock wall. “We did it!”

    She joined her husband beneath a large cedar. The rushing sound and the magical view painted a smile on her wrinkled lips.

    They hurried down to the water’s edge. Eleanor tossed her cane down and started unbuttoning her blouse. Ben stripped but for his glasses before testing the water with his big toe. “Not too bad! I thought it would be colder.” He waded in; the water quickly covered his spindly legs.

    “Do you feel any different?”

    Ben looked back at her with an enormous grin. “I feel younger! How do I look?”

    She gazed at him – the hunch in his back seemed straighter, and while the lines on his face hadn’t diminished, he actually appeared more youthful. “I…I think you look younger!”

    Ben realized that the magic wasn’t in the water, it was in the adventure – and while they probably weren’t really any younger, he at least felt that way.

  11. We started up the sloping path to Bridal Veil Falls. The warm sun upon our backs, the trees and shrubs along the path gave us some shade. Neither my husband nor I had ever seen a waterfall up close, so we were fulfilling that dream. My left ankle began hurting.

    “Do you think we should turn back?” he asked.

    “No, I want to feel the spray on my cheeks,” I told him. We continued walking with me leaning heavily on his arm. He didn’t complain.

    After half an hour we made it to the waterfall. It was smaller than I thought it would be but still beautiful. We found a large rock for me to sit on to rest my sore foot.

    We saw another sign that said: Vernal Falls Ahead. I gave him the camera and told him to hike up to the next falls and take pictures. He did and shared what he saw with me.

    That afternoon I enjoyed Bridal Veil Falls, and he enjoyed both waterfalls. We both enjoyed the day…together.

  12. Water,wander,whisper, wind by Sunjiata

    Water, wander, whisper, wind.
    What was the knowledge he sought? What was the unspoken fate? Why had he returned from the edge of nothingness.

    Seeking the vision beyond the reflection, he wondered what was beneath the reflections, the being and the visions beyond what looked back at him?

    He reached out with the sense beyond seeing, with the almost wisdom beyond words. What lay in the pools disturbed only by the ripple/waves shimmering just below where the falling water joined the softened stream?

    He held on by a whisper. A wave would nudge him over the spot where the water fell and joined the stream going to the ocean, the stream going head long into the sea. A whisper was all it would take. Arms spread wide like the wings he did not have, a whisper, a thoughtless ripple would be all it would take to let him fly or

    Whispers, but she did not whisper. No she yelled at the child limits of her tiny lungs. She screamed, life, I am here in my bold and unashamed nakedness flowing out on a small river of blood and warm water

    The child was alive. So, too was he. It flowed . . .life. He had but one choice—gather her in his arms and shelter her from

    Water, wonder, whisper, wind.

  13. (Sorry I am late)!

    Drowned dreams

    Liam looked on the ground ahead of him as he hiked up of mountain near Fort Drum. On the ground, in the grass was something metal. He picked it up. It was a pin with a set of skis criss crossed over a U.S. symbol.

    He put it in his pocket and rested by the sparkling blue waterfall.

    The next day he showed his mother the pin.” It looks like a military hat pin. Your granddad would know.”Carol said.

    Retired Colonel Stevens looked the pin over.

    “Aha” he said startling everyone.”This is a ski troop pin. The only person that would have had a pin like this was Jenny Williams and she’s been missing for over 70 years!”

    “Why Jenny ?”Carol asked.

    “She went with Walter Dunham and he was a fantastic skier. He went into the army ski troops.”

    “World War II?”, Liam asked.

    “Yep, the big one,”he smiled at his grandson.”Go to Little Margie McGinnis, and get her to look up in the family’s cabin log book, who signed it on August 15th 1945.”he ordered.

    Little Margie was 85, she had the book ready for them.”this is the one for 1944.”
    “That’s it,” she pointed to the signatures of Jenny Williams, and Harold Kane.

    “Harold?” Liam asked suspiciously.

    “Yes, we thought it was odd. Then, no one saw her, after that day!”

    The sheriff was called and divers went down into the deep black pool of the falls, where they found Jenny’s remains.

    Accident or murder, no one would ever know.

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