Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Night Drive

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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15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Night Drive”

  1. It was early Saturday morning—3:45 a.m., to be exact. The driver was barely aware of music playing on KYWD-FM out of Tucson, but it reminded him of William “Bat” Masterson, his old friend from Memphis, and of the recordings Bat used to play at Camp Udairi in Kuwait before the invasion of Iraq . . . music by such artists as Alan Jackson, Lee Ann Womack and Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Dolly Parton, and others.

    His wife would understand his wanting a poker night with his old war buddies, he assured himself, fighting to stay awake. It was late to be driving home . . . or early, depending on how you looked at it. He chuckled at the contradiction.

    What are you laughing about?

    He could hear Masterson’s voice, the ghost passenger in the seat beside him.

    They used to sit and listen to Bat’s CDs for hours at a time after a full day of flying Black Hawks on practice missions over the desert. Bat always was the first one in line for mail call, but the men never knew whether it was because of the perfumed love letters he got from his wife or the country-western CDs she included with every letter.

    Lou bit his lower lip. Bat never made it back from Iraq, he remembered. I wonder whatever happened to his wife, Sherry, and their two boys.

    You were the lucky one, Lou, Masterson whispered, as if Lou needed reminding.

  2. “Hello? Hello?”

    “You’re on the air.” Phil was a radio talk show host with twelve years experience and it seemed like the same topics were discussed on every show.

    “Hello? Are you there?” asked the caller.

    “Go ahead.”

    “Phil? Am I on the air?”

    “Not anymore, bub.” Phil pressed a button and went to another caller. “You’re on the air.”

    “Phil? Is this Phil?”

    “Go ahead.”

    “Phil, people shouldn’t believe all the propaganda.”

    “Propaganda about what?”

    “That we landed on the moon. I tell ya, it was all a hoax.”

    “How do you know it was a hoax?”

    “Why are the stars not visible in the pictures they took on the moon?”

    “I don’t know. Could the bright sunlight have blocked them?”

    “Phil. You don’t understand. There’s a glitch in the simulation.”

    Phil pressed a button. “Next caller.”

    “Phil?”

    “Go ahead.”

    “Phil, I gotta tell ya,” the caller panted, “I was in my car last night and I saw a UFO.”

    “No kidding.”

    “It’s true. And the aliens abducted me.”

    “No.”

    “Yes.”

    “And?”

    “They did tests on me, Phil. I swear. They told me I could join them. Just think, Phil, I could be an assistant alien astronaut. Isn’t that something?”

    Phil smiled, shook his head and thought: “It’s going to be a long three hours.”

  3. Sky Shower

    We drove up into the hills on Saturday night. Storm clouds were everywhere. Between sheets of lightning, crackling thunder, and wistful imaginings of meteors, the whole experience, pleasantly ominous to be sure, was a little less visually enlightening than we had expected.

    “Let’s stay,” Milly said.

    “What? In the car…overnight?”

    “We’re well provisioned…water…crackers…cheese…and two apples…”

    “One,” I confessed. “I ate it while I was waiting for you.”

    She forgave me my precipitous apple munching.

    And we stayed overnight, staring at the gloom, wishing for a break in the weather, but there was no real break to be had.

    Back home on Sunday, she proposed we try again.

    “Of course, “I said even though the Perseid meteor shower is pretty much an annual event.

    So, we ferried over to the large island and again drove up into the hills.

    Same provisions but half a dozen apples to boot.

    The clouds were gone. Down below, the village glimmered ever so lightly.

    We hauled out a foamy and blanket, set them down on a flat stretch of mountain grass, lay down, eyes skyward and waited.

    The silence was so bearable.

    Midnight came and went…the sky exploded in a shower of rockets.

    “What’s that line?” she asked.

    We had listened to John Denver on the way up.

    “From Rocky Mountain High?”

    “Yes.”

    “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”

    “Fire in the sky…yes…that’s it.”

    “Yes. That’s it.”

    And we were covered in a glorious sky shower.

  4. Chevrolu nudged Fordova as they edged through the knee-high weeds to the back door of their high school lab. It was past midnight. The teenagers had no fear of being stopped. Chevrolu eased the passkey into its slot and cautiously entered the darkened room with Fordova close behind.

    “It’s over there under that tarp,” Chevrolu whispered. They inched closer to their completed project. “Took us long enough to build it for our science contest. Ain’t nobody’s gonna stop us from being the first to try it out.” He reached out and carefully uncovered the gleaming white object. The lab lit up with a soft glow. He jumped in and made himself comfortable, then pressed the red button. A low rumbling thrilled his ears. He nodded and ordered Fordova to hop in.

    “Wait a minute,” she answered, and ran to prop open the lab doors, then jumped in beside him. “Let’s get crackin’.”

    And, with speed faster than the pulse of a laser, they launched off Saturn and zoomed through space trailing a blazing tail in the night sky.

    “Holy Uranus,” Chevrolu screamed, as they rocketed past Jupiter, Pluto, and a couple of spiraling black holes.

    Suddenly, the fuel meter flashed “Empty.” They ran out of liquid nitrogen, and ended up on a dark country road, with their lights lit, waiting for intergalactic AAA, Automatic Accident Assistance, to help with their forced landing on Earth. Earthlings began gathering at the scene.

    “Wait’ll they get a load of us,” Fordova giggled.

  5. “Driving at night?” asked an incredulous Captain Rickover. “You’re kidding.”

    “No sir,” said the young intern as he pointed to his radar screen sonar. “We’ve got two elderly subjects in that car driving the high desert road.”

    “How did they get there?” asked the captain.

    “No word on that, sir,” said the intern.

    “Activate the Road Guard,” said the captain. “We’ve got to take action now.”

    With that, captain and intern stalked off to Command Center where they could monitor the situation in real time. Staff were at their seats in the situation room as Rickover entered. They stood and then sat back down as the captain pointed to a large screen.

    “Is the Road Guard deployed?” he asked.

    “Yes sir,” said the intern. “I’m bringing it up.”

    A massive armored truck pulled out in front of the speeding car, which braked to a stop. It tried to back up, but another truck blocked retreat. From out of the piney woods came a squadron of armed guards converging on the car. They were yelling, automatic rifles at the ready.

    Suddenly, everyone fired at the lonely car on the darkened road in a blistering 30-second barrage. A few of the guards fell, done in by friendly fire. But the was car stopped.

    “All clear,” yelled the squad leader into the camera. “Driver and passenger dead.”

    “Thank God,” said the captain. “Can’t have old folks driving at night. Too dangerous.”

    “But they’re dead,” said the intern.

  6. “You’re joking.” Arturo’s eyes wandered over the sleek white sports car. Its yellow and red running lights glowed seductively in the indigo night, begging him to climb in and take it for a spin.

    Brandon grinned like he’d just given Arturo half the world and earned his undying loyalty. “It’s yours, buddy. A bonus. You’ve earned it. Your product is always the best, a real goldmine.”

    Arturo tugged at his loose shirttail and shoved his hands into his jeans pockets. “What am I gonna do with it?”

    Brandon held out the keys. They clinked as he turned them in his hand. “Drive it, of course.”

    “You’re joking. Drive that?”

    “Sure, why not?”

    Arturo liked his lips. “A million reasons. Everybody knows I can’t afford a toy like this. It must cost a hundred grand. There’d be questions.”

    Brandon laughed. “Say you won the lottery. Nobody will think twice.”

    “You’re joking.”

    “Why do you keep asking that?” Suddenly irritated, Brandon’s fingers tightened on the keys. “Do I look like a clown?”

    Arturo smirked. “Actually, yes.” Before Brandon could react, he slipped his gun from under his shirt tail and shot his business partner three times in the chest.

    As he fell, Brandon gasped, “You’re joking.” He hit the pavement face first.

    Arturo took the bags of powdered death, the cash, the keys, and the car. Driving into the darkening night, he chuckled to himself. “Good joke, wasn’t it?”

  7. After forty years, the arguments still came. They were always over something trivial.

    Leaving the Valley of the Sun after two weeks visiting with her brother, he decided to keep the top down and take the old route to Gallup. We never go this way, use the Interstate! He knew that was what she was thinking as he’d have to put the top up to accommodate her hair. He drove, she sat in the other seat and they rode in silence. A familiar situation as common to their marriage as the sex.

    The landscape along this route however, was most unfamiliar. Out of the warm Sonoran desert in the early spring, the two lane road rose gradually to the low shrubs of Chihuahuan desert, eventually giving way to the dense heath of chaparral. By late afternoon they were passing through majestic stands of Ponderosa pine then high, sparse chaparral with patches of deep snow and finally, after dusk they reached the high and dry plains of New Mexico. Each biome had slipped by like a segment of a nature film.

    He reached across the gear shift with his open hand and she embraced it in her left with a familiar touch. There was still no conversation as words seemed stolen by the natural wonders that attended their route. Now to find a place to eat, perhaps a bottle of wine and a place to spend the night and enjoy the comforts of their forty years together.

  8. He’d decided to break it off. They took a drive heading south out of the city to the high desert. She wore a white sweater, silver lamé slacks and had platinum blonde hair. He told her if she made a scene she’d be walking home. No empty threat. Someone would stop for her, sure they would. She’d glitter in the headlights.

    She was a lousy actress but a great one for making scenes. He hated them. He was tired of seeing their pictures in the tabloids. Tonight was the night. A clean break. Here, alone, far from public scrutiny, with no one to act out for.

    She hadn’t said much for the last twenty minutes excepts for a few sniffles and a tear or two. He’d expected more hullaballoo. At least he wouldn’t have to dump her on the side of the road. All that was left was uncomfortable silence and the ride back to the city.

    He’d brought along a six pack and a few joints to cushion the fall. She’d had a few drags; he’d polished off three cans already when he stopped for a quick piss by a Joshua Tree.

    She slid over into the driver’s seat and sped off in a shower of gravel. The moon was rising. He should have seen that coming. He started to walk. If he kept a steady pace he’d reach L.A. in time for breakfast. No doubt she’d be there waiting for him. Her and the paparazzi.

  9. Sparky wanted to be rich or famous. One or the other, he wasn’t choosey. And in pursuit of riches or fame, he dreamed up one crazy scheme after another. In this latest scheme, Sparky was aiming for a moment of fame.

    “See, I’ll get me a fancy new car. And I’ll make it into a convertible.”

    I asked the logical question. “If you want a convertible, why not just buy a convertible?”

    “No! You don’t get it. See, I’ll go speeding into a low tunnel. Duck down at the last minute, just before the top of the car shears off. Can’t you just see the sparks and metal flying? You can film it. It’ll go viral. I’ll be famous!”

    “More likely you’ll be dead.”

    “Nah…I saw it done in a movie. They make little cuts around the car so when it hits the roof of the tunnel, the roof of the car flies right off. Spectacular!”

    It sounded like it might work, but I was skeptical. “You know how they say ‘Don’t try this at home?’ Well, there’s a good reason for that.”

    I talked a bunch more and managed to convince him to give up the convertible idea. As his self-appointed keeper since childhood, I felt it was my duty.

    Then he came up with a new plan.

    It involved the tallest building in the world and Silly Putty.

  10. “I’d like to show you something. If you don’t mind.” Tom Layton pulled out of the restaurant parking lot. The sports car slipped into the stream of traffic.
    Barbara was nervous. It was her first attempt dating after a brutal rape three years ago. Dinner had been lovely, the conversation varied and easy. Tom talked about art and architecture, she of her music. It was the first time she had been alone with a strange man since.
    Relax, she told herself. She took a couple of deep breaths. Then Tom turned off the city streets, and onto a riverside lane in the park. Where was he going? It was suddenly isolated and dark. The perfect place to dispose of a body.
    She was frozen. She wanted to scream and jump out of the car. She wanted to tell him to turn around and take her home but only succeeded in burying her right hand in her purse. This can’t be happening again.
    “We’re almost there,” he assured her, voice low and confident.
    She turned to him, eyes pleading, but he was watching the road. The area now looked almost desolate. She gripped the center console with her left hand. Focused ahead on routes of escape, she screamed when he brushed her hand. The gun came out of her purse and fired, striking his neck moving upward.
    She scrambled from the car, sitting on the front fender facing a small footbridge. The small plaque on the side read: “Architect Tom Layton.”

  11. Some Things Last Forever

    “Oh Jason, it’s so beautiful!”

    They sat in his convertible under a cloudless night sky, high on a ridge overlooking the town below.

    “Yes Melanie, it is. Too bad it won’t last. Nothing is forever.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Nothing has ever lasted — we’ve tried it all, haven’t we? It’s great, for a while, and then — back to the same old thing.”

    “Huh?”

    “Look…we’ve done weed and blow, right?”

    “Well, yeah.”

    “And crack and oxy and uppers and downers?”

    “Sure.”

    “So what happened? After a while, the good was gone and the bad came back. Every time. What if we could keep the good things, the beautiful things, forever? Like this night?”

    “How’re we gonna do that Jason?”

    “We’ll try some of these…guaranteed to last. Here’s three for you and three for me.”

    They watched the starlit sky for hours, nodding off occasionally and feeling blissful.

    Twilight — as the moon began to set and just before a new day dawned, Jason awakened, looked at the twinkling lights below, started the car and floored the accelerator.

    The coroner’s report was brief: Cause of death — vehicular accident. Toxicology results: high levels of MDMA.

    It appears that they found their everlasting ecstasy.

  12. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. That was the sound of Kevin’s heart racing like a jet, pounding as loud as an enormous bass drum. And his heart was not the only thing that was racing. His thoughts were too.
    “Crap, crap, crap,” Kevin started to panic in his mind. He had no idea what to do as he flashed like lightning down interstate 95. The streetlights made it hard to see through the river of tears streaming down his face.
    “I can’t believe I just killed him.” Kevin felt nauseous as he remembered the blood and gore from the earlier events of the night. His co-worker was going to expose his dirty deeds and cover-ups regarding his last really important case. It would cost him his job and everything he had worked so hard for. His thoughts turned too his family and his beautiful little girl.
    “What would Jennifer think of me,” Kevin thought anxiously. Everything Kevin Had done to rise to the top was all for her. Jennifer was Kevin’s pride and joy. His heart and soul. He could not bear the thought of her hating him. Of her looking at him in disgust as a police sergeant explained to her why he father was going to jail.
    “No, I am not going to jail. I’ll just go home and wash this blood off in the shower and go back to living a normal life. Everything is going to be ok….”

  13. NIGHT DRIVE

    We were driving up across the Bakersfield desert after visiting my husband Joe’s relatives on the farm. I was driving.

    We hit a bump, then another bump. Suddenly there were several bumps. I looked out into the darkened night through the beams of the headlights. There were hundreds of wild hares running back and forth across the road in front of us, stunned by the glare of the high beams.

    Hesitating, I put my foot on the brake and felt more and more bumps.

    “Go faster,” my husband yelled. “You will kill less that way,

    I pressed on the gas and sped away. Soon we felt no more bumps. We stopped massacring the frantic hares.

  14. ” A Hot Date, A Fast Car, and A Long Night”
    by Pat Mills

    The long night drive begins…

    ***

    Tony, almost through law school, put brakes on his customers’ white sports car. Drew Bryant’s life, was what Tony wanted: beach house, prestigous job, beautiful women, and fast cars.

    ***

    “Now, I’m test driving, Drew’s car – for the evening,” he thought, as he drove to his girlfriends’.

    ” You look great!” he said to Sandra.” Where to?”

    “Dancing… Who’s car?”

    “Drew Bryants’.”

    “The same guy who’s going to give you a job,after law school?”

    “Yep,the same one.”

    Cranking up the music,they drove to the next town,and then stopped for snacks. Leaving the store, they froze in their tracks… The sports car was racing out of the parking lot!

    “Hey! What the…!” Tony yelled.

    ***

    Sandra’s brother, Al drives them to Drews’ house – to explain.

    When they arrive, to their astonishment, the white sports car is in the driveway !

    “What gives…?” Al asks.

    “Drew’s a master chess player…
    I have the key… I’m taking the car to the shop,” Tony said, then jumps in the sports car and speeds away.

    ***

    Drew Bryant walks into the auto shop, looking for Tony.

    “I didn’t tell your boss,about that game of cat and mouse, we played last night.”

    ” Thanks…”

    “I like how you think on your feet, but next time, let’s keep the road tests to this town. At least, until you work for me,” he smiled a quick smile.

    Tony watched Drew get into the white sports car, and thought, “Well played, Mr.Bryant, well played.”

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