Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Glendale Glitters

glendale glitter 2016 flash fiction writing prompt copyright KSBrooks
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 2018.

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11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Glendale Glitters”

  1. A warm breeze stirred the fronds of the brightly decorated palms. They preened and posed in the sultry night air, each trying to outdo the other. Each thinking that they were the most beautiful, the best.

    The Queen Anne palm thought her white lights to be like the stars above. “Surely,” she whispered, all can see I’m heavenly. Pure. I’m better than the likes of all of you!”

    The Sabal Palmetto begged to differ. “I’m graced with green lights, the same color of my unparalleled fronds and the grass all around us. I’m definitely the most beautiful!”

    The oldest of them, the Washingtonia Robusta roused himself. He’d seen many years, was missing half his fronds but was decked out in patriotic colors. In a deep voice, he sighed, “Have you no eyes? All who look upon me are dazzled! I symbolize the best.”

    “Sure, you old coot,” crowed the youngest of them, a Date palm barely three years and glowing in red. “They decorated me like the Sun. Of course I’m the best!”

    A family approached and they stopped their bickering, too intent on looking their finest, out-glowing each other. Words, carried on that still warm breeze, surprised them all.

    “I don’t know which one is the prettiest, Mama! All together they’re the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen!”

    The Queen Anne spoke first. “How silly we’ve all been. I think I understand now. Each of us shines in our own unique way but together? We are magnificent.”

  2. The North Pole. Santa’s workshop.

    The elves work on toys for Christmas.


    Alfie breaks his toy.


    The elves bake sweets in the kitchen.

    Alfie pulls out a burning tray of cookies.

    “Double rats!”

    The elves wrap gifts beautifully.

    Alfie’s wrapped gift looks like it came out of the garbage.

    “Triple rats.”

    Alfie sits alone out on the snow covered back porch sulking. The scent of hot coco fills the air as a steaming mug appears in front of him. He looks up to see Mrs. Clause sit down, offering him the mug.

    “It’s the chilliest time of the year, which is the best time for coco,” Mrs. Clause says.

    “I don’t deserve coco,” he replies taking the coco.

    “And why not?”

    “Because I can’t do anything right,” Alfie mopes. “My toys break, my cookies burn, and my wrapped presents belong in the garbage. I stink”

    “You expect too much of yourself.”

    “I just want to be good at something.”

    Mrs. Clause gives Alfie a warm hug. “Life isn’t about results . . . It’s about the journey, and enjoying every moment of it.”

    Mrs. Clause stands, finishes her coco. “Just have fun.”

    She gives Alfie a warm smile and steps back inside.

    Alfie ponders her words, sips his coco then smiles. “Fun.”

    From that day forth even though Aflie’s work was not the best he remembered to have fun and in time he did get better.

  3. Glendale glitters,
    Hollywood howls,
    On this night of nights when the child is born.

    Carols are sung, gifts are exchanged,
    and the stars shine on as they always have
    On this night of nights when the child is born.

    A candle is lit, a card is sent,
    and the children as always are snug in their beds
    On this night of nights when the child is born.

    How gorgeous the lights, how pretty the scene.
    The heavens are dimmed, the stars are not seen.
    On this night of nights when the child is born.

    Glendale glitters,
    Hollywood howls,
    Stomachs are full, hunger gnaws at the soul
    On this night of nights when the child is born.

    Glendale glitters,
    Hollywood howls.
    Each is alone in the vastness of space
    Searching for something lost long ago.
    On this night of nights when the child is born.

  4. ‘Okay, gang. As soon as you see jolly old Santa flying across the sky and cracking his whip on those reindeer, keep your eye on the one with the shining red nose. When he gives us the signal, start flapping your fronds and wiggling your shapely trunks. Since I’m the prettiest one in this bevy of beauties, just follow my lead.”

    Santa cracked his whip onto Rudolph’s bouncing butt. “On Dancer, on Prancer,” he shouted happily. “Have to get all this stuff delivered on this white Christmas eve. No kids have been naughty this year so we don’t have to lug around that bucket of coal, thank goodness.”

    Silhouetted against the glowing full moon, they pranced though the silent night sky.

    “Holy candy canes,” Rudolph cried out. “Get a load of that wiggling bunch of trees all decked out in Christmas lights. I think they’re happy to see us,” he cried, tilting his head to get a better view. The other reindeer followed his lead as they suddenly veered off course heading for the twinkling decorations below.

    “Here they come, gang. Wave those fronds. Swing those trunks and start singing, ‘Here comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane…..’. Yeah!”

    Quite delighted with the welcoming display, Santa scatters hands full of glistening snowflakes to show his appreciation and steers Rudolph back to there chores. He waves to the frolicking trees and calls out,

    “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

  5. A Very Valley Christmas

    “It’s awesome, isn’t it Christina?”

    “TotaLLY, Merriam !”

    “I mean the stores, the sales, the bliNG !!”

    “Fer shur !!”

    “But that Santa dude…gross.”

    “Grody to the mAX !!

    “Like , oh my god…so fat. Bet he’s got no abs under all that flab.”


    “And all those mangers. You know, animals and stuff. Tre gross.”

    “I’m suuuRE !!”

    “It’s Christmas Eve, Chrissie. Best of all, tomorrow we get the stuff.”

    “Yeah, bitchin’ — gotta wait all year for this one day. SeriousLY…”

    “As if.”


    “Zlint. Did ya make a wish list?”

    “Nah, I’m a Betty…just need a Baldwin, ya know. Fer a while anyway.”

    “Ugh, gag me with a spoon! Men, who needs ’em?”

    “Merriam, you’re so…so…focused on ‘things’. Don’t you want love?”

    “Fer shur — I love THINGS. Men come and go, but things remain!”

    “WhatevER !”

    Jason rounded the corner, his arms burdened by two shopping bags brimming with wrapped presents.
    “Hey, ladies. HoHoHo and all that !!”

    “This one’s fer you Chrissie — Merry Chrissiemas !!”

    “And fer you my love, this one. Merriam Christmas !!”

    The girls looked at each other, then at Jason.

    Ho! Ho! Ho!” they said in unison. “Totally.”

  6. Living in the North Pole in Santa’s workshop is a Christmas treat indeed. With my next statement, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I cannot control my dreams. It’s cold up here all the time, every day and night. There is always snow—everywhere. And it’s not always short snow like me. Hey, I’m just an elf. I can’t afford to get buried in a blizzard.
    As soon as all the toys are completed and loaded on Santa’s sleigh, I begin to wonder what Christmas is like in a warmer climate. This year I borrowed a few of Santa’s Gadgets to get the answer. I asked Google Dot, Alexa, Amazon Echo, and Siri. The answer from each was the same—Florida.
    To bring my dream to life, I stowed away in Santa’s sleigh, way deep in the toy bag. When Rudolph announced Florida, specifically Disney, I hopped out and hid behind a bush. Santa’s sleigh moved on without me. I ran into the middle of the street to get a better look. The Christmas lights wrapped around Palm trees were awesome against the black sky. I reveled in the beauty. The first drop of sweat slid down my face. I looked down and saw that my boots were not submerged in snow, but standing firmly on the ground. Another drop of sweat slipped down my back. Where was the chill on my face?
    It finally dawned on me; I was melting in the warmth of this Christmas town.


    The palm trees were aglow with LED house lights all over Stuart, Florida. “You know Marvin, there sure are a lot of palms lit up this year. Everyone must have a real Christmas spirit. I ain’t never seen it like this before.”
    Marvin braked and pulled up to the curb, “Fred, I hate to say this, but I think there’s something very wrong here. It’s not just one or two trees in the yards, but all the bushes and trees everywhere.”
    Both of them stepped out of their police cruiser and walked up to the well-lit palm trees. Fred put his face real close to the lights on a palm tree and jumped back. “Marvin, the lights are moving!”
    Marvin closely examined the lights, touching some with his finger; the lights quickly spread on to his hand and up his arm. “Fred! This stuff’s moving right up my arm! It sort of tickles; what do you think, Fred? Fred?”
    He turned and saw Fred covered in a mass of moving lights. Fred glowed brighter and brighter as he melted away.
    Marvin shook his hand, but it was too late because his whole arm was now covered in tiny lights. Racing back to the cruiser he quickly pulled out a can of insect repellent and sprayed himself down. The tingling stopped, and the lights dissipated off of him and buzzed all around. Marvin escaped into his cruiser and quickly called HQ to get an extermination crew to fumigate the man-eating fireflies.

  8. “Morning’, Sid. Happy New Year!”

    “Yeah, same to you Ray. How’d you spend the big night?”

    “Over on the west end. I worked the Westgate Mall exit on the Agua Fria ‘til dark, then panhandled the mall. Pretty good night with all these Fiesta Bowl people in town. Tried a new sign hoping to play on their party mood. It said ‘Need Money for Beer’. It poured in. Hey, how’s Louise?”

    “Lou is feeling poorly. Something inside. Taking the bus to the Banner this morning.”

    “Oh, hope she’s all right”

    “I think it’s all stress with the new rules. She can’t bear to give up this spot. Nobody bothers us, we’re close to the soup kitchens and get to hear the music at Westgate and see the holiday lights. But folks are conniving to get us moved. It’s tearing her apart. She won’t talk about it but I know it’s killing her.”

    “Need help?”

    “Nah. She’ll walk with me to the bus stop and bitch about everything but the problem. We got rights, and this spot right here on the sidewalk is ours. We worked to get it. We fought to keep it. Not our fault good jobs never found us but we all learned to live on the street. That takes skill and guts. We get no respect. You in this too Ray. What you think?”

    “Hear you, man. But, I think I’m off to the Stadium to work the tailgaters. These tourists won’t be here for long.

  9. Two teenagers strolled hand in hand through the twinkling wonderland of trees and spectacular lighting displays on Christmas night. Elvira and Clyde, longtime friends, were both 14 years old. Now they were in love, walking the promenade at Glendale Glitters. In a secluded spot, they could still hear the music.

    “Let’s dance like they taught us in school!” Elvira implored. Although Clyde was shy, he couldn’t refuse the love of his life. When Elvira stepped out at arm’s length into a twirl, her coat swirled like a bell. When she returned, they kissed tenderly.

    “I’m so happy, I could melt, even in this cold!” cried Elvira, under the changing lights.

    “Let’s see the biggest tree!” said Clyde.

    Once there, a half dozen friends awaited them. “What are they doing here?” whispered Elvira.

    “To help us remember,” Clyde whispered back.

    Elvira was confused, until Clyde got down on one knee. He felt for the velvety box in his pocket, containing a gold-plated ring, with a half-carat cubic zirconia.

    “Will you marry me, Elvira?” asked Clyde. Elvira burst into tears, as the teenage paparazzi rained flashes upon the young pair.

    Totally flummoxed, Clyde repeated, “Will you? Marry me?”

    “Yes! I mean, yes, of course! It’s beautiful!” she exclaimed. He put the ring on her finger, and the little round stone sparkled with all the colors around them.

    “Please get up now, Clyde,” she said gently, and again they embraced, their hearts bursting with joy.

  10. Jerry grew up in the Northeast. In the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, to be precise. At the age of twenty-four he decided he needed to see more of the world, so he moved to California where he could stay with a college friend while he looked for a job.

    He arrived two weeks before Christmas. Walking around Glendale on Christmas Eve, he took stock of where he was and what he was doing. And maybe who he was as well.

    Jerry had spent every Christmas at his family’s cabin on Lake Wallenpaupack. Often, there was snow. Always, there were critters. Deer, fox, sometimes wild turkey. Sometimes he saw an eagle soaring far above in the sky. The air was usually crisp and on clear nights the sky opened up above him presenting a panorama of stars. Evergreens lined the path to the cabin.

    He looked around at his current surroundings. Pretty lights. Lots and lots of pretty lights. The trees were all wrong, though. The air was wrong. How could anybody celebrate a winter holiday in a place like this?

    He sat glumly on a park bench, his mind—and his heart—on the other side of the continent. So this is what homesick is, he thought. I can’t stay here. I’m heading back to Pennsylvania as soon as I can get on a flight.

    Sometimes transplants don’t take. This has been a nice place to visit, he thought. But I can’t live here. It’s just not who I am.

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