Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Stink Eye

st felicien flash fiction prompt copyright KS Brooks
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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16 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Stink Eye”

  1. For Editor’s Choice Award only

    “Whatcha lookin’ at?!” asked Sherri, the deer closest to the photographer.
    “I didn’t mean to—”
    “No, of course not. You were just standing there, staring at us for no good reason. Is there a problem?”
    “Well, you were standing by the side of the road. And given I didn’t know whether you were going stay there or leap in front of my car, causing an accident—”
    “Whoa, whoa, whoa, sister. Hang on a gosh darn minute. I wanna make sure we get this straight. You—in your fancy, schmancy, little red roadster—were barreling down this nice, quiet dirt road like a bat out of Hell while we’re standing here, minding our own business, nibbling a little dew-covered grass, and it’s our fault you had to stand your car on its nose?”
    Sherri turned to Marybelle on her right, stuck her nose in the air, and let out a derisive laugh.
    “You tell her,” Marybelle responded.
    “Well,” said the driver, “we live here too, just down the road in one of the new homes built last year.”
    The three deer laughed.
    “You call those McMansions homes?” snorted Cindy on Sherri’s left.
    “Cindy!” snapped Marybelle. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”
    Cindy nodded, chagrined. “You’re right.” She turned to the driver and, with head bowed, said: “They all have beautiful gardens. We especially love eating the blue plantain lilies.”

  2. For Editor’s Choice Award only

    “Drat, I think I blinked.”

    “Shhh. You’ll make me laugh and I distinctly heard him say he liked our “austere” look.

    “I missed breakfast for this! It’s the look he’s getting until my stomach stops rumbling.”

    “Why are we doing this again? mumbled Ignatius, the smallest. Don’t we usually shy away from these hoomans with their sharp objects and aggressive tendencies?”

    “This is different. It’s “National Geographic! We could end up on a magazine cover or in the National Library of Congress. Quite a coup.”

    “Well shoot, declared Isadora. A fine time for me to have a bad hair day, and a crick in my neck too!”

    “Enough! groused Erasmus. Steady on, folks. Shouldn’t be much longer, and we’re being immortalized. Think of the bragging rights when next we hit the watering hole. Someone can finally put those uppity woodpeckers in their place. One Audubon cover and they think they own the place.”

    “Well…it was quite a picture. Lovely lighting when Darnell picked that juicy grubworm out of the sycamore, allowed Isadora. His red crest was highlighted brilliantly by the sunbeams.”

    Erasmus snorted.

    Ignatius turned, distracted by a flock approaching.

    “Oh great, here come those preening, fawning flamingos. All that bright plumage, and you know they’re going to show off, standing on one leg, craning their necks high. There goes our magazine cover,” sighed Isadora.

    “I wouldn’t worry overmuch, smirked Erasmus. The flamingos are doomed to disappointment. That photographer is looking for severity. He’s shooting in black and white.”

  3. In the half-light of morning I peeked out from beneath the canopy of rambling vines that had been my sheltered refuge through the damp night. Beside my shallow vale a doe browsed tender grass still webbed with evening dew. She raised her tawny head above the veil of low morning mist, and her little, spotted fawn bounded to the safety her side. She nudged the baby with her muzzle then turned to face me. Her black nose, glistening wet and twitching. Her nostrils flared, smelling my scent; – she was unsure. Her large ears, finely edged with black – listening and alert. Her elegant eyes, pools of liquid obsidian, watching; sparkling brightly in the thin, pale light of the new day. An elegant golden goddess of the woods, her innate urge to flee battled with her instinct to protect and stand her ground. But the nurture in her heart won out and put braveness in her stance.

    The conflict resolved. She stood more erect, bolder, her body shielding the frightened little one pressed close to her flank. Gallantly, she stepped once, toward me. Her daring announced her choice to defend. Valiant, defiant, willing to risk herself for her beloved. Soaring high above, a hawk screamed. I glanced up just for an instant, then looked again to the doe and fawn, but they had vanished like spirits into the gray dawn.

  4. I’ve Been Lost

    I’ve been lost in the woods,
    I’ve been tossed in the sea,
    I’ve been all that I could,
    All that I could ever be.

    Dear me, I’m a creature of habit.
    Dear me, back trails do I roam.
    Dear me, if its flora, I’ll grab it.
    Dear me, back trails are my home.

    Sure, you might see me glare at you for a while,
    Give you a fixated glance of my evil eye,
    Sure, I tramped many a back-alley mile,
    Is it a wonder I give you the stink eye?

    Dear me, I’m a creature of habit.
    Dear me, back trails do I roam.
    Dear me, if its flora, I’ll grab it.
    Dear me, back trails are my home.

    Hey, gibe me a break, I’m a deer,
    I’m harmless, a cute herbivore,
    Trust me great human, there’s nothing to fear,
    A little grass, a bush I seek nothing more.

    Dear me, I’m a creature of habit.
    Dear me, back trails do I roam.
    Dear me, if its flora, I’ll grab it.
    Dear me, back trails are my home.

  5. “Everybody freeze. Don’t move a muscle,” Papa Deer warned his mother and son. “If we don’t move, maybe she won’t notice us and go on her way. Then we can go back to enjoying our little picnic.” He watched as the lady stepped over a log and started in their direction. She looked friendly enough, he thought. What’s that she’s got in her hand, he wondered.

    She stopped and marveled at the magnificent sight of the three of them standing at the edge of the forest, motionless, like lawn ornaments waiting to be admired. She slowly moved a little closer to her find and lifted the item in her hand to her eye, and aimed.

    Papa Deer suddenly thought he heard of her and realized what she was about to do. “Thank goodness,” he cried. “We’ve got nothing to worry about.” He snorted and turned just a fraction of an inch exposing his more appealing profile. “It’s that talented lady I’ve heard so much about. She goes around taking artistic pictures of fascinating scenes,” he explained. “Then, once a week a picture is sent by email to a bunch of eagerly waiting writers. They pour out their impressions of the picture into two hundred and fifty words. Such wonderful stories from such an imaginative and gifted group, I’ve heard.”

    Hearing the clicking of the camera, he turns to his family and proudly says, “Smile. We’re going to be immortalized in very delightful short short stories for the world to enjoy.”

  6. Najjar moved to the country. The commute would be brutal. But, the solace of being away from the side-long glances and constant queries about his turban in the workplace was a blessing. He could work from home near the ones he loved.

    The natural surroundings lifted his spirits. There were squirrels and birds, of course, but the sheer diversity of the place with its sounds and smells, not heard in the city delighted him. There were downsides. Many wild critters caused annoyances but he managed them as he managed his life in the city. First with stoic aversion then more passive-aggressive actions, like spraying. Deer were the most loathsome. They ate anything that grew. In winter he could see them on their hind legs savaging his wife’s hanging pansies.

    As years became decades the deer herd grew. His job did not. He was fired. Let go after nearly twenty years of service. They said it was a downturn in the cycle, but he felt otherwise. Some nearly sneered as he left the boss’ office as if to say, “You and your funny headpiece never belonged here.” He was hurt, and angry as he headed for home.

    Najjar made his way to the back door a troubled man. He was confronted by a group of deer quietly pulling up his wife’s impatiens. Far from being spooked by his presence, they merely raised their heads and stared a nasty stink-eye-stare at the intruder. He vowed this would be war.

  7. The last time Jerry Lilly and his brother Ben saw any sign of life was just before entering the tree line. There, a handful of deer sneered their displeasure with the intruders.

    Once within the deep-rooted shadows upon which the forest stood, where little grows except moss and piles of winter-felled branches, Jerry and Ben heard a stuttering k-k-k-k-k-r-k like a door opening into a derelict shack.

    Around them, though, there was no abandoned home except last year’s finch’s nest and the insect domicile within the pine upon which a woodpecker knocked another k-k-k-k-k-r-k for entrance.

    “This noise where there’s nothing to see creeps me out, man,” Ben said.

    “Someday, little brother, you’ll find such ‘noise’ a blanket of quiet comfort, the caress of natural music far from your city brand of cacophonous, soul-crunching violence. Then, please God, you’ll be as one with its peace,” said Jerry.

    “But it’s so darn dark. How the hell are we supposed to see anything well enough to shoot it?” Ben said. He shifted his rifle to his shoulder and wagged it in carefree arcs.

    It was then Jerry swung the 12-gauge he’d borrowed from his new girlfriend Gina, widow of Eddie “The Lion” Leonetti, and murdered the quiet as Ben had murdered her husband.

    Nearby, the deer startled but soon settled back into the rhythms of the wild.

    “We listen for what doesn’t belong,” Jerry said.

  8. As Dad and I crested the hill, the three whitetails stopped as suddenly as we did. “Don’t move,” whispered Dad. “They’re not sure about us. You’ve got a shot.”

    I slowly raised my rifle and scoped out the three deer. “No antlers, Dad.” It was extended buck season. Even I knew we couldn’t shoot those deer.

    Dad let out a breath. “I know, son. But it’s time for you to make a kill.”

    I lowered my rifle as my arms tired from scoping the deer. “But, Dad…”

    “Go for the one to the left. We dress it out fast. Haul it to the car. Throw it in the back and cover it with the blankets. Fish and Game will be long gone. We’ll be home free and you’ll have your deer.”

    “It’s not legal, Dad.”

    “Pull the trigger, Jeff. You’ve been hunting for five years and haven’t gotten one. All your cousins have. Even your brother. That’s why I didn’t bring him. It’s your turn.”

    I looked through the scope once more. No antlers. I took a deep breath as I watched those deer stand there staring at us. Like they were challenging me. Like Dad.

    I let out my breath half way, held still, squeezed the trigger.

    The blast smashed around the clearing, scattering the deer in a flash.

    “You missed,” said Dad. “Again.”

    “No, Dad,” I said as I headed back to the car. “I hit just what I was aiming for.”

  9. Do you know how hard it is to get the whole family together for something like this? All the whining and complaining and running around? The headaches, the frustration…can you even understand the hassle of trying to do this?

    Well, we finally did it. We’re all together. We’ve been planning this for months now. We’re here, trying to get this done. We survived the bickering, the fighting, the distractions. And this. This happens.

    Every damn time.

    We finally get everyone together for our yearly Christmas family photo and one of the kids just has to look at something other than the camera.

    Every damn time.

  10. Jane Doe, President of the United Congress of Beasts, approached the podium built for her by the beavers of the Potomac River Valley. She began her first presidential inaugural address as follows:

    “Congratulations One and All!

    After years of degradation and slaughter by humans, we have finally exacted our revenge. It is a miracle that our plan worked and we are now free of all humans. Working together we stopped the humans.

    We all hold a debt of gratitude to the squirrels who gave their lives by chewing through key powerlines — triggering the human apocalypse forcing humans to abandon their homes and run to their vehicles to migrate elsewhere.

    We thank the beavers for cutting down the wooden telephone and power poles to block the roads stopping their migration. Moreover, the beavers dammed the streams to deprive the humans of precious water by the roads. Most of the humans met their death in long barren, waterless traffic jams.

    They abandoned their vehicles and escaped into the countryside to forage. We thank the rats for devouring human foods and ruining personal supplies.

    Winter came, and the humans turned on one another for food. Our wild dog packs and feral hogs attacked decimating the remaining humans. By the spring, humans no longer threatened us. As the months pass, we grow stronger. Humans are neutralized!

    Remember, united we stand in our kingdom of beasts.

    We now rule the earth in peace and freedom from fear for one and all!

  11. Jeb slowed his horse as they approached the well-dressed couple emerging from their car.

    “Morning,” he said as he dismounted. “What brings you here?”

    The man shook Jeb’s hand, “I’m Ted. This is my wife, Sophie. We’re thinking of buying this place. Beautiful acreage. Plenty of space for a vacation home.”

    “Look!” Sophie pointed at the three deer standing near a grove of trees. “I can picture a lovely breakfast on the porch, watching the deer graze.”

    Jeb cleared his throat, “I need to warn you about the deer. They’re the aggressive sort. You’ll need a good shotgun.”

    “What?” Sophie’s eyes widened. “They look friendly. The little one is cute.”

    “Looks can be deceiving.” Jeb stated. “We call that nasty stare they’re giving you the stink eye.”

    Sophie assessed them warily.

    Ted frowned. “We’re not hunters, we’ll leave them alone.”

    “I’m not suggesting you hunt them. When a herd of fifty or so surround your place, the best way to get rid of them is to shoot a couple shots into the air. They’ll usually disperse before attacking.”

    ***

    Jeb kissed his wife before taking a seat on the couch.

    “Good ride?”

    “Yeah. Ran into some prospective buyers looking at the land next door.”

    “And?”

    “I don’t think they’re interested anymore.”

    “What’d you do this time?” She folded her arms.

    “Evil deer story.”

    She rolled her eyes, “Eventually someone will build there.”

    He sighed, “I know. I just hate watching the area get overcrowded. All the open space is disappearing.”

  12. The three animals ahead of us were judging me.
    That’s all well and good, but she was holding the gun.
    “When were you going to tell me you were sleeping with Erica?,” she said.
    “This is so garbage,” I said, “It was all right for you to go banging dudes left and right, but I couldn’t stray once? I stayed with you for–”
    She cut off my defense by shooting me in the foot.
    “Because that,” she said, pointing the gun at my crotch, “is mine. And we’re not having this talk again–”
    A brown streak flew in from above me, knocking her to the ground. Two large shapes came in on either side of me and stood between where I lay and where she was scrambling to her feet.
    She stepped toward me, and all three deer eyed her down.
    Picking up her gun and backing away with hands in the air, she said, “This isn’t over!”
    It made no sense saying thank you, but I did.
    But I swear one of the deer nodded to me as they walked off.

  13. The guys had the perfect cover. “We’re, uh, going deer hunting. Yeah, that’s it,” Bob said.

    “Right,” Jake added. “No wives allowed. We’ll be living outdoors, amongst nature.”

    The trio trotted off across the meadow to a wooded area. There were plenty of trees for coverage. Just because they didn’t bring their weapons doesn’t mean they had nefarious thoughts in their thick skulls.

    Tom had heard from someone who had heard from someone else whose brother-in-law knew a guy who’d heard there was plenty of “fresh meat” to be had in this area. It was so rugged females didn’t like to come with, so the males had the place all to themselves, he giggled.

    But the wives, being wives, suspected something was up. Daisy said. “And knowing my Bob, when he said ‘deer’ hunting he really meant D-E-A-R.”

    Sharon felt the same way about Jake. “I say let’s follow them. See what they’re really up to.”

    Tina hatched a plan. “Guys like beer. Let’s buy a keg and see how soon they appear.”

    They worked through the night to get everything set. Sharon brought camera equipment to record any “evidence” they might find.

    Sure enough, with the dawning of the new day, the guys came out of the wood at the report of free beer, but they were suspicious. Scowling, Tom was the first to notice the wives. Before he could say anything, he was blinded by the flash of the camera, like a deer in the headlights.

  14. Act in Haste, Repent in Leisure

    Two tough guys, about 20 years old, meet at the edge of the park, to split their stash of drugs. Dusk surrounds them.

    They greet each other like old friends.

    “Scotty my man… how’s your lady?”

    “She’s good…my man. How’s your boy Trenton,Junior?”

    “T.J.? Yeah, he’s good…” he paused, in the middle of his thought, ” What’s up with those deer?”

    Scotty turns to look behind him at the deer: three, standing in a row, starting in their direction.

    While divvying up the drugs, Trenton stops, “There’s something wrong with those deer – they look like they want to attack.”

    Scotty looks over…” Maybe they have that disease, I saw on TV, that’s killing all the deer.”

    “What? They don’t look sick.”

    ” It’s called zombie disease.”

    ” No, way!”

    “Yeah legit! They get aggressive like zombies!”

    ” Oh, man…this can’t be real!”

    “It is! Let’s get this done , and get out of here,” Scotty said, looking over his shoulder.

    But Trenton couldn’t concentrate, “I’m not going to let them…just… attack us!”

    Before Scotty could say a word, Trenton pulled out his gun, and shot all three deer!

    ” Man…what did you do?” And with that, the two guys ran.

    ***

    “What are the drug charges?”the attorney sounded tired.

    “No drug charges – I hid my stash.”

    “What are the charges then?” he asked surprised.

    “Killing a deer out of season, without a license, on protected park property.”

    “Killing a deer…?”

    “Yeah…a zombie deer. It was self defense.”

  15. STINK EYE

    I knew him in Parents without Partners, a singles group where I became the discussion chairman in the early 70s. He came to the discussion group three times weekly to tell about his harem. He had three and was always looking for the 4th. When he found the 4th, he dumped the one of the three he liked the best. He said that kept him from falling in love until he met the right woman.

    …..I write about him in my historical novel California Singles.

  16. For Editor’s Choice Award only

    Danny was riding the subway with his pals, coming home from a subway series game, Mets vs. Yankees. His team, the Mets, lost. Across the train was a couple wearing Yankee shirts, chatting excitedly about the game. The young woman was a fox, and she whispered something in the guy’s ear. Then Danny noticed the guy glaring at him.

    It got worse, and as they passed more stations, the train was emptying out. The woman looked familiar, but he couldn’t place her.

    When he could stand it no longer, he moved across the aisle. “Why you giving me the stink eye?” asked Danny.

    “The name’s Scott,” said the man. “And this is my wife, Sarah Briggs. Formerly Sarah Carter.”

    “Sarah?” said Danny, dumbfounded.

    “That’s Mrs. Briggs to you,” said Scott. “And I’m giving you the stink eye because you stink.”

    Still awestruck, Danny said, “But you used to be – ”

    “What, Danny, fat? Go ahead, say it!” said Sarah. “Scott loves me for who I am.”

    “Well, I’ll be – ”

    “What, a stinker? Did you know that Sarah fell apart after you dumped her like a sack of potatoes?”

    “Scott, please, leave it alone. We’re so happy,” said Sarah.

    “You’re happy with him?” asked Danny, “You don’t want me back?”

    “Didn’t you hear him, Danny? We’re married. Non-negotiable.”

    Danny seemed unconvinced. “You’re actually happy?”

    Sarah looked over her shoulder at Danny, as they got off the train. She smiled. “Did the Yankees win?”

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