Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Last Nap

Flash fiction prompt NE WA Fair 08262018 IMG_0372
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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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Last Nap”

  1. The innocence of a sleeping child, the ability to drop off anywhere and anytime the need arises, how I envy the total acceptance from the child of what is natural. I used to be spontaneous too… once upon a time.

    She looked at the girl’s hat and her shirt, wait a minute, that’s my granddaughter’s, and those shorts, they belong to her too!

    In a panic, I don’t remember the cows, the hay, coming in here! Now, now, calm down Louise, you forget where you are, as my Gramma used to say, shake that hay out of your hair and get yourself some milk and cookies. You’re safe and sound. You just drifted off for a little while.

    As Nonna carries the tray with two glasses of milk and fresh baked cookies, the little girl is woken by the wonderful smell and total well-being, the cycle continues and Nonna remembers her own childhood and her summertime visits to the farm.

  2. Last Nap

    Jason had lived on this farm all of his life. Why, he had been born in the house just a few yards away from the barn.

    Bessie was there from the beginning. Her milk was some of the first food he ever had – rich, creamy, comforting. Sure, she was a cow. But Jason came to regard her as his “animal Mom”.

    Years went by (don’t they always?), but his affection for Bessie never changed. When he would fall, maybe scrape a knee or some such, he drew comfort from her. She was always there…big, warm, affectionate…with a big warm lick on his cheek to comfort him.

    She was, to him, family. And at ten years of age, he couldn’t imagine life without her.

    His father’s announcement came as a shock. No longer producing milk and advanced in years, Bessie was to be sold.

    Jason spent the night bedded down next to her in the stall. She had been, and still was, his best friend.

    In the morning the truck came. He watched Bessie being loaded into the trailer. She cast him a woeful gaze.

    Then the truck left…headed for the slaughter house…

  3. Tommy ordered a sweet lemonade and a spinach salad for lunch. He didn’t begrudge his boss choosing a double hamburger with cottage fries but when the food arrived, he surreptitiously studied his plate. Chewing thoughtfully, he let his mind drift back to the summer he’d turned eleven.

    He’d been small for his age but visiting Uncle Aubrey and Aunt Cardina’s farm for the first time had made him feel less so. Aubrey let him help slop the hogs, feed the chickens and haul bales of hay to cows. His muscles complained that first day. By sundown, he was more than ready to crawl into his feather bed, under the soft quilt Cardina had made just for him, the patter of raindrops hitting the tin roof lulling him into contented sleep.

    Two weeks flew by too quickly. He knew he’d miss Aunt Cardina’s chihuahua. He’d even named the animals he’d helped care for. Bocephus and Vera were his favorite cows, Egberta was a favored chicken. He wasn’t as attached to the hogs, except for the littlest piglet. Tommy called him Goliath.
    The morning dawned on his last day, so after chores, he’d snuck into the barn and curled up across from Bo, Vera to his back. He wouldn’t sleep so peacefully ever again.

    That first day home, he politely refused the steaks his father had grilled. Likewise, the bacon at next day’s breakfast. In fact, he never ate meat again. He’d never eat another friend.

    Tommy finished his salad and smiled.

  4. Carla’s Fairy Tale

    “Please, Mama?” Carla pleaded. “Just one more story but no fairy tales?”
    “Alright. Lay down, close your eyes and listen.”
    “Okay.” Carla’s mother sat back down and began to speak.
    “It was 1897, in the middle of a very stormy spring in a beautiful town called New Hope, Nebraska. The stormy season had really started to take it’s toll on everyone who lived there. Everyone was afraid because the twisters were ripping up homes, livestock and crops. Even the trees, land and flowers were showing the strain of the season. In the town there was an orphanage that had been evacuated, all except one little girl that no one could find. The owner of the orphanage thought the unhappy little girl had run away, which she had. One bright morning after the storms had cleared, a young married couple stepped out of their root cellar to check the damage inflicted on their ranch. The crops had fared just fine so they checked on the animals inside the barn. They were all secured where the rancher had left them but there was something new. Sleeping peacefully next to their milking cow was the run away orphaned girl.”
    “Holy crow! Did the couple adopt her?”
    “They did.”
    “What was her name?”
    “That’s my middle name!”
    “That’s right… after my great grandmother.”
    “That story was true? It sounded like a fairy tale.”
    “Some of the best stories are true and still end like a fairy tale. Goodnight, Carla.”

  5. Pete was adamant that he continue his schooling even if he had to board with relatives faraway. Attending a university has always been his dream; working on the farm alongside his father and uncles didn’t cut it. The exception: his daily interaction with Becca, as he milked her in the hay-filled barn during the wee hours.

    “Becca, did you hear what Mother did? She sent my application to the Jesuit school in Manila. So any day now, I should be hearing something.”

    “Pete! Are you almost done milking?” boomed the voice of Father from outside.

    “Just completing the second pail, Father.” Pete retorted. Then, turning back to Becca,

    “See? All I get are orders. I like that I attend school to break this monotony. But it’s my last year here. I don’t relish being stuck on this farm forever.”

    “Moo,” Becca sounded displeased.

    “No offense, I enjoy our talks. But I want to be a doctor someday”.

    “Hurry up, Pete. You have a package,” Mother screamed, excitedly. He stopped the milking, gave Becca a pat, before heading home.

    The final days of the dry season ushered the start of the monsoon rains. Pete readied his luggage and sauntered to the barn. Becca was resting on her side nonchalantly. A wash of sentimentality overcame him. The sweet smell of the hay was more pronounced; Becca’s coat seemed resplendent.

    Pete hunkered down alongside her, shut his eyes, lulling himself into a nap: a fitting tribute to his waning childhood and closest friend.

  6. The boots and the cap were too big but he wore them anyway. They were the only reminders he had of his father. He knew his dad was no hero, just a man called to fight in a war he knew little about. But he also knew his dad had gone when called and done his best in spite of the cost. That made him a hero to Daniel and made his loss easier to bear.

    Now Daniel lived with his grandmother and her old aunt on their farm in the middle of nowhere. Two typically lovable little old ladies with no idea what to do with a youngster. They dressed him in thrift store clothing. Bright green shorts, a red shirt with flowers. Whatever ghastly clothes the ladies came up with, he wore them without complaint. And no matter what else he wore, he always wore his father’s boots and cap.

    At night, the ladies let him sleep in the barn, curled up next to a warm comforting cow. They would come to bid him goodnight, ask him if he wanted a blanket, give him a kiss, pat the cow, and ask the cow to please not roll over on their little Danny.

  7. County fairs are never easy—lots of long hours and hard work. This doesn’t even include all the months of preparation—proper grooming, proper feeding, the training, the documentation, the equipment. And then, before you know it, it’s showtime. The dog and pony show that is 4-H life.

    As much as I am in charge, I am at the mercy of others. Therefore, whenever I get the chance, especially in the barn, I take a nap. We all do. The 4-H kids are dedicated and a special breed all their own.

    In a few days all the work will be over, completed, finis. Animals will be sold, the money stashed in the bank for the college fund, and the process begins all over for the next year.

    I love this time of year. I get to travel, I get to hear the applause, the compliments. I make a lot of money. I just hate to see it end. I know how it will turn out even if he doesn’t.

    Oh, I’ll let the little guy sleep. He’s growing up so fast and he will even more after I’m gone. But all is not lost. I’m still pretty good eats!

  8. Last Nap

    Most of us don’t know when our last sleep will be. I was 8 when I lost my daddy. I still remember my mother running into the house to answer that phone ringing and ringing and ringing…

    The four of us drove into Stockton that Saturday morning so my dad could turn in his papers to teach 8th grade another year. While my mother took my brother and me shopping, he went to the school district office, turned in the papers and stopped at a drug store where a friend from church worked. The friend from church chatted with him, then went to wait on a customer. When he turned back, he found my dad dead from a heart attack on the floor of the store. The coroner was called.

    My mother, brother Tommy and I meanwhile waited for two hours in the car wondering why he had not returned to us. We drove home without him and as we drove in the driveway we could hear the phone ring and ring and ring. I saw my mama Verlie run from the car to answer that phone. She knew something was wrong. It was the coroner who gave her the terrible news.

  9. Cindy Fletcher picked up the homework and read the next one in the pile:

    Class 402, Mrs. Fletcher
    Animal story homework
    Johnny Edgefield

    Tooter My Snugly Bull

    My Papa is a animal farmer and he sure does a good job. He brings home the bacon. Ha ha ha.

    It is sad to kill the animals but we need to eat the meat. My Papa doesn’t kill them his self but he sends them away by truck some other place. To be killed.

    Tooter the Bull my best friend is two years old. I hug him for real. I put grass in his very large mouth. I cannot eat him for a million dollars but he’s going away to feed MANY people. I am a very sad guy. Tonight we take a last nap in the barn. Me by his side. Bye Tooter.

    ~ * ~

    Cindy was deeply touched. She considered Johnny’s situation very seriously. Her father happened to own one of the biggest slaughterhouses in Wisconsin, and once or twice a year, he sent one of the bulls he purchased to an animal sanctuary. So Cindy made some calls.

    When Johnny came to school the next morning, he ran up to her, very excited. “Guess what, Mrs. Fletcher? They saved my bull, Tooter! They took him to a sleepaway camp, and I can visit him there!”

    “That’s awesome, Johnny,” said Cindy. “Just remember that we can’t save them all. Not everyone is a vegetarian, like me!”


    Nate knew that if Bertie,the young cow, did not win a ribbon in the state fair, 4-H competition, she would not go home with them. His father was all business.


    She was his bucket calf. They purchased her at three days old.

    Nate learned how to take care of the calf. He talked to her and even took naps with .


    “I think I have a chance at a ribbon…, he said to Chuck,” …the competition doesn’t look good this year.”


    The night before the competition Bertie got sick. The vet came.

    “Whats wrong with her?” Nate asked.

    ” Looks like mastitis- an infection. Only 50/50 she will ever produce milk.”

    Nate took her to the vet barn, to stay a few days. It was overseen by the humane society.

    The next day Nates father announced, “Well, you cow was sold.”

    “To who?”

    “A friend.”

    “Dad, please, she’s my cow, let me have one day.”

    “Okay,it is your cow.”

    Nate rushes to the lady at the humane society.

    “Please buy Bertie from me for your field trip students.”


    Nate explained that they will over-milk her,and if she can’t keep up – off to the slaughterhouse.

    The woman looked at the boy, who had heart, “Okay but I can only pay you $150. But you can tell your father, it’s a tax write -off .”

    That night, Nate took one last nap with his beloved cow Bertie.

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