Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Adobe

painted desert 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.

Author: Administrators

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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Adobe”

  1. During our honeymoon thirty years ago, Vic and I ventured into the unfamiliar and opted for New Mexico, where we spent a week, living in an adobe apartment that overlooked the valley. Waking naturally to the beckoning sunshine, completely isolated from life’s modernities, we both used the precious moments to venture into the unfamiliar recesses of our beings: the foundation to the life we pledged to journey together.

    Today, we are making it back to Santa Fe, to relive that experience, hoping to rediscover what was overlooked in the raising of our four, now independent, children. Our strength as a couple was honed through various cycles of career and financial challenges and eventual retirement. Too much was invested to consider upsetting the routine but our relationship needed flavoring to weather the years ahead.

    Slower now but still eager, and finally relieved of the burdens of planning a family vacation, we left our luggage with the concierge of our upgraded nest.

    “Shall we visit the church?”

    “Let’s. Then we can head out to that hole in the wall for lunch…see if it still has our favorites.”

    Over tapas, Vic shared,
    “Isn’t this great? No one to worry about except each other. No timetable to be anywhere. And such a change from dreary Seattle this time of year.”

    I smiled and nodded.

    The euphoria of those early days of discovery overcame us and like silly teenagers, we headed off to parts unknown, Vic all too willing to venture again with me.

  2. What the heck is going on? Why is no one participating? The contest opened early Saturday morning and here it is Monday evening, and there are still no entries. They can’t all be on vacation, or sick, or dealing with power outages. So what is it? Are they all suffering from a severe case of writers block? Surely they could come up with a mere 250 words in response to the prompt. They can’t all be feverishly scratching their heads, or pacing the floor, or pouring still another drink, or thinking longingly of those delightful cigarettes they gave up without a backward glance 2 months 3 days 14 hours and 6 minutes ago. Can they?

    How hard can it be? A well-built adobe, modern by the looks of the windows, so that rules out stories of an old-fashioned Indian attack. Maybe a honeymoon hideaway for a young couple? Or a very old couple? Nah, that’s been done to death. How about a casino robbery, and the crooks are hiding out in… Nah, that’s dumb.

    I don’t know what forces are at work killing my creativity, and apparently everyone else’s too, but I know exactly what is going to happen. Just about one hour after the contest closes, I will have the perfect story. Just watch…

  3. Miguel gives his daughter their few remaining sips of water. Maria is so exhausted and dehydrated that he has carried her for the last hour. The trek has been long and dangerous. But according to the coyote, their safe house should soon appear. Maria is the only member of his family left. They must reach freedom and safety.

    As he tops a barren rise, he sees the promised adobe house in the distance. He lowers Maria to the ground and raises his hands skyward, thanking God. Then he takes Maria’s hand and they stumble forward. The sand sucks at their feet. But the sight of salvation pulls them ahead.

    As they draw nearer to the house, Miguel begins to worry. It almost looks abandoned. Then a man steps out of the front door. He wears a blue neckerchief and a red ball cap. He shields his eyes with his hand as he scans the countryside. When he spots the two travelers, he waves to them.

    As they hurry toward him, Miguel sees a smirk on the man’s face. Quickly, Miguel turns to run. But the red-capped man shouts, “They’re here.”

    More men, brandishing guns, leap from the shadows and begin firing. They have been betrayed. Miguel grabs Maria and falls to the ground on top of her. He prays that his daughter might be allowed to live. But hope fades as he hears the snickering gunmen walk nearer. Slowly his lifeblood seeps into the thirsty sand.

  4. Frances wanted a new home, built to all of her specifications. Now that the children were raised and both she and her husband were retired, the time seemed right to create their little “castle”.

    Her children and grandchildren convinced her that she needed to respect nature and minimize her carbon footprint, whatever that was. The new siding should keep in the coolness of the evening but also the warmth of the day. The new windows allowed Frances to take advantage of the fresh air without need for an air conditioner. It was one level, which was perfect for the aging couple.

    After some research and myriad suggestions from “helpful” children, Frances decided to go with adobe.

    The day to move in approached and everyone was excited to see the new structure.

    “Well,” Frances said, “does this look like a home where a couple of old people live?”

    Her husband, who kept silent through the whole ordeal, quipped, “If by old you mean the Flintstones, then yes.”

  5. ADOBE

    My mother’s oldest brother built the perfect house for the hot summers of Chowchilla, California, in the center of the San Joaquin Valley. He and his workers made adobe brick. They laid the brick perfectly attached to a solid foundation. Soon a house took shape, cool in summer and warm in the winter.

    Erskin and Ruby grew two children there, Jean and George. They grew up, married and left home.

    My favorite memories of the house was lying in front of the fireplace on a bearskin rug that Uncle Erskin hunted with his several bloodhounds and shot in the wild. The room was cozy and inviting.

    Other memories I have in that house are eating Aunt Ruby’s angel food cake that she whipped up using 13 egg whites. She also always had a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle going on a table.

    Today I wonder if anyone thinks about using adobe brick for their homes rather than solar power, expensive forms of heating or suffering through the heat or cold without thought of planning.

  6. Stephanie and Brandon moved into their Adobe house in the Arizona desert. Brandon said, “This place has more than enough space to raise a family! Nooks and crannies everywhere.”

    “Kids?” asked Stephanie, tossing her curly blond locks, “We discussed that already. We’re hardly married a year.”

    While they slept that night, she dreamed of a family inhabiting the house in another era, before modern conveniences.

    A braided Mama stirred a corn porridge over the hearth, serving it in earthen bowls to seven young black-haired, brown-eyed children. A buff, shirtless Papa came in with a large, skinned bird he cooked outside, held in a cloth.

    Mama doled out large, dried leaves, while Papa cut off portions of the bird with a flint, placing each portion in a leaf, beginning with the youngest, except for the baby, the eighth child, who nursed at her mother’s breast.

    They sat down and bowed their heads, speaking in an unknown language. The dream was so vivid that she could feel and sense everything through the eyes of Mama. She felt the baby at her breast.

    Papa led her outside, and pointed to the sunset, while the children followed. It was strikingly beautiful.

    Stephanie’s bedroom in the house had an eastern exposure, and the sunbeams woke her. The sunrise was as beautiful as the sunset, in her dream. She could still feel the weight and warmth of the baby in her arms.

    Had a family of ten really lived here?

  7. I am her San Miguel. She is my Lady Socorro.
    It’s not the same adobe as the famous church, but it’s sacred to us. It’s the place hard work built, that the sun enriched, that love made.

    She found me at my worst moment, way before anything good rolled my way. My lady of perpetual help reached out, pulled me to my feet after the accident. When I thought I had lost everything, helped me see that while the beginning would always be there in my heart, the end was its own beginning.

    Maybe it was all the focus on others, but the lady of perpetual help would need my help fighting her demons. At first, I could only hold her as she battled the bottle, but something told me it wouldn’t be enough.
    It almost cost her life, which would’ve cost mine.

    We headed home from the battle, came through Socorro, saw San Miguel Mission. History told us that once it was named Nuestra Senora del Socorro. Until the attack, when the huddled, harried believers swore they saw St. Michael and his sword, both made of fire.

    Like in Socorro, I became the flaming apparition that chased her attackers back. Never away, but back. And I still have that flaming sword if it’s ever needed.

    When an adobe house near us went on sale, we decided it was a sign.
    The lady of perpetual help, and her sword. We’re here, and we’re all we need.

  8. Adobe Dreams

    Rose and Bill had compromised all their married life. Rose had wanted a house in the city; Bill a country house. They settled on a house in the suburbs.

    When Bill had the opportunity to transfer out west, to the Arizona desert; even though Rose wanted to stay back east – they went west, and built a traditional adobe house: 75% sand, 25% clay.

    Then, Bill had become interested in the prepper movement: attending a lot of meetings.


    After a year of painting everyday, and only going into town once a week; Rose was not happy. She missed her friends.


    Bill had to fly back east for business. The third night of Bill’s trip, he calls Rose at midnight.

    “Rose, it’s me,” starts Bill, ” I have some news.”

    “What?” She asks, still groggy.

    “Miss Anna’s neighbor’s house is for sale. It’s a zoned duplex. It would allow us to travel.”

    “Us… what do you mean?”

    “How about buying it?” Bill said.

    “For an investment?”Rose asks.

    “No. I know you’re not happy, and my blood pressure has been too high, hanging around all those prepper guys.”

    “So… you mean move?”

    “Yes,” Bill said.

    ” From our dream home,” she asked incredulous.

    “It was just a dream – the reality is different,” Bill said.

    ” Okay, I would love to live next door to Miss Anna,” Rose said excited.

    “We’ll go west in the winter, when we retire,” Bill offered.

    “Thank you. I love you. You’ve always known my heart,” Rose said quietly.

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