Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Running

3L0A8484 run with a view smaller 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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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Running”

  1. The Thing Under the Bed

    In her dreams, Naomi was always running from the thing under her bed.

    For weeks, she would lay awake at night and think about it. She sensed it. Felt it.

    Then one night she looked under her bed . . .

    Summoning her courage, Naomi knelt down and lifted the bed cover. In the dim light she saw a small box. It had a blinking blue light. But she did not put it there.

    She sat upright, frightened. What could it be?

    Her imagination took over.

    Was it a listening device? Was that device connected to a box outside her home? Was that box sending all the information it collected to a top secret facility, in which analysts scrutinized and analyzed all her data?

    What then?

    If they disapproved of her activity, would they send agents to her home to investigate? Investigate what?

    She was a romance novelist.

    No warrant would be required. All they would need was a hint, of a suggestion, of a suspicion, of her wrong doing.

    But what had she done?

    No doubt, (((they))) would be the arbiters of wrong doing. They would find something to charge her with. After all, the requirements for wrong doing were changing every day.

    Yes, they would find something wrong. Then they would come knocking on her door in the middle of the night and take her away.

    Just then, Naomi froze . . .

    Someone was knocking on her door.

  2. The day is wonderful. I have finally finished college and have said yes to my boyfriends, proposal of Marriage. That will get me out from under my parents, roof and rules. It is time I started my own family and he is the perfect man in every way. And yes, I honestly love him to the depths of my heart and soul.

    Running is now my favorite thing to do, it seems to clear my head and allows me time to think out here in the wide-open space of the country. Just me and nature, embracing and absorbing the beautiful majestic landscape, smelling the crisp clean air, and all under a magnificent morning sky.

    I love running for so many reasons. Not only for the health aspects it brings but also the freedom to move about, speed your way to another point, compete with others like myself, and challenge myself to greater heights of endurance. I have gained more confidence, and am more self-assured in life. It is hard to pin down just what exactly it is. I just simply love it.

    This time of year, is especially my favorite. The flowers are all in full bloom. The snow on the mountains have all melted away and the grasses have covered it all in such wonderful shades of green.
    All the birds and small animals doing their thing all around and happily sharing it all with me. It truly is a wonderful life.

  3. I had no idea. When Johnny dropped me off exactly three miles from home, the skies were sunny. But I guess that’s the beauty of weather. You can never be sure what it’s going to do. If I can just make it home before the storm starts..

    Run. Run. Run….

    It’s taken me months of daily practice to work up to running three miles. I bet I could step it up a bit. Get home a little faster. Beat this darn storm. Yeah, I can do better than this.

    Run, run, run….

    Running is supposed to be good for you. But what about if it rains. And you get soaked. And come down with pneumonia. Then what. That’s not good. Gotta step it up.


    I can make it. I can beat the rain. I know I can. Whoooosh! No I can’t. I’m out of breath already. Phooey… Okay, rain, you win. And don’t think you can scare me with that thunder.

    Slosh… Slosh… Slosh…

  4. Gold and grey
    Not much to say
    Some prefer to walk
    Others long to stay
    I run towards the storm
    Where contrast thunders change
    Life is mysterious
    In sunshine tears rain
    Still rainbows lead me on
    Toward gold and orange sunsets
    As the wind whistles a song
    Of treasures clothed in pain
    Mountains surround me
    And meadows applaud
    Health wealth love and happiness on the edge of darkness breathless for more.

  5. “Are you running from or are you running towards something?”

    “More like running in place while I am in decision limbo.”

    “Your deadline is fast approaching and you need to get on with it.”

    “I know, Dad, and hold off on the pestering. Moving is stressful; no sense in rattling my cage further.”

    I was done with university and faced literally the life-changing angst of keeping step with the familiar milieu of friends, family and a country I loved or chucking the safety net in preparation of residing abroad with Mom.

    Though life is good it was far from complete since Mom left. She remained the chief aide of my grandfather, the leader of the political opposition. Her family was asked to leave or suffer an insurmountable fate. Though Mom would not have been touched had she stayed behind, her local presence would have affected my paternal half and its numerous businesses that drew much of its sustenance from the status quo.

    While a student, I was immune to the politics. Now that my current concerns in a neutral livelihood seemed to be compromised, joining Mom became the viable option. Did not relish starting from zero, with no social connections or claim on my prominent family name. But I will finally breathe–away from the expectations and past shortcomings: my slate pristine.

    All I had to do was decide.

    The promise of a better adventure grew favorably as the months progressed.

    I jetted away into the unknown landscape called America.

  6. Karen was born and raised in eastern Colorado, just far enough east to look like the plains of Kansas but within sight of the Rocky Mountains. It was an idyllic life in a small Midwestern town—everyone knew each other but also respected the others’ privacy. You didn’t need to be a farmer to spend the days outdoors—everyone was doing something. If you weren’t cycling, you were running. If you weren’t running, you were hiking. Everyone was active.

    Karen liked to run. All the medical and physical benefits were true—it relieved stress, burned calories, and gave her much needed time alone with her thoughts. It was also increasing her stamina and she decided to prepare to run a marathon. She had participated in a variety of races, including the 15K. The next level would be a marathon. Although not a fan of long distances, she decided to begin training for a marathon. If nothing else she could say she ran a marathon at least once.

    On the weekends she hit the state highway because it had little traffic and beautiful scenery. As she headed toward the mountains, she decided to see how close she could get to them. She knew it was 35 miles from her home to the edge of the range.

    As her mind wandered, she realized this was what life was about—having goals you had no intention of reaching. If everything came easily, you wouldn’t work as hard. She enjoyed this “work.”

  7. Albie figured he had run nearly three times around the world by now. Every day, despite the weather, he’d lace up and run at lunch and longer routes on weekends. 10Ks, 15 Ks, the occasional marathon; he ran a lot. While traveling, he found time for a daily run. He ran in the desert, the seashore, mountains, dirt roads and busy streets.

    He suffered the ailments of all committed runners: aches and pains, blackened toenails, blisters and falls. He always reckoned running was for his health. But in his heart he knew that he was always running from something, not towards something: a boss he didn’t like, two ex-wives; two estranged adult children and forty five years as an internal bank auditor, the very definition of boredom.

    This summer day he obliged himself some moments of self-loathing as he urged his aging body along in what now was at best an old man’s shuffle. He was used to being passed by others and rarely spoken to; perhaps, he thought, out of pity.

    Suddenly, he heard, “Hey, how long have you had that pronation?” The female voice was at his left shoulder, then she passed him with, “You ought to have those hips looked at. I’m an arthropod. I’ll wait for you to finish back at the “Y”.

    He followed her for a while thinking of what might be possible. She was younger than he but not by much. “Why not,” he thought, and picked up his pace.


    I was so disappointed to discover President Andrew Jackson and his cohorts were responsible for the Trail of Tears. Andrew Jackson is taught to be a hero in our schools. The Cherokees were sent, against their will, from the lush, green lands of the Carolinas to the dry land of Oklahoma.

    On the list of those forced to resettle in Oklahoma is the name Dry. Others on the list are male first names but not for Dry. Nancy Dry my kids’ ancestor is on the list. Her first name is omitted for women’s names didn’t count.

    The walk was long and hard. Little running was involved in the long trek to what would be their new home. Oklahoma was thought to be worthless until oil was discovered and the Cherokee would again be robbed of their lands and put onto reservations. After the Indians were placed on reservations, sometimes a white man looking for a wife would marry an Indian woman. The father of Lee Roy Jefferson, after his first wife died took a wife, from the reservation. When the old man died, Pocahontas Sixkiller returned to the reservation without their son Lee Roy. His uncles raised him as a half breed and took the land that should have gone to Lee Roy.

    According to family tales Nancy Dry became a doctor among the people in Oklahoma. She also was known by her Indian name of Pocahontas Sixkiller.

  9. Carol and Bill moved outside of town, to a bigger house, and better view.

    The move was easy for them, but not for their four cats. The cats were used to going outside and exploring the yard whenever they wanted. But the road in front of Carol and Bills’ new house was too busy. So they had to build an elaborate, expensive catico – outdoor playhouse.


    Carol arrived home from work. She looks up at the house, and sees the cats in the picture window.

    ” Hey guys,” she said to the cats, “Mommy’s home! How come you guy’s aren’t in your catico?”

    They would come to greet her; but then, rush back to the window, like they were missing their favorite TV show. Then, around 6:30 they would start hissing, and twenty minutes later, take off like a flash and hide.

    Carol called the vet and he said, “Probably another cat crossing through their territory.”

    The pattern continued.


    Carol was off work and decided to watch.

    The same odd cat behavior. Then, Bill came home early. ” Guess who I saw jogging by?”


    ” Mandy, the other vet. She lives up the road.”

    ” She jogged by yesterday too. You don’t suppose…?” Carol said.

    Bill looked out the window, and just then, Dr. Mandy jogged back, but this time, on their side of the street – right past their house. The cats ran off and hid. “I think so, Carol. They probably think she’s making a house call!”

  10. Ellie ran along the road outside town. Strains of “America the Beautiful” ran through her mind. Ellie’s ponytail kept flopping up and down, keeping time with the song she silently heard. She was running against traffic on the “wrong” side of the road, because that’s just what you did to keep safe.

    Purple mountain majesties! We have it all, out here in rural Oregon, thought Ellie. She thought she spied a truck on the wrong side of the road, but kept going.

    As she ran, the road disappeared and was replaced by the finest grass in a color she’d never seen before. She found herself walking under new and different trees, beside a travel companion she found strangely familiar.

    “Where is this place?” asked Ellie.

    “Don’t you know?” asked the man.

    “But how could it be — unless I”m — ”

    “Dead? Do you feel dead?” asked the man.

    “No, I feel absolutely, positively alive!” exclaimed Ellie, “It’s you, isn’t it?”

    “You catch on quickly,” said the man, “So what do you want to do next?”

    “I’m concerned about my baby. And my husband, who’s with her right now.”

    “I feel deeply for them. Jenna isn’t with Mario now. She’s with your sister-in-law, Louise. Mario is with your parents at St. John’s.”

    “So fast?”

    “Time has no meaning here.”

    “Can I go back?” asked Ellie.

    “I thought you might want that.”

    “I feel really torn. Will you be with me?”

    “Always am,” he smiled.

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