Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Explore

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta, Canada flash fiction writing 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.

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

All Indies Unlimited staff members, including the admins, are volunteers who work for free. If you enjoy what you read here - all for free - please share with your friends, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don't know how to thank us for all this great, free content - feel free to make a donation! Thanks for being here.

5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Explore”

  1. 2084

    “Wake up.”

    The words were spoken softly by an anonymous voice on the telescreen.

    Winona opened her eyes and pleasant music filled the room.

    “Go to work.”

    Winona was soon headed to her job. Along the way, she passed rows of tenement buildings that crowded the city sky, and everywhere, metal and concrete groaned under the weight of a rising sun.


    “Time for lunch.”

    “Did you hear?” asked Cathy. She was sitting next to Winona in the lunch room.

    “Hear what?” Winona asked. She knew it wasn’t wise to ask questions, but she was curious.

    “Troubling news,” she whispered. “The Party is planning changes. It’s going to allow free speech, elections and libraries.”

    “How do you know?”

    “I was in the director’s office and overheard a conversation.”

    Winona wondered: Why would the Party do such a thing? Freedom and elections were relics of the past; there was only control and orthodoxy now. The State provided everything; it was the arbiter of the collective will.

    “Back to work.”


    In the months that followed, the newly built libraries remained empty, no one voted at election time, and free speech faded away. . . .

    It was once said people would grow to love their servitude.

    But as Winona lay in bed one night, and as she explored the nature of her world, she realized people didn’t just love their servitude; they desired it.

    “Go to sleep.”

  2. The lake was bone-numbingly quiet. There was little for a demon to do but to mess with the wildlife, orchestrating a few turnarounds frustrating those predators used to being at the top of the dominance triangle. An unexpected flash-mobbing of pigeons or a shoal closing in on a pike; it took very little to arrange and upset nothing in the long run.

    God was out walking, numbering Man’s blessings. He’d reached infinity a dozen times – He counted quickly, and He’d spent a whole week working here – but every omnipotent being soon gets bored. That was the whole point of there being Good and Evil; the Devil’s a great companion and always rises to a challenge.

    “Oh, Split-foot,” God said, acting nonchalant. “You too busy wreaking havoc, or can you spare me some time?”

    The demon emerged from underwater, glowing as hot as the sun. He stepped out across the waves, fusing the water into glass, startling several trout who suddenly found themselves swimming inside a bottle, predating mortal man’s invention of them several millennia later. He ignored them, though; he’d other fish to fry now.

    “I’m never too busy for you,” he grinned, ready for any sport the other could provide. The planet had been deathly quiet since the last ice age, after that stone-skimming incident that went global. He’d been secretly glad about the result of that one, though. Those lizard brains had been dull, completely closed to temptation. “What mischief can we get up to, Compadre?

  3. Dave spurred his horse to the crest of the hill on that crisp fall afternoon and then reined her in. There was no denying that what lay before them was a huge, seemingly impassable, body of water. The mountains on the other side, clouds crowding around the now snow-covered peaks, looked inviting, like they might have some room to breathe.

    Dave needed that room, but to cross the lake would entail terrible risk for Erma and their two children. Wasn’t the risk worth taking when the prospect of staying where they were was fraught with danger?

    His horse sensed Dave’s eagerness and pranced about in anticipation. Dave pulled back on the reins as he surveyed the broad expanse of water between them and the promised land.

    A cool breeze brushed Dave’s unshaven face, sweaty from the long ride he had led his small party on. They were reluctant explorers but in the end they would follow him.

    “I’m hungry, Dad,” said Millie, at 12 years old the eldest child.

    “I’m tired of riding horses, Dad,” said Stephan, the nine-year-old on his first trip.

    Dave had faith that both of them would thank him in due time.

    “Dave,” said Erma in exasperation, “Wake up. We’ve got to get the horses back before they charge us for another hour.”

    “We want food,” yelled the kids. “We want food.”

    “Head ‘em out,” said Dave, reluctantly turning his horse back towards the dude ranch. “Grub’s waiting for us at the McDonald’s.”

  4. Clara, Jenny and her brother Richie woke up early in their tents, ready to prepare breakfast. When Richie went for firewood, he stumbled upon something strange. The recent rains had run off the mountain, revealing a large, ornate object of shiny blue, copper and gold.

    “Hey, girls! You gotta see this!” yelled Richie.

    They all stood stupefied over his discovery, and started clearing more dirt.

    “It looks Egyptian!” cried Clara.

    “That’s right,” said a deep voice behind them. Two scruffy men pointed guns at them.

    “Here are some shovels,” said the second man, “Now dig it out.”

    “Is this a sarcophagus?” asked Jenny.

    “We have a genius!” said the second man, sarcastically. “Just do as you’re told.”

    “Do you have to point those guns at us?” asked Richie, “We’re as curious as you are.”

    “Yeah, we do,” said the first man, “And this belongs to us.”

    They felt a strong wind, as an FBI helicopter circled immediately above them.

    “Lower your weapons,” said a booming voice, “You’re under arrest for the theft of foreign artifacts.”

    The men tried to grab the two girls, but not before some agents already on the ground took the men from behind. The three friends breathed a sigh of relief and thanked the agents.

    “What are you gonna do with uh, King Tut?” asked Clara.

    “It’s fake,” said one of the agents. “The real crypt is safe. We switched it and waited for the thieves to return.”

    “Faked ’em out, wow!” said Richie.

  5. People in Lakeland think of the story of the underwater creature, hiding in the depths of their lake, as an old folktale. But not Jake. In his 50 years of night fishing, he had seen the lake creature six times. But, the fact that he liked to drink a little, while he fished, made his stories less credible. He advised people not to go near the parking lot at night.


    Justine and Seth sat in the parking lot of the Lakefront Park, just as many other young lovers had for years, watching the moon reflecting on the lake. Their parents disapproved of the romance; but they had persevered for 3 years. Now, they were about to go off to college. They met behind their parents back to talk about their plans.

    “I just don’t understand my mother. She tells me that if I don’t follow her plan, she won’t let me have any personal life,” Justine cried as she leaned on Seth shoulder.

    “My parents are almost as bad. They’re furious that I’m going to the state university to be with you. I can’t believe we have to sneak around.”

    Just then, the sound of water splashing caught their attention; and they stared in shock as a creature, 20 feet tall and slimy, rose up before them. It grabbed their car and pulled them into the lake, crushing the car and drowning the lovers!

    They were never found. Their parents anguished about their disappearance.

    Jake heard the screams. He knew…

Comments are closed.