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.
7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Majesty”
Why’d he send me here? There was nothing, just a few trees and some mountains. No power grid. No landing pads. Not a single building.
I can protofab most of that stuff, but still. You make one lousy joke at the Emperor’s expense and you’re shuttled off to the farthest backwater with no social equals. No more parties or gossip or flirting with other nobles. I’ll miss that part the most.
I better get started. “Go ahead.”
My second spoke up. “On this day, we claim this planet on behalf of Emperor Larefin. Queen Mohow, you are hereby charged by the Emperor to take the planet, for the Glory of the Empire”
He bowed. “Your Majesty”
I kept my face straight, but inside I was screaming. “Let’s get to work.”
Why won’t they just leave me alone? Simpering simpletons with fawning mouths. Is this what the empire has become? A mass of sycophants and parasites. Noble houses with no more steel than a common house cat.
If only I had ten more like Mohow. I wonder how she’s doing. Backbreaking work, a new planet, but I know she is more than capable of making it work.
I envy her. She’s starting a new adventure and doesn’t have to deal with these morons.
I better get started. “Go Ahead”
My second spoke up. “On this day, we open the court of Emperor Larefin”
She bowed. “Your Majesty”
I kept my face straight, but inside I was screaming. “Let’s get to work.”
The two older hikers halted at the viewpoint, winded, failing to notice the majesty of the view. Tom caught his breath first and took in the timbered ravine before them and, far off in the distance, the glacier shining in the sun on the distant mountain.
“Remember?” said Tom to his wife of fifty years who sat on a slab of rock, her head between her knees, her heart racing and her breath faltering. “This is where we camped on that first backpack way back when.”
Elly looked up at Tom, sweat glistening on her face. She shook her head and didn’t even try to speak. “Breathe deep,” said Tom. “Slow and easy.”
“Slow is what I am, for sure,” said Elly in a broken voice. “We’ve come a long way.”
“Today?” asked Tom. He sat down next to Elly and put his arm around her bent shoulders. “I’m not sure we came all that far, but it seemed like it.”
“I mean you and me,” said Elly, her breath easing slightly. “We’ve come a long way. And I’m not sure I can even appreciate the view.”
“Of the mountains?” asked Tom. “Or what about that glacier?” He pointed to the glaring snow in the far distance.”
Elly smiled at the old man sitting next to her. “Us,” she said. “Fifty years. Winded. Limping. But we got here.”
Tom’s leathery face creased in a happy smile. “Majestic,” he said.
“The mountain?” asked Elly.
“No,” said Tom, laughing quietly. “Us.”
Tina returned to Elsa Lockheed’s Winnebago for the weekend. She bounded through the slopes, taking in the majestic view and inhaling deep breaths of crisp mountain air.
Elsa welcomed her with open arms, and her three big dogs welcomed her with much woofing. “What’s that hat you’re wearing?” she asked, admiring its unique pink, embroidered design.
As Tina removed it, the dogs went crazy sniffing it. “Who gave it to you?” asked Elsa.
“My friend Lovely Finnegan from school,” answered Tina, “She had two pretty hats, and was so generous to give me one. She drove up with her boyfriend, Fred, in his SUV.”
“Camping alone together, at your age?” asked Elsa, “And a kid with an SUV?”
“He’s 19, Ms. Lockheed,” said Tina.
Elsa knew something wasn’t right. “How well does she know him?” she asked.
“They just met recently.”
Elsa phoned her Park Ranger friends, despite Tina’s misgivings. Tina gave them Lovely’s hat, to help their search team.
When they located the pair, hours later, the Rangers found that Fred Winchell was actually 24. He had taken Lovely to a difficult, deserted trail, and she was exhausted. Fred was wanted in three states for statutory rape.
Elsa and Tina accompanied Lovely to the hospital, where they offered their support. Elsa helped keep Lovely’s parents calm. Then Tina went back to the glorious mountains with Elsa for the rest of the weekend, pondering Lovely’s amazing rescue. She even got to keep her gift, Lovely’s embroidered hat.
Craig considered himself a lucky man. Despite all that had happened, he could still roam the mountains that he loved and bask in their majestic beauty.
His eyes swept over the steep hillsides, beyond to the ice-covered peaks, up to the stunning blue of the skies. The accident had changed things, but the mountains remained the same.
He adjusted the blanket covering his legs and asked the pilot to bring the chopper a little closer to the ground.
He had wandered these mountains since he was a boy. He knew them better than he knew anything. He also knew there was no excuse for what he had done.
The chopper skimmed over the treetops. Craig closed his eyes and inhaled the scent of the forest, the wonderful mix of living pines and damp earth. And then his half hour was up, and it was back to rehab. He was not expected to regain the use of his legs, but with time he would regain most of the use of his arms. That was enough for Craig. He was lucky to be alive, falling hundreds of feet down the mountain, broken and alone for days before he was found…
But Craig refused to dwell on that. He was too busy planning his next mountain adventure.
The stately pines on the mountains stood like sentinels, regally guarding their secret.
“Do you remember now, Mama?”
“No…” Patricia Malcomb rocked meaninglessly, a blank stare in her vacant, blue eyes, as her graying chestnut hair blew listlessly.
Grayson turned to his sister, Sarah, as they both exhaled in despair. Standing on the porch of the log cabin home their father, Ned, had built, tears filled their eyes as they turned to the majestic expanse before them, as if it would somehow reveal its hidden mystery. They’d called these mountains home all their lives. In another six months they’d have owned it all, but his unexpected heart attack had cut their dream short. Now behind on the payments, the bank was threatening foreclosure. Grandpa’s goldmine out there somewhere was their only hope. Only Mama knew where it was, but the Alzheimer’s was already taking its toll. He’d hoped bringing her out here would help her remember.
“We were so close.” His voice quivered as he ran his fingers through his hair.
“I know. It’s unfair.” Sarah wiped another tear away. “Maybe if you build a fire, like we always did with Grandpa…”
“Worth a shot.”
“Hey, the picture! That picture she loved of Grandpa and all of us.”
“That hickory wood burning…always loved that smell…” Mama took the picture from Sarah, smiling as recognition flooded her face. “I remember now…those stories he told around the fire…”
“Some things are more precious than gold,” Grayson declared.
“You’re right,” Sarah agreed tearfully.
She awoke to…nothing. There was nothing except her. Her first recollection was of the utter silence but for her own thoughts. Darkness, all-consuming, cold and featureless stretched out in every direction. Then, though it’s origin a mystery she felt a strange tugging, except for that she was alone, totally alone and she despaired.
It was within this void she waited. For who or for what she didn’t know but she waited for something to fill this emptiness. She knew there had to be something missing, there needed to be something more.
He was lonely, there was nothing like him in all of time and space. His existence was eternal, solitary and empty. He cried out into the ether. “How can I cure this emptiness, this desolation? What will bring me fulfillment?” He anguished over his dilemma for what seemed like forever, until unexpectedly he heard her call to him.
“Who cries in their solitude?” she asked, “Who calls out in the darkness?”
He answered in surprise, “I do!”
“Where are you? I can’t see you”
“Wait, let me turn on the light.” He saw her then slowly revolving in the void, floating with her lifeless sister and he fell in love. She was beauty beyond imagine.
She lay barren, this world waiting for life to begin. Then he came. In 6 days, he created it all. In six days of passion and ecstasy, he impregnated this barren rock. He brought life to it all, this father of fathers!
After hiking for an hour, Kate and her husband Kyle stopped on a flat overlook, with a breathtaking view of the snow topped, Rocky mountains , off in the distance. Kate pushed back her auburn hair and admired the view.
“This is it…”Kyle smiled, “This is your anniversary surprise.”
“This is a beautiful view of the Rockies…”Kate said looking around, and starting to feel uncomfortable, “I’m glad we came up here… Do you want to have lunch?”
“Okay, I want to tell you my proposal.”
“Is this like a business plan?” Kate laughed.
“Maybe…Kyle smiled at his wife, “I guess it’s not very romantic,but hear me out.”
Oh no, Kate thought to herself, just when we got the kids out of the house and off to college…
“I want to lease this land, behind us, from the national park, and build a yurt on it; to rent out to people, for an adventure weekend.”
Kate frowned, some anniversary present; she was thinking, beach house: sitting in the sand and reading… ” Kyle this is a big surprise. Are there, really, people who want to do this?”
“More people than there are rentals. I think we would have a lot of fun doing this.”
The cautious side of Kate wanted to say no , and sit in the sand on the beach,; but she knew every marriage needed an adventure…. so, she said “Okay let’s do it – this is my anniversary gift to you,” she said laughing.
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