Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Team

flash fiction writing prompt wellpinit football 11012018 3L0A7000
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.

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11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Team”

  1. Team Sprite (sic) Spirit

    “Now. Move it!”
    “What the hey…?”
    “He’s nervous. Too much going on out there.”
    “The streets. They’re rioting.”
    “No they’re not. They’re protesting.”
    “Six of one…”
    “It doesn’t matter. POTUS is panicking. You know how he gets.”
    “Yeah, but we’ve been through this at least half a dozen times…”
    “Hey, you took an oath. Nobody talks about this. We’re a team remember.”
    “How could I forget. And who’s talking. I’m just saying…when was it, less than a month ago…the first White House Corona case. Where did we go tickety boo? ON A BUNKER INSPECTION.”
    “He likes to inspect stuff.”
    “We spent the whole night in Peacock.
    “Sorry. Its just that he prances around like a flippin’…”
    “Don’t say it. Someone might be listening. Anyways. He wants to go on another ”Inspection” of the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. That’s what we’re here for. His beck and call. So get a move on.”
    “It’s Friday night. I have plans.”
    “And you have a job. And you want to keep it. You’ve been pushing the envelope with him anyways. Wearing your mask. Actually physically distancing. You’re on thin ice, buddy.”
    “Look, of course this is a cushy job. I appreciate having it. But there are downsides. You have to admit that.”
    “Nothings perfect. But here we are. Serving the most powerful man on earth. Making the world safe…”
    “Yeah, safe…safe for the most powerful man on earth. So, hustle. The bunker awaits.”
    “Great. Just great.”

  2. I felt like such a chump standing there in my sports outfit holding hands with a boy. Yikes!

    She just stood there smirking, tapping her forehead with one of her slinky finger-nailed fingers. Actually, it was those gorgeous illustrated nails that attracted me to her. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but painted nails excite me. She was slurping a chocolate milk shake in the back booth of the malt shop. My pal and I just got in from practice and decided to have a coke.

    My buddy nudged me. “Get a load of the babe back there.”

    We took the table opposite hers. For me, I think it was love at first sight. Was that a wink when she flipped back her blond hair? Is that slinky grin for me or my friend? Before you knew it, we three became inseparable. However, the time soon arrived when she must make up her mind. Me or him?

    She had us stand together holding hands and slowly circled us several times. She frowned and shook her head. “Eenie, meenie, miney, mo,” she cooed, sliding her fingers through the lush locks of my black hair and squeezing my bicep. I was too nervous to see what she was doing to my buddy who moaned once or twice.

    She leaned close to my ear and whispered, “Sorry, but we can still be friends.”

    Brokenhearted, I watched as they disappeared into the mist that swirled through my dizzying mind.

  3. Their son had asked them if he could go out for the football team. Many families were faced with this question, or in some cases, it was a decision left to the child.

    He looked at the picture taken of him before the State finals. He hadn’t played on the varsity team, but ‘Knucklehead’ broke his ankle in the last practice. Coach Bellissima called his parents to tell them that he was going to be a starting linebacker in the game the next day.

    Had he not played in that game; his life would have been different. He wouldn’t have been the star of the game, causing several fumbles and defensive scores. He might not have been recruited by Stanford and all that amounted to.

    The biggest thing was that Knucklehead’s sister probably wouldn’t have paid attention to him and their life together would only be his dream.

    In her case, her brother went to college and made a name for himself, and then with the Pros. However, he left the Pros to go in the service and was killed in Afghanistan. She had mixed feelings about football, having lost her brother.

    “Hon, I’ll leave it up to you.” He said putting his picture down.

    “It would break both of your hearts if he didn’t play. You were great at knocking people head over heels and stealing the ball, along with my heart. He plays!”

  4. Billy reached out. His fingers found air in both directions. The boys to either side were close, but not near enough for them to hold hands.

    The bullhorn crackled. Coach was about to speak.

    “You’re probably wondering why I called you here,” the old man began, his amplified voice even more of an assault than usual. “It’s because of the cut. The team’s downsizing – a third of you will be off the squad after tonight.”

    The circle closed in, Watkins grabbing his wrist. He had bigger hands than Billy, and he held onto it firmly, hard enough to hurt. Adams took him by his other wrist and yanked hard, almost pulling him off his feet. The other two boys were from Coach’s select group, the team within the team that was issued priority passes for using the gym. Billy could never get on the machines when he wanted; there was always a corn-fed galoot who’d taken up residence on each of them, simian-eyed and low-browed, with the team’s audio-mix whispering into his ears. He’d loved to train at his old school, but there was no pleasure in doing it here. The coach’s golems had ruined it for him.

    The bullhorn barked again. “You ‘A’s all know what you’re to do. Just follow your assignments. But don’t show any mercy. It’s better for us all if no-one gets to blab about what we’ve going on here.”

    Watkins and Adams closed in, their free hands now fists.

    Billy took a breath…

  5. It should have been me.
    Me, crossing the goal line, me making the game-winning play.
    But it wasn’t me.

    It wasn’t me because I’m just too darn good. Playing against me
    just isn’t a fair fight. That what Pa says.
    “There’ll be other ways to make your mark, son”.
    His words don’t console me.

    “Someday the world will know your greatness. ”
    That’s what I’m always told. It’s a pain to have to wait.
    It hurts to have to hide the real me.

    The girls look at those guys in the uniforms and well,
    they fall hard for them.

    Maybe someday I’ll get to wear a uniform and girls
    will fall hard for me. Wouldn’t that be something?

    I’ll be a real Man of Steel. Bad guys will run and hide
    When they hear I’m coming. That’s better than
    Scoring a touchdown. Isn’t it?

    Still, it’d be nice to get some acclaim.
    Doesn’t the Bible say, “do not hide your light under a bushel”?

    I know my day will come. That’s what Ma and Pa say.
    “Clark, your day will come”.

    I’ll bide my time.
    And anyway, I’m still the only guy in Smallville who can
    bench press a pick up.

  6. Shoulders
    The morning of May is generally scorching in Garkhali. But that twentieth was cloudy, not too humid, though. Cool wet breeze was blowing. There was no alert of storm.
    The farmers were tending nurseries and weeding the fields. The women were at the rivers, catching prawn, washing clothes, utensils; at homes doing chores. Children were playing for schools were closed for the summer.
    The teenagers of Garhkhali were preparing themselves for an upcoming football tournament. They really enjoy dribbling, tackling shooting the ball in light drizzle.
    They saw the women from river rushing. The women made them heard, “The sea’s swollen.”
    The boys rushed to the earthen dam along with other men and women of the village. They formed a human wall to support the dam.
    Yet the sea rammed through the river, broke the dam and entered the village. Little children and elderly people took shelter in secondary school, the highest reinforced building in Garhkhali.
    Thatched roof huts were decimated. The owners, leaving the human wall, ran to protect whatever they could from the debris before all being washed away.
    Sidhu Mandal’s wife was crying loud in labor. The footballers rushed to her. The midwife warned, “There’s no time to carry her to the school building.”
    The boys made a pyramid by standing on each other’s’ shoulder; laid planks over bamboo joists and rafters in the hut; lifted the midwife and expectant mother on the platform, holding the roof, till the storm passed, till the newborn felt safe.

  7. “My Primary Tutor says a yard is the distance between the tip of your index finger and the tip of your nose. She ought to know. She majored in Systemic Computer Mathematics AND she can count backwards from 100 with only two mistakes.”

    “Mine says a yard is equal to three feet. Just measure one of your feet, multiply it times three, and that’s a yard.”

    “What about if your feet and my feet are different sizes? What then? Then you’re getting into relativity, and what’s multiply anyway?”

    “I dunno. Shoot. I sure wish they’d teach us how to multiply. How are we ever gonna figure out how far apart to stay? And if we can’t figure that out, how are we ever gonna maintain social distancing and still play football?”

    “Fish can multiply. We learned that yesterday in the Biology telecast, but they never said what it means. Even in Relevant Numbers for Today and Tomorrow they covered the Number Three, but not multiplying.”

    “Let’s try a method from Logic and Reasoning. Join hands and stretch out in a row. Now the distance from my nose to your nose will be two yards.”

    “You mean one yard.”

    “Oh, yeah. Don’t confuse me. How about if we don’t stretch out? Then the distance gets shorter but it’s still between fingertip and nose, so logically it’s still a yard.”

    “Hey, I think you are onto something here! By golly, we’ll be playing football before you know it!”

  8. Another loss. Even with the new coach, Jed McIntire, the team couldn’t finish the game. The second string quarterback came up short.

    “Sorry, Coach,” said Dave, the second-stringer. “Maybe if Terry had been here, not me.”

    McIntire, a crusty old has-been, had been lured back to coaching after Curtis Johnson had cut and run to a richer school.

    “You did a good job, Dave,” said Coach McIntire. “Tough loss. You’re getting better and Terry’s not here. You’re the man.”

    “He’s here now,” said a tall, conditioned 40-year-old standing in the doorway. “We’re back from recruiting visits and my son can take over now.”

    “Howdy,” said Jed. “I guess you were working with Coach Johnson. He’s gone, but your son is welcome. Things are a bit different now.”

    A tall, lanky kid with dark hair and flashing eyes entered the office, a pleasing smile lighting up his face. “Hi, Dave. Nice game,” said the boy. “Coach, I’m Terry Kincaid. I hope you’ll take me back.” Coach McIntire shook the boy’s offered hand.

    “Terry needs to start, like Coach Johnson had it,” said the father. “Recruiters want to see my boy play.”

    “Dad, please,” said Terry. “Let me handle this.”

    “You want to be part of this team?” asked Coach McIntire.

    “Yes, sir,” said Terry. “I know I’ve been gone and Dave’s doing a good job. I’d like to help the team any way I can.”

    “That’s a plan,” said Coach McIntire. “Mr. Kincaid, I’m pretending you’re not here.”

  9. Bill isn’t terrible. He’s not great, that’s true, but he’s not terrible. He can even land a few hoops.

    Sometimes he has a hot streak; he gets more relaxed, in the ‘zone’, he’s less preoccupied. The aim improves, the body moves with the ball, together, and a submerged instinct takes over. He begins to understand why people enjoy sports.

    Today isn’t that day. It’s P.E. and his team are bruisers, each famed for viciousness. Jaffa – freckled, pale, athletic – is viewed as some school Corleone; cruel and respected.

    Bill gets the ball. ‘PASS!’, he’s ordered. They’ve witnessed him trading Pokemon cards, so any ability he might possess is irrelevant to them.

    The three others move like a triangular whip across the court, decimating everyone. They gloat and vaguely threaten the losers.

    Bill’s friends are two courts over, in one team, somehow looking both elderly and baby-like. Colin can hardly bounce the ball.

    Orange flash. Jaffa screams at him downcourt. He’s wandered absentmindedly hoopside.

    The angle’s not bad. Could surprise them.

    His friends are ironically shouting ‘Deep shot, bro,’ and slapping Colin after a total miss.

    Squeak of sneakers on varnish.

    Bill ejects the ball upwards – literally up, vertically. It sails out of bounds.

    “Absolute idiot. You should’ve passed,” Jaffa fumes, shoving him. He tumbles backwards, forcing it a little.

    Bill’s moved to Colin’s team. Laughter, smiles.

    He has basic coordination and therefore is a star. His instinct returns. With him leading, they actually win a few games. Jaffa’s next.

  10. Bobby never thought he would be so proud to hold the hand of another man.

    But when his name was announced, at last, as a new member of the varsity team for the undefeated Texas high school; it was the fulfillment of the dreams of three generations of men in his family. The late afternoon sun shined on his face as he scanned the crowd for his parents, and his girlfriend -Emily. When he found her face in the crowd, he waved, then accepted his teammates hands in solidarity. From now on they would live like brothers. They had a job to do. In Texas football consumed the consciousness of men, women, and children.

    At last, Bobby thought, Emily and I will not have to sneak around, and pretend we are just casual friends – defying her father.

    Suddenly, before the matching band finished their number, the fans started talking and moving around. The big screen was airing, live, a state of emergency address by the U.S. President.

    Bobby could only catch a few words :
    marshall law, self quarantine, shelter at home.

    ” Hey, are we under attack?” He asked a teammate.

    ” No. It’s that deadly virus. It hit New York hard. It’s going to shut everything down.”

    Bobby searched the stands for Emily. He saw her leaving with her father; sobbing, her head down. She never looked in Bobbys’ direction.

    “We’ll be playing football in the fall,” Bobby said to his teammates. He sounded more confident than he felt.

  11. It happens in the blink of an eye. One minute you’re running with the rest of the team, heading down the field. The next you’re lying sprawled on the grass and everybody’s crowding around you, asking if you can move. You try, and nothing happens.

    Twenty years ago it would’ve been a life sentence. Nowadays we have treatments to repair spinal nerves. A few months in rehab, and you’ll be back on your feet, back in the game.

    Unless you’re one of those few people who can’t benefit from regeneration therapies. We still don’t know why some people don’t respond to those treatments, although there appears to be a genetic component. It’s always painful for us when we have to break the bad news to a patient that they’re one of that minority.

    But we’ll still do our best to find alternative ways to get you back to your old life. It’s harder, now that the population of people needing prosthetics and orthotics has greatly diminished, but we’re getting some really good developments from both robotics and military hardware. There’s a new power exoskeleton coming out that promises full mobility for spinal-injury patients who can’t benefit from standard treatments. We’ll do our best to get you in the first clinical trials, because we’re team players too.

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