Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Rainbow

IMG_0008 hunters sept 2019 RAINBOW flash fiction writing prompt KS Brooks copyright
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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13 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Rainbow”

  1. COVID-19 Rain Buttons and Bows

    And this I see, with eyes ablaze,
    That we might be in our final days.
    The path leads to a shameful end,
    If COVID’s curve declines to bend.

    We listened well once word had spread
    Once World Health disclosed their dread.
    The message came with caveats,
    The way it is with bureaucrats.

    As slow as slugs, the world awoke
    Wuhan, Iran, the Italians spoke.
    Some understood, with wisdom led,
    While others chose to hide their head.

    Mid March it was, a few months in,
    And finally, we could begin.
    There was a sense we’d reached that stage
    Where we were all on the same page.

    We huddled in our private space,
    Six feet apart, didn’t touch our face.
    Home was safe, yet seemed a trap,
    As we watched Johns Hopkins COVID map.

    There were of course some floating free,
    Tourists, the homeless, those at sea,
    the masses disgorged by enmity,
    the simmering throngs of refugees.

    I suppose the cracks were always there,
    For trust has suffered wear and tear.
    We choose to trust what suits us best,
    What we think, or were told, or guessed.

    And leadership was somewhat scant,
    Real facts were few, air full of cant.
    Self interest rode the pale horse,
    As fools set their frightful course.

    There is no tunnel, no shaft of light
    To steer us from this viral flight.
    A rainbow shines in the distant field;
    We await to see what time will yield.

  2. Today was going to be a special day that could change our lives.

    We had it planned down to the last detail. Mike was going to make things happen, and all I had to do was get Marie there at the right time.

    I had the only thing I needed in my pocket.

    Marie was full of questions as to why we were driving so far out into the countryside. She also asked if I had ever been here before. I danced around her questions as best I could.

    She looked lovely, dressed in white shorts with an Aqua colored top, open at the shoulders and only periodically covered by her blonde hair gathered in a pony tail.

    I could tell she was curious why I was checking my watch much too often.

    We pulled into the overlook just before the planned time, and I put the top down. Marie undid her hair and fluffed it out giving me her prettiest smile.

    Two minutes later – “Wow, look honey,” she exclaimed pointing. “There’s a beautiful rainbow.”

    When she turned back, I had the box open to display the pristine solitaire ring. My hand was shaking and I quickly asked, “Will you make me the happiest man and marry me?” She jumped into my arms and her kiss was my answer.


    Later, when I met Mike, I commented, “Nice job creating the rainbow.”
    “I wanted to call you, but there was no phone service…the pump wouldn’t start.”

  3. Hank, the yellow-bellied marmot, blinked open his eyes and stretched his paws. It must be the beginning of summer, he thought, as he scratched the itch behind his ear. I’ve been sleeping all winter. Time to get out of this rock-piled burrow and begin my search. He munched on some alfalfa leaves to fill his empty stomach.

    Easing out of his comfort zone, he froze as a vacationing family, harmonizing on a song from The Sound of Music, wheeled by on their bicycles. One of the children pointed at him and called,
    “Oh, look. There’s a pretty woodchuck.”

    “That’s a groundhog,” her smart-alecky brother uttered.

    “You’re both wrong,” their mother shouted. “It’s called a whistle pig.”

    “No. It’s a yellow bellied marmot,” the father sang out as they coasted down the road. “You can tell by its yellow belly and that white spot between its eyes.”

    Hank watched as they wheeled out of sight. He shivered when he noticed the beautiful rainbow. It seemed to be flickering to attract his attention. Everyone knows there’s a treasure to be found at a rainbow’s end, he recalled. Wonder what’s waiting for me​? And, yellow belly full, he started the journey to his nest egg.
    Finally there, his dark bushy tail began to wigglewag excitedly. “Perfecto,” he chirped. He found his pot of gold – an inviting field of nutritious alfalfa with many rocks to protect their burrows from foxes and coyotes. His mates and pups would spend the summer preparing for next winter’s hibernation.

    Nibbling on a budding twig, Hank mumbled, “Thanks, rainbow.”


    Stella took a pull from his beer, its foam painting a moustache on her lip. “You’re drinking Guinness?” she said. “Isn’t that a bit of a cliché? I know that you said you’re from Donegal, but surely there’s more to you than that? You call yourself Murphy, for Chrissake. It is actually possible to lay it on too thick.”

    The Irishman grinned, his smile almost splitting his face in two. He retrieved his drink and downed it in one gulp, following it with a belch that rattled the windows. “That’s easy for you say, Ma’am. But you’re well-heeled and comfortable. Itinerants like me need to grift, blur a few edges. We have to work for our living and if I choose to make the most of the illusion, where’s the harm?” He raised his eyebrows and another beer appeared, directly beside the remains of the first.

    Stella tried again. There was something a little off about the man. There were some other things which didn’t seem right either, but she was sure he was responsible for those. “Now,” she said, determined. “I’d like a little honesty. You’re as charming as the devil himself, but I want more. I don’t make a habit of flirting with strangers I meet in roadhouses, so spill it all. That’s my wish.”

    The Irishman laughed and clapped his hands. “And you shall have it,” he said, his brogue growing thicker. “In fact, I’m rather glad that you put it like that because wishing’s my business!”

  5. Their car was stopped at the side of the road. Hank came back inside, sweating, and slammed the door before juicing the air conditioner.

    “Flat tire,” he told Velma. “This state is far left wacko and we’re sitting ducks.”

    “Calm down,” said Velma, puffing a cigarette. “Change the tire.”

    “Unpack the whole car?” said Hank. “This isn’t the vacation I planned.”

    “I’ll help,” said Jeremy, his eyes bright, smile large. He was grooving to the music on his player, ear buds dangling like snot.

    “Great help you’d be,” said Hank. “That music. Dancing. Do you even know what a lug wrench is for?”

    “I’ll get help,” said Jeremy. He popped from the car, thumb stuck out, dancing away.

    A wildly colorful school bus stopped. “We need help,” said Jeremy. “Our tire is flat.”

    “Let’s go, girls and boys and inbetweeners,” said a wild-bearded man in a pink dress. “Play that music loud, boy,” laughed the bearded she. “We’ll dance till the tire is fixed.”

    From the bus came a long-legged they. “I’m Terry or Terry, boy or girl. Still deciding.”

    Two muscled men advanced from the bus, holding hands shyly. “Do we have to help?” asked Alex, the ugly one. “Yes, we do,” said Adam, the pretty one.

    With the music jangling and everybody but Hank and Velma dancing, the tire was changed in a New York minute. Then the bus was gone.

    “Look, Dad,” said Jeremy, pointing at the sparkly rainbow ahead. “It’s off-center.”

    “Wonderful,” said Hank, deadpan.

  6. The “Troubles” were dark times. Republicans and Loyalists righteously battling one another in the streets of Belfast. O’Casey was a Republican. A lieutenant in the IRA. A suspicious man by nature, it was his duty to police his own Republicans for dreaded “informers”. There was never a shortage of suspects at Morrissey’s tavern on a Friday night. Cornelius O’Casey Challenged all.

    “So, Seamus, who was that Ulsterman you were talking to at the tobacconists’ last Sunday?” He was often disarmingly direct.

    “Pshaw, Neil, he was but a fellow lorry man. We be talking about our routes and liveries. Nothing more.”

    “Routes? You Say? ‘T would seem some parties might be interested in those routes. Don’t you think, Seamus?”

    “Aye, but I simply sent him over the rainbow and beyond with a bit of me own fiction,” responded a nervous Seamus.

    “Fiction? You lied to him? Why not just ignore him? He’s the enemy. When he suspects you are lying over something so trivial, he will think you know something. Perhaps you can be turned, he would say.”

    “Aye Neil, But he’s still Irish. Talking can’t hurt.”

    “No, but your fiction might lead you to the end of your rainbow. There is no pot of gold there for the informer. Just mischief.”

    Seamus sighed deeply. Then offered, “Ah Neil. ‘Tis the road to that rainbow I value most. “Tis the things I see, the people I meet, and the love I feel. Indeed, that be the gold.

  7. Harry looks out, on the road of his begrudging daily drive. It’s been raining. The trees are thick, nourished green. There’s a rainbow right above.

    A dormant memory is triggered.

    In school, Zach was Harry’s best friend. Bill was the other. Bill was partially crazy and lied constantly, claiming his family had a helicopter and had a pet wolf. One day he claimed he’d found his gone-on-holiday dad’s keys and had been ‘taking the Explorer for a spin’.

    So the real, blue Ford saloon wobbling up the middle of Zach’s street gave them a shock.

    Bill’s small head was colourless and stubborn. Both hands grasped the wheel. In morbid curiosity, they got in.

    Inching up the cul-de-sac, Bill turned, nearly flattening a fence. This replenished his confidence. He started talking about seeing Barack Obama ‘down at the phone shop’.

    Real roadways now; beyond Zach’s street was a country road, dipping in a straight line.

    “Bill,” said Harry. “Bill, slow down.”

    “It’s fine,” said Bill, laughing. Trees whipped past.

    The laughter made it worse. He hadn’t expected Bill to get them out of Zach’s street. He was admittedly within lanes and speed limits, but something terrible was bound to happen.

    A rainbow appeared up the road, in the wide open sky. Its spectrum was light, vivid, delicious; against the rushing, deep, verdant forest.

    Excitement surprised him. Somehow, outside of rules, the scene was truly his.

    Now it’s another rainbow, different trees. But still.

    He’ll phone in sick today. Tomorrow? Who knows.

  8. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

    “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW …” Billy belted out. “Look! We’re driving right to the end the rainbow and there is no one else on the road! The gold will be ours!”
    The poor imitation of Judy Garland snapped Donnie awake, “What, huh?”
    “Pot of Gold man! All ours.”
    “What are you talking about?” Donnie now noticed the beautiful scene ahead.
    “According to legends, rainbows reveal the location where leprechauns bury their gold.”
    “You micks are full of it. You can’t get to the end of the rainbow, it’s an optical illusion. Water, air and sunlight,” grumbled Donnie now coming to life.
    “You’ll see when we get there. Did you know leprechauns are gay, just like us?”
    “Whatttt? How would you know?”
    “You ever see any female leprechauns? Why do you think that is?”
    “I’ve never seen a leprechaun and neither have you.”
    “I’m talking about in books, ya damn Nazi. Where’s your sense of humor? There are never any women leprechauns in them.”
    “That’s because leprechauns are all greedy little bastards like you, trying to avoid paying alimony. They’re divorced because they were always coming home drunk and sneaking into bed snookered.”
    “Yeah, well why do you think the LGBT flag is a rainbow then?”
    Donnie changed the subject, “Did you fire that guy before we left?” A cloud covered the sun and the rainbow disappeared.
    “I thought you were going to do it.”
    Then, like always, Billy awoke from his dream.

  9. Rainbow!
    I asked for the whole world…
    I asked for a dreamy sky…
    O dear God, for my happiness..
    She asked for pain in her life..

    Even my well known, traced path was not so well lit and lively ever..
    The unknown alley was so beautiful with her..
    My dream world’s weather was so perfect, even on a cold winter night …
    It was raining happiness from the sky..
    To touch your hand was as if …
    To touch the clouds behind the mountains..
    The coming of the sky on the earth in the form of a RAINBOW …
    Sometimes it feels..
    I lived for you..

    Every single breath is like being dedicated to loving you..
    Life isn’t that long..
    Dear Maa, I just need that one precious moment in your arms..
    Close my eyes and wonder in the serenity of blissful moments with you…
    Don’t know why that moment keeps reeling in front of my eyes…
    Day and night…
    Only one dream thrives …
    That moment is hidden in my closed eyes…
    Maa! When you held my hands to show me a rainbow in the sky..

    Even in open eyes…
    Just one dream I have…
    Tell me how my life will keep going on without you…
    How will the dreamy sky become complete…
    Neither do I want to say something to this earth…
    Nor do I want to live here…
    Beyond those glittery stars and rainbows where did you disappear…

  10. At ten years old from the backseat, through the windshield the rainbow sitting on the highway, or is it coming out of the highway, rising into the sky, reaching up, out of sight, maybe all the way to the moon.
    At twenty, cruising, girlfriend on his right, the trees passing, wondering if the road ahead will be wet, slippery.
    At thirty, through Shady Rays, kids restless, wondering how far there is to go, looking up, wondering where the rain clouds are.
    At forty, driving fast to beat the weather, hoping to arrive at the campus before the office closes, seeing his daughter in the rear-view mirror, earphones on, looking down at her iPad, unconcerned.
    At fifty, his buddy driving the truck, scanning between the trees as they flash by, looking for signs of game, glad he brought foul weather gear, thinking this year he WILL get that elk.
    At sixty, tired of driving, knowing his wife on his right feels the same, looking forward to the clean room at the resort, a glass of scotch, probably not on the deck by the looks of the rainbow.
    At seventy, blurred road ahead through watery eyes and thick glasses perched on his stuffed-up nose, shifting his body from the lower back pain.
    At eighty, from the backseat he sees through the windshield the rainbow sitting on the highway, or is it coming out of the highway, rising into the sky, reaching up, out of sight, all the way up to God.

  11. Ms. Dorothy Gale
    A Farmhouse
    Currently Somewhere in Kansas, USA

    Dear Ms. Gale

    I wish to propose several clients of mine to accompany you on your upcoming trip along the fabled yellow road to Oz.

    Please find below brief descriptions of them along with a few words by the applicants themselves:

    Ollie: A Pig who wants a harmonica. As he puts it, ”My playing the music that soothes the savage beast can mean I won’t be the guest of honor in a ham sandwich.”

    Peter: A Short Giraffe: Simply put, he has no neck to speak of. Like all giraffes, he always refers to himself in the third person. In his words:

    With a neck he believes,
    He can finally reach the leaves.
    If he only had a neck.

    Ralph: A polar bear with intestinal gas. We’re not sure how compatible a travelling companion Ralph will make, but he really needs to do something.

    His quote: “What? Me? Naw… wasn’t me.”

    Penny: A duck who wants tap shoes. Apparently, she’s not annoying enough.

    From Penny: “Quack, quack, quack, quack… quack.” (Unfortunately, Penny does not speak any foreign languages.

    If you have any interest n allowing one or more of client to accompany you on your travels, please feel free to contact me:


    Mo Peppermint, CEO

    Over the Rainbow Productions
    Munchkin City, Oz.

  12. Mountain roads usually reminded Peter Caudell of his childhood in Colorado Springs. Today the Appalachians felt more like a dollar-store version of the Rockies. Even playing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” couldn’t make the drive in the rental car feel good.

    There had been no way to refuse the assignment to visit Mannington High School and talk to the students about careers in space technology. Giving such presentations was part of being an astronaut, and had been since the days of Scott Carpenter and the Mercury Seven. So he’d kissed his wife good-bye and flown up from Houston to coal mining country.

    How many of the kids would give him more than the minimum interest their teachers required? Once the mere idea of a visit by a Real Live Astronaut would’ve ensured their rapt attention, but those days were long gone. Space travel had gone from extraordinary feat to routine activity in a single generation, thanks to the need for on-orbit servicing of military satellites in the recent conflict.

    That change had also greatly increased the need for trained people to work up there, which made this sort of outreach essential. As a Navy officer, Peter would go where he was sent and put the best face on it.

    And then he crested the hill and saw the huge double rainbow rising from the valley before him, like a bridge into the heavens. Perhaps this trip wouldn’t be such a chore after all.

  13. Decision

    Daniel Casey drove through the winding road in upstate New York, with his two sons in the back. Dan Jr., or “D.J.,” ten years old, and Billy, seven, were elated to be visiting with their Daddy, headed for his family’s summer home in Beacon.

    But all wasn’t well, as Daniel knew, because their mother Helen had been abusing them. He couldn’t prove it in court, for the judge saw it as a ploy for Daniel to gain sole custody.

    After the divorce, it only got worse. Unable to protect them, Daniel found himself spinning deeper into a vortex of anger and desperation. She didn’t deserve the children, and he couldn’t bear their torment.

    As they continued along the idyllic mountain road, Daniel tried to focus on his plan to end it all. He knew the spot where he could drive off a cliff. He blinked back tears, as the boys chattered excitedly in the background.

    “What will happen after we die?” Daniel wondered. “Will I have to answer to God?”

    As they continued on through a magical canopy of trees, a brilliant rainbow appeared, straight ahead. The children saw it, too.

    “Look at that!” exclaimed Billy.

    “I heard rainbows are a sign from Heaven,” said D.J.

    Daniel pulled over at a clearing and wept. “God is giving me hope,” he thought, with relief.

    He called his sister in Beacon, who would take them all to a hospital for treatment and evaluation. It wasn’t too late to fix it.

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