Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Hoh

HOH river Olympic Natl Park WA june 2001 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.

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6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Hoh”

  1. River

    I clamor through the triffid-like underbrush. The sound of rippling water splashing over smooth river stones is an elegy of joy to my ears.

    Sally is ahead of me, nimbler, smaller. I glimpse her moving beyond the bramble jungle that still wraps around me.

    “I’ll get there,” I say, not expecting her to wait.

    Breathless, I stop to grab a few blackberries. If not for me, they would in time whither, fall to the dry earth, become bird food.

    I save a few for her, toss them in my cap, the red stains a small price to pay for the gesture.

    Finally, I emerge. She’s already taken off her hiking shoes and socks and is dangling her feet in the water at the rivers edge.

    I slip off my shoes and socks and sit down close to her. Her eyes are shut. Our feet dangle together.
    “Open your mouth,” I ask.

    She smiles and opens her fine sweet mouth wide.

    I place one blackberry, rich with sweet juice, on her tongue.

    She closes her mouth ever so slowly and savors the wild berry.

    “I have a few more,” I tell her.

    She opens her eyes, sees the remaining berries in my cap, grimaces, says, “I thought I tasted something…Brylcreem?”

    I grab one of the berries from my cap, run my tongue over it. The sense of the greasy flavor is faint.

    “A little dab’ll do ya,” I sing.

    She laughs, grabs the rest of the berries and munches away.

  2. Title: Cast a Stone for Love

    Like my Dad before me, and his dad before him, we all came to this area of the HOH river.

    It wasn’t to swim, although we did do that.

    It wasn’t to float down the river, although we did that too.

    It wasn’t to cool off, on a hot summer’s day, although as you guessed, we did that as well.

    I wondered if my grandfather’s father, had come here as well?

    Somewhere in the family creed, it is written, that if you cast a stone and can make it skip seven times, you will meet the love of your life within seven months. I smiled thinking – cast away the HOH’s.

    My dad told me it took him hours to manage to get a rock to skip that many times. He also mentioned, that mom came into his life within just a few months.

    So, why am I standing here on the shore? Do I really want to meet the love of my life? Am I not happy with the throng of girls I’m dating? Isn’t Kathy someone I would be happy with the rest of my life?

    Yes, I had convinced myself I didn’t need to cast any stones.

    “I’m getting tired of standing here while you look at that RIVER! Are you going to throw that rock or NOT?” Kathy yelled.

    The decision hit me like a rock off the side of my head. I threw more than one stone that afternoon.

  3. This is where the angel fell. I am sure of it. I found her here, just before the heavy rains started in February. I remember her so clearly. Her skin, pure white, translucent, cold to the touch. Her wings, so delicate, so huge, so still, one of them broken and twisted behind her. Slim arms and legs. Tiny feet and hands. I will forever regret that I had to leave her there, alone, in the dry riverbed. I hadn’t the equipment or the strength to move her. I came back better equipped two days later, but by then the rains had come, the river was full and rushing, and she was gone. Life intervened, and it was mid March before I could return. The rains had moved on and the river was calm. I knew I was in the right place, but I also knew there was no point in searching. There was no sign of the angel.

    Unanswerable questions swirl around in my head constantly, haunting me. What happened to her? Where did she come from, and where did she go?

    I had always believed that stories of angels were just that—stories. Stories invented by simple minds to give hope or relieve suffering, to entertain or amuse. But now I am not so sure…


    Skinny dipping in chilled waters is invigorating, so they say. Dunking my toe into the icy river, part of my body shriveled to nothingness. Where did that thing go, I wondered, and in I leaped.

    We’d known each other many years. She proposed dozens of times. I’d playfully refuse remembering she’d ask again. Finally, I decided it was my turn to ask her to marry me. I floated along, imagining meeting her at McDonald’s and surprising her with a Whopper. Or, after a thrilling game of ping pong, drop to my knees and ping my pong with the ring wrapped around it. Whatever I did, I knew she would go gaga.

    Maybe, after she washes my jeep, we could drive to the mountains where she’d ask for my hand again. Soon as I get around to paying her the ten thousand dollars I borrowed eight years ago, or start supplying my share of rent for half of her apartment….. But, I digress.

    I was going to make her the happiest gal in the world when she came back from her trip to Vegas.

    Her plane landed. I waited with the ring in my pocket. She ran through the gate shouting, “I finally got one. The boy delivered a pizza to my casino room and that was it! We got married the next day!”

    Woe is me! Now, I’ll have to find another apartment sharing, car washing, money lending, ping pong playing, Whopper lover!

    “Hi, gorgeous. Nice walker. Want some company?”

  5. “This is supposed to be rainforest,” said Jake as he led twins Boyce and Bobbi onto the parched bed of the Hoh River. After sweat-soaked days hiking in, they now headed back to the trailhead, detouring around a camp of raucous college kids hollering and dancing to loud music.

    Jake, a college anthropology major, flipped them off for desecrating native land but said nothing. He led the way on towards the ocean, the river’s mouth spreading out before them. It was so hot, though, all they wanted was to sit in bug-free shade.

    Suddenly the trio stood up as one, gape-mouthed, as some tribal members slid a huge thunder boat from a rickety trailer into the graveled shallows. Eight hulking young men stood next to the boat, quenching their thirst with cans of beer.

    This was too much for Jake. “What are you guys doing?” he yelled. “That boat’s too big and the river’s too shallow. Have you no respect?”

    A heavily-muscled kid tossed his empty beer can and walked slowly over to them. “What business is it of yours what we do?”

    “You’re going to tear up the river,” said Jake, hesitant but insistent. “Think about salmon. Go out on the ocean with that boat.”

    “This is our river,” he said. “Don’t tell me what to do. Besides, I wouldn’t take any boat out on the ocean. Way too scary, man.”

    He shrugged and walked back to his friends, first stooping to pick up his beer can.

  6. When someone mentions rain forests, you think of the Amazon or the Congo, not the Pacific Northwest.

    Pete wiped his forehead and scanned the canopy of green stretching before him. The Kitties’ surveillance satellites had tracked the terrorists out here, but he hadn’t seen any sign of them.

    He hated the blunt reminder that he was just along for the ride in this part of the mission. Nyanwra’s telepathy would go a lot further to locate the people who’d bombed three schools, and who clearly planned to do more.

    But why schools?

    Nyanwra didn’t turn her head as a human would, just swiveled her ears toward him, like a human-sized domestic cat. “Because they are full of ideas.”

    They’d been going on like this ever since they set out on this mission. He’d ask – or even just think – a question, and she’d give him an answer as cryptic as a Zen koan. If anything, this one was the most comprehensible she’d offered.

    Damn, but he wished she’d give him a straight answer. Was it just feline contrariness, like the Siamese he’d had as a kid growing up? Or was there more to it?

    Right now he didn’t have time to puzzle it through. He’d lost too many friends, too many colleagues, and he needed to find the sons of bitches who’d done this to him. How dare they take away the peace he’d finally found after coming home from the Army to be a school custodian.

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