Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Found

Avalanche Rescue Dog 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!

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13 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Found”

  1. Found
    The dogs we bought at the pound and the ones who found us were nutty. A deep crazy streak.

    On my biking home from work, my youngest informed me that she had found a dog when the oversized head of a GSD popped over the back gate. He had already thrown up in my daughter’s car! The original owners were never located.

    Porter thought squirrels were made for being chased, when I was at the other end of a leash. We named a found dog telling him that he was ours for life. Even after being spayed, he continuously pulled on a leash. He looked like a light bulb wearing the largest Elizabethan collar. Porter also resembled the Big Bad Wolf. Neither the operation or the collar of shame stopped his pulling. Hating the collar, he would smash it mercilessly on the ground. It became artistically fixed with sellotape, string and ribbon. Another ten days of recovery because Porter had ripped his stitches. Impossible to keep a dog with a puppy mentality calm!

    Being tall at the shoulders, he could steal food off counters effortlessly. The key lime pie and homemade egg custard flan became dog snacks. He threw up a dog toy in the car, pooped out socks, cried like a wounded animal on car rides and enjoyed walking around with the other dog’s head in his jaws.

    The day it snowed, he sat outside trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue like a child! Crazy!

  2. Dog Breath COVID-19 Blues

    Clawing and scratching my way through the drift, I had to ask myself. “How’d I get here? This ain’t no way for a smart dog to live.”

    I had such a sweet deal with the Tanners. Three squares a day, a superb twice daily fitness program.

    Belly rubs.

    Gawd, I’d give my eye teeth for a belly rub now.

    And a warm house.

    Well, I’d better take that back.

    About the eye teeth, I mean.

    No point in being hasty.

    I’ll have to chew on that a while.

    Anyways, I should have listened.

    My mother gave us all the skinny back in those lovely litter days. “People need us, my honeys. They have so many problems that one sappy grin from us…guaranteed to make their day.”

    She was so right. What mom hadn’t figured on was the COVID-19.

    Whatever that is, it’s stopped paying dividends.

    Whatever they are.

    About a year ago, the Tanners suddenly didn’t go out. They stayed home 24-7.

    It was great.

    For a while.

    I mean, lots of walks.

    Until winter.

    Then they seemed to go sideways.




    That was hard on the ears.

    Then the belly rubs stopped.

    Mr. T. kept on saying “This is crazy!”

    Mrs T. kept on saying, “Suck it up, buttercup.”

    She’s a poet by the way.

    Whatever that is.

    The children, three of them, all they do is Zoom.

    Whatever that is.

    Got so I decided to run away.

    Big mistake.

    It’s so cold.

  3. Title: Training Exercise

    It was just a training exercise, so what could go wrong?

    “Mr. Bellows, we’ve accounted for five of the six we buried.”


    “That’s right sir, we are missing one of the volunteers.”

    “Who’s the missing person?”

    “Kat Brooks.”

    “Not the reporter – that’s the last person we want to be missing.”

    “Do we want anyone else to be missing?”

    “NO, you idiot. She’s going to write a bad article about our ability to rescue people. Sh*t sh*t.”

    “Sir, it’s been over an hour since we started this exercise. She’s probably panicking by now.”

    “Look at ME, do I look like I’m not panicking?” He exclaimed, rotating like a dog getting its supper.

    “Yeah, you look like you just peed your pants.”

    “Keep that to yourself. Go collect all the dogs and bring them to the field.” He watched Eddie walking to the training area. “Don’t walk…RUN!”

    He reminded himself that all of the volunteers had left their backpacks and other personal stuff over on the ski lodge entrance. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him. Seeing the single pack, he grabbed it and headed to the field.

    He spotted several dogs running at Eddie’s feet, as he also headed to the field.

    Once in the middle of the field, Gordon held out the bag to the dogs “SEARCH!”

    Five minutes later, Kat, brushing off the snow, “FOUND.”

    “You okay?”

    “I was getting a little concerned someone had forgotten about me.”

    “Nobody could do that!”

  4. “Look Spot, or whatever your name is, you look like a smart dog. Why don’t you just pretend you didn’t see me and be on your way?”

    Sammy was tired and cold. He had been out for hours getting food. That’s how the dog found and chased him. Sammy hid, the dog ran off and Sammy returned to the den. The wife and kids were still asleep.

    Then, out of nowhere, the dog stuck his nose into the den. He had to get rid of the dog. He didn’t want Maude to wake. He didn’t want to run back out into the snow. If worse came to worse, he would have to spray the dog.

    Sammy shuddered. He didn’t like spraying anything anymore. When he was younger, he could spray six or seven times in a row. He and his friends used to play games, like cowboys, shooting at each other. But now, it was a real hassle. Old age sucked. His spray didn’t’ go as far, it stuck to his own fur and it took forever to refill the glands.

    “But I found you.” Said Rex

    “Yeah you! You get the medal, now go away.”

    Rex smiled and repeated, “I found you, I stay.”

    “Can you stay over there by that tree?”


    Rex walked over to the tree. A deer ran past. Rex ran after the deer. He corned the deer in a rocky knoll. The deer asked, “Why did you chase me?”

    “I found you.”

  5. Digger set off with the others, nose down against the snow. He followed the pack, swerving around the first warm spot, keen to be in on the finds with the rest, knowing he’d be rewarded if he found a live one. It was dog eat dog in Canine County – nobody got a treat if they were the second to arrive at a rescue.

    “What were you doing back there?” Patch asked, looking over his shoulder. He was one of the lead dogs, second lieutenant to Fang, the husky cross, who’d been in charge for three summers.

    “Just wandering. Letting you get ahead. I can run faster than you. I spend far too much time behind you. I’m giving my nose a rest.”
    Patch growled, rolling his lip. He gave Digger a quick nip on his flank, just because, then raced away. There were other dogs still to be disciplined; Digger was the least of his concerns.

    “What was that with him?” Wayne, the Samoyed, was one of the slower dogs, his mind as fast as his feet. Digger knew that Patch called him Rocky, but he’d never said why.

    “Pack politics, you know?” He slowed to match the Samoyed’s pace, moving aside to let others pass. “Do you remember that Astronaut that went missing last week,” he said, looking back, making sure nobody else was nearby. “I made a find of my own earlier. Plenty of bones for both of us if you keep it between you and me.”

  6. While I was out on a walk I slipped and fell through an icy hole in the ground. I slid down and landed on ice that was so hard you could have literally built a house on it! While descending about 15 feet I had heard a crack…that was my leg, snapping like a twig beneath my weight due to the force of the momentum of my fall being stopped on a dime. What could I do, where could I go, there was nothing left I was trapped in the snow. I looked down and could tell there was no way to move, I was trapped in an icy tomb and this would be my final resting place. I tried to come to terms, I tried to make amends but truth be told, I don’t have too many friends. None to betray and none to blame, alone was how I had been able to play this game. Of course if I did have a friend, that would have been a nice consolation prize now, they could rescue my bones, and make me some chow! But then it happened as it does in all my stories, I let it go, let it flow, and lost all of the glory. It smelled so bad alone in that icy grave there was nothing, literally nothing left that I wanted to save. But then by a miracle yes it is true man’s best friend smelled my feces and rescued me it’s true!

  7. Beth said she just had to bring Sally, her dog, along. It was supposed to be a romantic weekend away from jobs and the city. The cabin was warm and cozy, but the dog had to sleep in bed with us. Early that morning just as we started to snuggle, Beth said she had to take Sally out, leaving me in the bed, cold, and alone. I never felt jealous of a dog before. I was beginning to dislike Sally.

    Later, we geared up with parkas and snowshoes for our seven-mile hike. The mountain air was crisp but sunny after the snowstorm the evening before. We had been on the trail for an hour when Beth put Sally in her pooch pouch, and we donned our snowshoes for the ascent up the mountain.

    Thirty minutes later, I broke through the tree line when I saw two figures on the ridge. They were snowboarding. I saw movement below them. Movement in the snow!

    I yelled to Beth who was a hundred feet behind me: “Beth! Avalanche! Get …”

    It was totally dark. I could not move. The air was stale. I was freezing.

    I heard something above me. Something digging. I could barely move my arms that were trapped over my head. I opened my eyes. There, light! More digging. Then there was Sally. She looked so proud of herself. I have never seen such a wonderful sight. It was then that I fell instantly in love with Sally.

  8. Vault 47

    While in the snow-covered mountains Captain Marks’ expedition found a dog trapped in a small crevasse.

    Once free, the dog, showing only minor signs of distress, urged the team to follow it further up the mountain.

    After a few hours, the dog (which Captain Marks named Nelly) led everyone to a steel door, which had the number 47 engraved on it.

    The team’s engineer breached the door, and everyone ventured into the vault. It was empty and the various rooms and hallways were strewn with debris.

    Captain Marks located a computer terminal and a diary of events:

    “March 16: After more than a year of living in the vault, tensions and paranoia are mounting.”

    “May 3: Ongoing arguments have caused division: the Planners want to stay in the vault, but everyone else wants to leave.”

    “June 10: Landis announced he is leading the Planners. He says he wants to help us.”

    “July 21: Josh says the Planners are secretly watching us. He has begun drawing Illuminati signs on the walls.”

    “September 14: We suspect the Planners are hoarding food. What are they up to?”

    “November 17: Landis announced he is taking control.”

    “November 26: Fighting has broken out. People are being killed…”

    At that moment, Nelly began to bark, and the door to the computer room slid open.

    Captain Marks turned and saw a man standing in the shadows.

    “Welcome to Vault 47,” whispered the shadowy figure. “Don’t be alarmed. I’m Landis. May I offer you my assistance?”

  9. “It’s been a good run, but my 90-year-old body hates the cold now. In my forties, an igloo of sorts in Alaska was a great idea. No one ever bothered me– there was plenty of privacy, and my fortune bought me plenty of comforts.” I knew I was rambling. Why not?

    “Of course, I’ve been saying this to myself for the past 20 years, every winter. Did I want to risk assimilating myself back into society for my dying days? I would miss the wide open spaces, snowshoeing whenever I wanted, the peace, and the quiet. Watching the caribou migrate.”

    The young man stared at me, studying me. “Go on.”

    “In the winter, the snow buried my place, insulating it from the cold. Carving out a door was an unnerving task. I got the hang of it, though. The thought of being buried alive was quite unpleasant. Eventually I spliced together a long PVC pipe with a hood so I could make sure to have an air supply, just in case.”

    “I’m in awe that you’re still alive,” he said.

    “I’m in awe that a mutt found me.” Or maybe it was a rescue. I couldn’t even be angry at the snitch. He’d guessed right. Some people never stopped looking for me.

    “Possibly the best disappearing act ever,” Agent Carter said, sliding the recorder closer to me. “Please state your name for the record.”


    “Again,” he said, smiling. “I can’t hear it enough.”

    “You know me as D.B. Cooper.”


    “It’s not my fault that I have the need to poop and pee. I didn’t ask them to adopt me. I was happily wandering on the streets surviving on scraps,” Dan thought.


    “Mia, your test dates are so close, but all your time is spent with Dan—taking him for walks and bathing him.” Father yelled at me.

    Seven years ago, I had picked up little Dan from the street—cute and cuddly. He is big and fierce now. Doesn’t need much, just a little food and some walking.

    “Where is Dan?” I screamed. “Where did he go? His toys are still here, did he run away?” I asked Dad, when I came back from college.

    This has never happened, Dan never leaves just like that. Where could he be?

    I kept pacing around, hoping that Dan would come back. The evening turned into night. It wasn’t an ordinary night. The wind was howling fiercely, trees were swaying, birds were crowing and trying to find shelter. Then it started drizzling.

    “I don’t think Dan will ever come back. I have walked him to a very far away place—near the mortuary. There’s no way he’ll find his way back,” my father snickered. “I could have dragged him even farther but he stopped several times to pee. Stupid Dan!”

    Just then, Dan walked through the open door, all wet and shivering.

    Dogs can sniff their pee spots and find their way home, Dad.

    And I snickered at my dad.

  11. The avalanche buried a team of skiers in a mountain of snow, while six K-9 rescue teams dug them out with gusto. Dasher, Dancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid and Donner dove into mounds of snow, quickly uncovering several missing skiers.

    Their handlers kept the puppies’ names, originally from the same litter, four years earlier. Only Prancer and Blitzen were missing–Blitzen was on vacation with the breeder, and Prancer had been missing since spring.

    The K-9 teams doggedly kept at their tasks, wearing their signature orange vests — all except one. Meanwhile, the last three skiers came up, alive.

    “Who is that odd search dog?” asked Rebecca, the leader.

    Someone noticed four children in the distance, calling out to Prancer.

    The K-9 searchers were astonished at Prancer’s return, after all these months–but who were these children?

    It seems that the two hikers who froze to death last spring weren’t a childless couple, but had left four orphans in a log cabin, some distance away. Prancer had sensed their loneliness and vulnerability, and had been feeding them with fish and small game that she caught, herself. The eldest children, eleven and twelve years old, had been cooking the food.

    The children heard about the emergency on the shortwave radio, and released Prancer to help.

    Rebecca, leader of the K-9 units, had been missing Prancer all this time, who now flew into her arms.

    Then Prancer looked back at the children; she wasn’t ready to leave them. Maybe she didn’t have to.

  12. How can what is forever lost be found?
    It can’t.
    I now live alone.
    I will die alone.
    I don’t even know who I am.
    Or care.

    Another, dark, cold, snowy night.
    A cup of tea and the TV
    We used to snuggle.
    Now I cry.

    Noises on the back deck.
    With trepidation I turn on the light.
    The light is reflected in dark eyes,
    eyes that seem even sadder then my own.
    A forlorn, skinny pooch shivers in the cold,
    a physical refection of my emotional state.

    Perhaps we can both be found.

  13. Roger knew Toby was a special dog, ever since his dad brought the little Sheltie home. Not special in the short-bus sense, but because he came from the big science lab on the other side of Appleton. That night Roger had overheard his parents talking about whether it was wise. Mom fretted that an experimental subject could be dangerous, while Dad insisted that the experiment required the dog be raised in a family environment.

    All summer and fall, Roger had played games with Toby under his father’s direction. Roger had a good idea that these games were tests of some kind. However, he had also learned enough about science that he didn’t comment on it, because he didn’t want his father to decide that knowledge might invalidate the experiment.

    Now winter had come, bringing a thick blanket of snow. Ever since Roger got home from school, he and Toby had been romping out in it. Now the streetlights were coming on and it was time to go inside for supper.

    As he got to the door, he reached up to take off his hat and realized it was gone. And his folks had just bought it for him. They’d be so mad…

    Barking with excitement, Toby ran out into the yard and started digging. Moments later, he came running back, Roger’s hat in his mouth.

    It’s like he’s telepathic. “Good boy, Toby.” Roger opened the door and hurried in to tell his father the news.

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