Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The King

elvis pish 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!

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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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The King”

  1. The King

    Porter was a stately German Shepherd. A king amongst dog breeds. Physically, the alpha dog. Exceptionally long, and lean, but muscular. His gargantuan head was noble and well-proportioned. Kingly. Had he walked into a child’s story book, Red Riding Hood would have befriended him as a wolf. Physically he was the king with an omega personality; he was kindly, humble and unassuming.
    Delightfully, I could imagine Red Riding Hood’s totally guileless, clueless conversation, “Grandma, what big ears you have! Grandma, what big eyes you have! Grandma, what big teeth you have.”
    Of course, Porter, a well-educated dog, would never eat her; he is too much of a benign soul. A gentile soul in a loup body. His lupus profile never prevented children running to him with arms flung wide for hugs.
    Indigo was a Black Mouth Cur Rhodesian Ridgeback mix with strong hunting instincts coursing through her. Escaping the heat, Indigo had dug under the wooden walkway. Digging a little further then a little further seeking cooler earth, Indigo had become completely wedged. With no possibility of turning around or digging herself out, she cried piteously. Porter surveyed the situation with all the wisdom of an intelligent canine. He walked around pondering. With his huge paws dug his friend out. Porter impressed on me all the virtues of the true king- nobility, kindness and wisdom. Reappearing, Porter’s jaw was firmly locked around Indigo’s head. Afterall, a king had to have a great sense of humour!

  2. The fixer mumbled into his collar: his words barely intelligible.

    “What was that you said,” I said, challenging him. “Surely there’s no problem.”

    He just shrugged and pushed me away.

    But then the crowd began to applaud. There was a photographer and a reporter. A white car, a Mazda, turned into the parking lot. There was a showering of gravel and a plume of dust rising, the music of the carnival suddenly ratcheting to eleven.

    The driver’s door swung open: the first of the entourage stepped out. It was the celebrated Ms Brooks; Mr Pish’s devoted companion who is almost as revered as our hero himself. She was wearing her trademark glasses with a spotless wide-brimmed Stetson, its crown trimmed with thick fur despite the day’s sweltering heat.

    And then the crowd began to cheer, the grey rainclouds parted, with the sun coming out for the first time today.

    “Hello, everybody,” she said, grinning widely. “It’s great to be back home in Chewelah!”

    The brass band struck up, a team of celebrants waving banners. One of the car’s rear windows rolled down; the dog of the day leaping, gambolling across the turf which had been newly laid that day. He stopped for a moment and then relieved himself, unexpectedly watering the fixer’s left shoe.

    Of course, the crowd all went wild, laughing and cheering for Mr Pish.

    “What can I say,” Kat said, pushing her hat from her brow. “It’s been a very long drive… and these things always happen.”

  3. Pish Upon a Star

    Yeah. It brings back sweet memories.
    It was a heck of a year.
    That tsunami whacked the stuffing out of so many in March.
    We were all worried that the oceans of the world had become radiation hot zones.
    Then April came and William and Kate’s wedding knocked the tsunami off the front page.
    And we finally learned that Obama actually was born in the US of A.
    May? I won’t even talk about May. Okay, let me just say, Bin Laden was deep-sixed.
    And Arnold’s love child was a shocker.
    We started the tour in late June. The plan was just for the summer. Hit those little town fairs. Pish would do his tricks.
    Chasing the Frisbee.
    Balancing on the beach ball.
    Pish was some regal cat if you know what I mean. A regal dog. I didn’t have to say it did I? No. Anyways, the way he moved his lips when I threw my voice, a squeaky voice, sort of a mix between Cary Grant and Richard Nixon.
    Pish took to the road like a trooper. A pooper trooper. It might have been the carny food. Pish loved his hotdogs. Couldn’t get enough of them.
    And donuts.
    Quite often we’d be asked to join the local parade celebrating this heroic soldier or that memorable event.
    Majorettes went nuts over Pish.
    I’m sure it went to his head.
    Good times.
    I’ll miss that little guy.
    One too many donuts, eh.

  4. The Terrier Who Came in From the Cold

    The car came to a stop in the parking lot.

    “Now Bootsie,” said the dog’s owner. “You stay in the car, while mommy goes into the store to pickup a few things. I won’t be long. Here’s a little treat.” The owner laid a biscuit on the rear car seat, and exited the vehicle.

    The small terrier immediately put on a pair of sunglasses, lit a cigar, and scanned the exterior of the car with a pair of binoculars.

    Gotta keep a low profile and humour my owner. She doesn’t suspect I’m an uncover dog with a license to snoop.

    I’ve honed my skills over the years chasing after balls, sniffing around fire hydrants, and checking out suspicious looking canines.

    I’m currently operating under the code name: Agent King. My superiors thought it would be appropriate.

    A spy ring of notorious German Shepherds is trying to infiltrate my organization. They even planted a ‘honey pot’ called Poodles Galore, to win me over to their side. But I’m on to their dirty tricks.

    At that moment, the owner returned to the car, and Agent King wolfed down the biscuit, and then ditched the sunglasses, binoculars and cigar.

    She slid in behind the steering wheel and looked at her dog. “Did you miss me Bootsie?”


    As she pulled the car out of the parking lot, she sniffed the air. “Is that a cigar I smell?”

    Bootsie… Agent King, just winked and thought: A spy never gives up secrets.

  5. I stood at the gates of Graceland, wearing my favorite, trademark shades, but they wouldn’t let me in. What the heck?

    They checked my necklace and saw my name was Elvis. They laughed, said I was cute and should scram. Huh?

    “Look, this is my house. You have no business keeping me out,” I said sternly. I started forward and was impeded with a sweep of a foot. So rude!

    I was missing lunch and my favorite peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich, and bacon-wrapped meatballs. Who’d these guys think they were?! It was like they didn’t recognize me – who doesn’t know the king of rock ‘n roll?

    Maybe if I sang one of my million-selling songs, that’d help. So, I broke into Hound Dog and waited for dawn to break over marble head for these dummies. One of them took out a flat, shiny, black thing and pointed it at me.

    “This’ll go viral on Facebook,” he said. “Howling to the tune of Hound Dog? He’s talented.”
    Howling? Must be slang for good singing. Kids today.

    “Elvis!” we all heard, and we turned to see a lady in a short skirt, high heels, and lots of jewelry scurrying towards us. She pushed past the two goons, scooped me up, and hugged me. Now this is more like it.

    She gave the men a dirty look as we went back towards my house. “Don’t you mind them. They don’t understand about reincarnation,” she said, kissing me on my nose.

  6. My black haired, stout queen b was the dominant force in this household. Believing that she reigns over us, like any Nobel king or queen would. Needless to say, we walk on eggshells in her presence as not to startle Luna.

    One cold December morning, enjoying my coffee on the porch swing, I was startled by repetitive meowing . As my eyes darted around , they became diverted upwards to one of our many pine trees. There, I spotted this little bundle of fright. I act quickly, calling everyone from the fire department to cat rescue organizations. But this proves to be a challenge since Kitty is up to high. No one could help us. Trying to find someone to get her down proved to be a lost cause. Several hours and phone calls later, an arborist was up for the task! He arrived late afternoon, scaled the tree with his apparatus, grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and delivered her to us hungry, cold and skittish. And then I think, “what will we do with her?” For now, she will reside with us.

    After getting her spayed , the vet stated, “she will need to convalesce 6 weeks due to a slight complication with surgery.” After healing, I tried to release her back to her own habitat. Within minutes, I saw her hanging off the back door picture window by her 2 front paws, meowing to reclaim her kingdom. And that she did. With the nibbles and kisses on my ankles, she reminds me that I belong to her and she belongs to me!

  7. I’d always been called one of the cool cats, but I was never the “top dog”. Today that would change, today that would be different. I was gonna be cooler than ever! So I bought a pair of Elvis style sunglasses and I was ready to go. I placed my wooden box in the car and started driving. My little brother is always a pain, but lately it is getting worse…he’s been watching Harry Potter and trying spells on things. Well today he went too far. I picked him up from school and he said “Uppy Uppy turn my big brother into a puppy. And then it happened, you’d never believe it but honest it is true! I turned into a dog and there I was inside the box I was taking to my friends house, except now I was sitting in it…furry little me (still wearing my Elvis style glasses) – but now I am a butt sniffing canine! If anyone has finished the Harry Potter series please figure out how to change me back!!!

  8. They say time flies, and it seems to fly by even faster as you get older. The lock downs at our nursing home has really slowed down time for us – seeming like an endless torture without our loved ones. Unable to even leave our rooms, we do not even have the connection of each other. How is Betty? How is Tom? How many of us are left?

    There is light at the end of the tunnel though. As of Thursday, the entire population of the facility has been vaccinated. This weekend, we were free to visit, to spend time in the TV room, and next week family can visit. I am so excited for everyone.

    Unfortunately for me, I do not have anyone to visit. Most of my human connection comes from my fellow patients. Even the ones who are not fully with us provide me great joy to be with. I do not mind the repeated stories of times past. These are the stories that make us human – that make up our lives.

    Beside human connection there is Mr. Pish. Who’s Mr. Pish – you ask? Mr. Pish is a dog who travels around all the local nursing homes. He is always dressed up, always making people smile, and always the star of the day when he visits. He is coming today.

    I wonder what Mr. Pish has been doing?

    Oh. Here he comes now. Talk to you later. “Mr. Pish!”

  9. Everything started with a motorbike. Just one look at that bright red beauty and I fell in love. Only one problem: it cost five hundred bucks, which was a lot of money in those days.

    I could get a summer job, but if I did, my folks would decide I could just start paying for my own snacks and school clothes and whatnot. Pretty soon my whole paycheck would vanish down the maw of stuff they usually covered.

    That was when I saw the announcement for a pet talent show, with a grand prize of five hundred bucks. Our little white cairn terrier would twist and wiggle like he was dancing every time I played Mojo Nixon’s “Elvis is Everywhere.” Put a pair of shades on him and there was the ticket. So off I went with Scotty sitting in a cardboard box between the seats of my folks’ old Chevy Nova.

    Most of the acts were pretty sad, so I figured we had a real chance. Then I walked out on stage and set Scotty on the judging platform. I had the tape cued up and the sound guy just needed to hit play.

    Except when the music started blaring out of those giant speakers, Scotty freaked. He jumped right off the stage and went tearing out into the audience.

    I ended up getting a summer job, all right. All my money went to paying my folks back for the damages they covered.

  10. Clyde sat in the lawn chair, his eyes red from weeping, and handed Sheriff Thompson the photo. “Sorry about the tears,” he said “This is the only picture of King I have.”

    Thompson took the photo in the bright light of the patio. “Cute pup,” he said. “Funny name for such a little dog.”

    “He was my best friend,” said Clyde. “My only friend.”

    “How long has he been dead?”

    Clyde squeezed his eyes shut to keep the tears at bay. “Four months,” he said as he looked at his watch, “and six days, twelve hours.”

    “Your daughter’s concerned,” said the sheriff. “Grief’s a tough thing, for sure. But she said you’ve been talking about harming yourself. All these guns. We don’t want that.”

    Clyde stood up abruptly and the sheriff sat up, watching, alert.

    “She had no business calling you,” said Clyde. “All I ever wanted was a family but I guess I’ve missed out on that. All I had was King. My daughter doesn’t understand. Nobody does. Do you know who my best friend is now? My ex-wife! Can you believe that?”

    Sheriff Thompson stood up and grabbed the duffle bag filled with Clyde’s hunting rifles and target pistols. “So you agree, I’ll take these for awhile. Just till hunting season.”

    “I don’t care,” said Clyde.

    “You know,” said Sheriff Thompson, “if your dog could talk, he’d probably tell you to find another friend. He wouldn’t want you to suffer the way you’re suffering now.”

    “You think?”

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