Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Fluff

marmot flash fiction writing prompt k s brooks
Image 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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11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Fluff”

  1. When I looked out the window I saw the heads of small animals dotting the barren plain.

    “We definitely have a prairie dog problem out here,” Samantha pointed out. She must’ve noticed me staring at the field. Just another thing I found interesting about Colorado, like the way Commerce City stunk of oil distilleries. What were all those herbivorous burrowing rodents doing out there?

    Pondering this concept only lasted a few seconds. We pulled into the parking lot of the tea factory. Inside, we began the tour. My memory of the whole thing is hazy. Two main takeaways were my being able to guess how much tea was produced on a daily basis and the origin of the company. I can’t remember the tour guide’s exact words, but I recall the basic thread: “The founders of Celestial Seasonings, two hippies, migrated to Colorado from California. They were searching for marijuana plants growing wild. They never found any cannabis. What they did find was an abundance of natural herbs that they made into teas.”

    The guide looked around at the machinery on the factory floor. “And the rest is history.”

    On the way back to Boulder, I saw the prairie dogs again. What they were up to became clear: eating the dried grass covering the plain. The two hipsters from Haight-Ashbury never found the mythical marijuana forest. They had to settle for herbal blends. The dogs didn’t have that problem. Grasslands loaded with green protein sustained their plant based hipster diet.

  2. Title: Fluffy

    “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!”

    “You heard me correctly – I’m going to make you a star,” Ashley asserted.

    “What’s my name going to be?”


    “Why me?”

    “Because the world needs a distraction.”

    “What’s a dis..distraction?”

    “Let’s just say it takes our mind off things.”

    “But, why me?”

    “You wouldn’t understand.”

    “Look, you’re the one who stopped to talk to me.”

    “Yes, but you whistled at me.”

    “No, I was just alerting the others someone was approaching.”

    “Really! Well, I believe things happen for a reason, and your whistle brought us together.”

    “You’re pretty.”

    “You are too. You know, nobody is going to believe I’ve located a groundhog who can talk.”

    “What did you call me?”

    “A groundhog.”

    “I’m not a ground hog, I’m a Marmot.”

    Something moved in her periphery and she turned to see a cluster of similar creatures all standing on their hind legs. “We’ve got company.”

    “That’s just part of my colony. You obviously caught their attention.”

    “Can the others talk too?”

    “Only to those tuned into us.”

    “Nobody is going to believe this.”

    “Okay, so let’s get back to this star thing. What are the details?”

    “Well, you’re going to go to Hollywood and we’re going to make cartoons and publish comic books with you as the star. We’re going to pay you lots of peanuts.”

    He spun around with a high-pitched whistle, and all the onlookers jumped into holes.

    “Wait! What’s the matter?”

    He turned. “I’m not working for peanuts!”

  3. Nature Calls

    Hey, you! Yeah, you. Good. Eyeball to eyeball. Helps with communicating, I find. I thought we should have a talk. I know what you’re thinking. Why should you talk to me? I am only…well that raises a good question. What am I? Some days, I feel like a gopher, some days I don’t. Sorry, started thinking about that jingle…you know…’Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.’

    Weird Al…he’s my guy. A chipmunk of a sweetheart. Anyways, what I wanted to talk about was rodent-human interface. Yeah, there’s a lot going on in the world, lotta things, events, actions, and you’d be surprised how much of it is what I like to call Haphazardly Unexpected Reasonable Rodents and Humans Interface or HURRAH Interface if you like.

    I see a look of consternation on your pretty human face. I like the word HURRAH.

    It has…panache. HURRAH is quite a political concept too. Take the movie, The Last Hurrah. All about politics. Irish politics of course. Old school. I can get behind that. Sure, you have to be a little nuts to get involved.

    Look, enough with the politics. I’m just trying to open some dialogue.

    Let’s do lunch real soon. Someplace that serves peanut butter, that’s my kind of community spread.

  4. Fluff

    “Fluff” was our child’s first word. As new parents we were so proud! Our baby was not referring to the numerous fluff bunnies under the bed, couch, arm chairs or the floor length curtains. Our friends referred to us as hippies who would rather observe our child than get flustered over a spotless house! Neither was our son referring to his super soft fluffy toys nor his hand knitted fluff blankets.
    Actually, our baby was referring to a fluffy creature out in the farmer’s field. My husband who has twenty-twenty version swore the creature was a rabbit. Having seen the creature run, I said it lacked the zig-zag pattern of this fast but cautiously shy animal. I refuted the fact it belonged to any species front and centre in “Watership” down.
    So what was Fluff exactly, if he was not a super soft animal like a rabbit.?Having lived in French Canada for several years, I thought it might be a ground hog or a beaver. The ground hog otherwise known as a woodchuck is a rodent of North America. We were in the Midlands, the middle of England, but I dismissed any explanation like a groundhog escaping from the zoo. No, Fluff could be named after a beaver. Did they even have beavers in the Midlands? Well I might not have seen the animal’s front too clearly, but I did see it lacked the characteristic flat tail.
    Fluff was what kind of animal? I guess we will have to wait until our sweet heart son names the creature’s species.

  5. Forgetful

    Welcome to Mary and Max’s home.

    One day Max invited two fluffy groundhogs into the house and fed them. He soon forgot about them and now three generations of groundhogs live in the basement.

    Mary enjoys practicing ballet in the bathroom and has a tendency to knock things off the counter. Her husband, Max, doesn’t mind the noise or mess, because he always practices his golf swing beside her.

    Once Mary forgot to fill the hand sanitizer with fluid. Max thought he would help out and accidentally filled it with clear glue. For several days they were stuck to their clothes, the sofa and to each other.

    Mary often discovers amazing things and then forgets to write them down. Her husband is always impressed by her ideas and wonders why she never writes them down. He would ask her, but he always forgets.

    Occasionally, Mary washes the clean dishes and puts the dirty ones away. To correct this, her husband always makes sure to put the clean and dirty dishes in separate cabinets.

    Mary always forgets her keys in the car, the car is always locked, and she has no spare keys. She always intends to carry spare keys, but she forgets to have them made, and her husband always forgets to remind her.

    Recently, Mary has come to believe the house is haunted. During the night, in between Max’s snoring, she hears weird “chattering” sounds coming through the vents from the basement.

  6. “Well, Gary,” she mused. “What do you think?”

    Working as Glinda’s assistant had its risks. She was good, as everyone knows, but that was more a measure of her proficiency. She was notably powerful and talented but also a little vain.

    She turned before me, her arms outstretched.

    “I like it,” I said. “Bewitching but serviceable. You’ll be the belle of the ball tonight.”

    “Serviceable?” Her eyes darkened. A thunderbolt struck the west tower of the palace. “Serviceable is dungarees and faded plaid. This is a concoction of moonbeams and the morning breath collected from unicorns. How could you ever describe it like that?”

    She turned again, her eyes locked on mine. She was revising the dress as she spun, raising its hemline and making it diaphanous. Its neckline plunged lower, revealing a tattoo I’d never seen. A sunbeam lanced through the window, making it sparkle like a mirror ball.

    “That’s definitely better,” I commented, nodding my head. “Especially if you want to emphasise the curve of your butt.”

    The sunbeam snapped off and the room plunged into darkness. Her eyes began to sparkle with fire.

    “Are you saying,” she said, “that it makes me look fat?”

    I began to panic, my words failing me. “They call it thicc these days: it’s something desirable. A little down on your cheeks too; that’s quite à la mode.”

    And that was how I became a marmot, squat, plump and very hairy. She calls me Gary the Gopher now, but I never laugh.

  7. “Fluff, your diet is going to be the death of you!”

    Fluff paid her no mind. Fiona, his wife, had nagged him about his weight all the years they’d been married. His diet, his weight, his high blood pressure. So what if he was a little hefty? Well, okay, maybe more than that. Maybe rolly-polly. But he loved to eat. Nice, oily little sunflower seeds? Yum. Delicate little dandelions? Exquisite. He was a connoisseur. It wasn’t as if he was just stuffing his face. He savored every bite.

    Anyway, there wasn’t much else to do around here. Their burrow was fine; it wasn’t as if they needed to upgrade. Remodeling? He didn’t think so. Exercise? Puh-leeze. Let the other prairie dogs scamper around like maniacs; he was content to settle his (fat) butt in the soft dirt and munch new green leaves.

    Speaking of unnecessary exercise, there was that nitwit Roddy, rearing up on his hind legs and squeaking out an alarm. He was always alarmed about something, and he squeaked so hard he almost fell over backwards. Pipe down, Fluff thought. You’re spoiling the ambiance.

    But just then a dark shadow rippled over Fluff. It moved past him, but then wheeled back. Hawk!

    He dropped his leaf and turned for his burrow. Commanded his legs to move. Beneath his weight, they could only shuffle, could only—


    “I told him,” Fiona said later, sniffing. “I told him his diet would be the death of him.”


    Squigs was the one to count on. The squirrels call him Fluff. Possibly because he’s a giant furball of a groundhog, but the rabbits say squirrels are just stuck up and won’t pronounce the S-Q-U for anything.

    Normally, I don’t trust rabbits. Well, let’s be honest, rabbits don’t trust me. Yeah, I’m a bully, so what? Poor little cousins.

    But in this case, I did just get back from that bush-tailed gang of furry rats, complimenting my “rectangular basket”, as I was trading corn for cantaloupe. Also heard them whispering that the cantaloupe was for Fluff, but I’m sure they don’t know of my plan.

    Groundhogs love cantaloupe. The perfect trading piece for my perfect plan!

    I dropped the melons off while Squigs was already burrowing a shortcut past the lavender. Grandpa warned me of those drowsy lavender plants. I can’t prove it, but he didn’t just go to sleep in the middle of that race. He was sabotaged! Time to restore my family’s pride!

    When the race began, I left that wannabe-turtle in my dust. Slow and steady, my cottontail!

    I approached the burrow while spectators cheered on that reptile near the starting line.

    Smaller groundhogs weren’t capable burrowers for big hares like me. Perfect plan. Thank you, Big Squigs, wherever you are!

    I reached the tunnel’s end. No escape hole. Just a pile of melons, with a sign that read: This is squash, not cantaloupe. I hate squash! Fluff, the tortoise says hello. Signed, Squigs.

  9. Rats

    I returned home from the store to the screams of my children. Rushing their bedroom, I discovered a rather rotund rodent contentedly munching on what was the last of my children’s eyeballs.

    I realized then that despite the weary wishes of the convenience store clerk, this was not going to be a good day.

  10. When I was a kid, I thought the movie Caddyshack was hilarious. You’ve got this subplot about this groundskeeper trying to get rid of a gopher that’s messing up the greens. He tries everything he can think of, and in true comedic way, fails in ways that makes him look ridiculous.

    Then I got into high school and my folks told me I was old enough to start earning my own spending money. A buddy of mine was starting a landscaping business and needed people.

    I figured it’d be an easy job. After all, I’d been mowing our yard since I was in fourth grade, and not just one of those dinky city lots either. We lived out on the edge of town, in what used to be a farmstead, so we had the old barn lot to mow too.

    So I jumped at the opportunity to mow Mrs. Johnson’s lawn. Mr. Walker paid us by the square foot, and her yard was huge. I never reckoned on having to deal with a groundhog. We’d never had any trouble with them, probably because Dad’s hunting dogs kept them scared off.

    Looking back, I was lucky I didn’t flip that mower when I hit that groundhog hole. Instead it just broke the wheel right off the axle and left me sitting in the middle of Mrs. Johnson’s front yard. Of course Mr. Walker blamed me for not seeing it, and fired me on the spot.


    Ellen felt like her job, as a staff writer, at a local magazine had trickled down to always writing about superficial stories; fun stuff, but fluff nevertheless.

    She decided to volunteer at the zoo.


    Ellen watched the fluffy, golden brown, prairie dog, scamper out of his underground burrow in the exhibit. He looked around cautiously, smelling his lunch. Then, suddenly, Ellen and zookeeper Tom, heard him make a series of sounds.

    “He’s ringing the dinner bell for his family to come up to the surface,”Ellen laughed.

    “Yes, and he probably described the contents.”


    “Yeah, really. Their language has been decoded, it is very descriptive.”

    “I guess they need it in an emergency, with all the predators after them.”

    “Talking about emergencies, I could use your help Ellen.”

    “What kind of emergency?”

    “A prairie dog emergency,” he smiled. “My life is not all fluff.”

    “You’re kidding.”

    ” No, unfortunately I’m not. A colony of prairie dogs are going to be bulldozed under in the next couple of days. I need to rescue them. I’ve just received permission.”

    “Okay,” she agreed without hesitation, a look of horror on her face.

    The next day, after a couple of hours in the hot sun, they dropped off the rescued prairie dogs to the wildlife center.

    “Now, I have a human emergency,”
    Tom said.


    “How about a cold drink and dinner tonight?” he smiled.

    “Okay, as long as we don’t talk about any fluff, other than prairie dogs of course, at dinner.”

    ” Deal!”

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