Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Hump Day

camel flash fiction writing prompt
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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6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Hump Day”

  1. 1 Hump or 2
    “Thank you for inviting me to speak about my limited career. If the equines in the house will excuse my pun, I’ve always been a sort of one-trick pony.”
    The guest camel speaker paused as whinnies, barks, oinks, and other responses of animal humor erupted from the mixed breed audience. A kangaroo hopped on stage to refill his glass of water, but the ungulate declined, looked back at his hump, and said he was full. That comical gesture made the audience laugh even more.
    “Yeah, they relegated my family to cigarette ads in the beginning for whatever reason, and it’s hard to do anything else once they typecast you. My grandfather, father, and I earned a pretty penny until our brand fell out of favor. They resurrected me as Joe Camel for a brief stint, but the times changed and the ad was unsuccessful.”
    The ship of the desert hesitated as murmurs went through the crowd, recalling images of what he said. He allowed time for their comments before continuing.
    “My latest, greatest return to the forefront of the ad world was the insurance commercial you all saw. I walked around the office asking what day was it, waiting to deliver a hump day response. My return to the industry fizzled as Bactrians protested about the favoritism Dromedaries received, so I’m back working as a restaurant server. I enjoy humor and when I serve coffee, if they want sugar, I ask one hump or two?”

  2. ELIGIBLE FOR EDITORS CHOICE ONLY

    Hump Haggarty

    I knew old Hump. Salt of the earth. Give you the shirt off his back not that he wore a shirt all that often back then. Kind of a Putin before Putin if you know what I mean. Tough. Grew up on a ranch, well, sort of a ranch, a riding stable on the edge of the city.

    The city kept on growing like a lump that never seemed to get smaller.

    Finally, the Haggarty’s had to sell out as taxes were killing them. They had to ship the horses east to one of those rendering places old horses don’t want to go to. New owners flipped the property and eventually, it became a horseless subdivision.

    That broke Hump’s heart, I think.

    Anyways, after the riding stable was sold, the Haggarty’s moved further out into the valley, bought a little acreage, and started a new life. They could have had a couple of horses, had the space, but money was tight and old Hump, late teens by then, was pretty much down in the mouth about the world.

    Eventually, the Haggarty’s bought a rig and started a small trucking business.

    They thrived with private trucking contracts but when Covid hit, life got pretty darn hard.

    Then the Vaccine issue smacked them in the face.

    “No way,” said Hump. “Not me.”

    You can see where I’m going eh!

    A Canadian morality saga.

    He joined that so-called Freedom Convoy.

    Made it to Ottawa.

    I hope he don’t lose his truck.

  3. The Coming Dystopia is Currently Being Televised

    The Drudd family settled in to watch their favourite television program: Hunting Thralls. Thralls were human variants who were slaves within the Regime of the New Society.

    Years before, Hump day had been changed to Thump day. Whenever Thralls ventured outside on this day, they were hunted by State Agents, who were not only the faceless enforcers of the law, but also its authors. They had no limit to their power, and loyalty was owed only to the State.

    Hunting Thralls became so widespread, it was eventually turned into a popular TV show.

    “…F-R-E-E-D-O-M…”

    “Mummy,” asked young Drudd. “Why do Thralls call for freedom?”

    Mrs. Drudd smiled. “Poor things. They simply don’t understand the language anymore.”

    In the New Society all dictionaries had been changed. Words such as freedom now meant slavery. As a result, any Thralls shouting for freedom were inadvertently calling for more servitude.

    “…F-R-E-E-D-O-M…”

    Whenever a Thrall was found by State Agents, they were struck down with batons. If they attempted to get up, the Agents played whack-a-mole on their heads. It was a fun game which was actively encouraged. It made for excellent television and ratings were always high.

    The Drudd family loved the show. They, as well as others, occupied positions of privilege and authority in the Regime. They were never subject to the law.

    Curiously, previous generations of human variants never thought they would become Thralls (slaves) within their own society.

    Funny, what the future can hold.

  4. Hump Day

    Really, I do not remember whether it was a Wednesday or what others crudely referred to as “hump day” when we visited The Pyramids at Giza. What I do remember was the awful uncomfortable six hour coach trip to Cairo. The poorly padded seats knocked us about resulting in numerous complaints. Culturally, Egypt seemed a life span away from the USA and England, my birth country. In their smoke rooms, child beggars, poor respect for animals and even in their security the Egyptians were primitive. When my neck was not cricked in sleep, I was absorbing the journey. The many security checks, sadly, were archaic and far from a sophisticated high tech screening. Neither were our persons nor bags checked. Merely a mirror was swept under the coach, while militia looked at us from behind metal frames or towers. It was like something out of an outdated James Bond movie.

    The Pyramids were magnificent, majestic and monumental. Threading our way through obnoxious overbearing vendors was nightmarish. Desiring to sell souvenirs they had no idea of personal space! Face to face with camels, I studied them first hand. Certainly they lacked beauty, but I could imagine them carrying tiny Bedouins dressed in fantastic dyes through the desert. Their coats were a dusty ecru and interesting enough they were tattooed and shaven wearing colourful tapestry blankets. What struck me most were the elaborate shavings around their necks. There were complex geometrical designs with primary colours. Oddly enough the camels were rather sophisticated.

  5. “They’re playing that song again.” Roy glowered at the radio that hung on the far side of the screenprinting shop. “It’s nothing but my humps, my humps, my humps over and over again ’til you never want to hear it again.”

    Terry looked up from the t-shirt folding press. “Hey, at least it’s catchy and you can dance to it.”

    “Maybe it was cute the first two or three times, but right now I’d like to put it in a time-locked vault for another ten years.” Roy paused, studying the younger man. “I think I could’ve put up with it if it’d been a kids’ song about a camel, but that is definitely not a kids’ song.”

    Terry frowned, clearly wanting to defend the song but knowing how vulgar it was. “You have something against camels?”

    Talk about throwing a curve ball. Roy had to wonder where it came from. Terry wanting to argue but not wanting to risk his job, so make the argument look silly?

    Which meant the best way to respond might be to take it seriously. “They’re not exactly the most agreeable animals in the world. Not that I had a lot of experience with them when I was in the Sandbox. Unlike the ground-pounders, us naval aviators didn’t do a lot of interaction with the locals. Even flying shore-based aircraft, I stayed pretty much on-base, but every time I saw a camel, it spat at me.”

  6. Vincent gazes at himself through his eyelashes. He’s standing beside a dark pool, reflecting on his reflection, the water still and without limits. The oasis is quiet, and his last day has ebbed away.

    It’ll be dark in under an hour.

    The campfire drew him. Its heat reminded him of a night with a kohl-eyed houri who bewitched him, the touch of her hands a gentle seduction that overcame his British reserve. They laid together beneath a canvas pavilion, its fine mesh the only barrier between them and the arcane spirits that waited, seeking a resolution. Her words were exotic and strange – her kiss doubly potent, laced with a natural narcotic, her lips delivering him into another world. She’d promised him ecstasies beyond description, a true transformative bliss.

    And then he woke.

    He was alone, and it was dark; the night cold and the fire nothing but ash. Starlight lit his way to the chill water, and he drank, thinking nothing of its purity, not caring for anything other than quenching his thirst. He drank without restraint, drinking until it seemed he would drink it all, drain the pool dry, still not sated.

    Then he saw himself, and he stopped, thirsty no more.

    He walked away, back to the tent; found her gone, his wallet and passport missing. She’d left him his phone, but he broke it, his cloven hoof too clumsy to make it work.

    He trampled its glass into the sand and said goodbye to his life.

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