Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Soaring

Eagle 3L0A0204p ff writing prompt ksbrooks
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!

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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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Soaring”

  1. The Brain Machine

    Pete was talking to his friend, Matt, about his latest invention.

    “I invented a Brain Machine,” said Pete. “But after wearing it for a week, I’ve discovered something.”

    “Did you discover the secret of an eagle’s majesty?”


    “Or, find out where lost socks in a dryer go?”

    “No. None of those things.” He paused and rubbed his forehead. “I discovered things don’t make sense any more.”

    “How so?”

    “For example, the simple commands I used to give to my dog, Buddy, have now turned into long speeches where I must explain to it everything I want it to do.”

    “That is troubling. Could it be your Brain Machine?”

    “Possibly. Or, maybe it’s just me. I never seem to be happy until I find something to be unhappy about, and then, I’m overjoyed.”

    “You have a point,” Matt replied.

    While his friend was talking, Pete looked out the window and saw a bunch of dead trees. Inexplicably, he felt they were biding their time, waiting for a spark, in order to seek their revenge. He turned back to his friend. “The trees are waiting,” he said. “They haven’t forgotten.”

    “Trees? You’re being paranoid.”

    “Perhaps I am.”

    “Maybe if you remove the Brain Machine your thoughts will return to normal.”

    “You might be right. I need to clear my head, get some space.” Just as he said this he was suddenly overcome with a feeling of sadness. He realized there was nothing in space… except space itself.

  2. Soaring

    It was a Sunday morning. I went online to check on the state of the world. Most of it I knew. Most news is never new. Most news is ripped from old news. School shootings, for example. When there is a new one, all the old ones are recounted. At least, the ones with a high body count. Just in case we had forgotten.

    Maybe we did. How much darkness and stupidity can one brain hold?

    I don’t know.

    I’ve had my fill though.

    Still, I come back to the news.

    New or old, it keeps me informed.

    I want to be informed.

    I want to know those moments, those precious moments when children soar above the fray. I want to know those moments, those unexpected moments when something beautiful and other worldly bursts forth, sparkles in the sky, warms our heart as never before, chills us with the sweetness of love found.

    And there it was, that Sunday morning.

    Off in the sky, a magnificent eagle, a splendid creature, soaring above me, seeming to hurdle the air, tantalizing me with its freedom, its unfettered liberty.

    And there I was, that Sunday morning, glorying in its sovereignty, a prisoner of my own land-locked subjugation, the limitations of mankind.

    I cried for myself, rejoiced that such a creature existed.

  3. Soaring

    The electronic app mimicked a mechanized shutter whirring and clicking on the state-of-the-art digital camera. The tripod mounted super telephoto lens brought the majestic bald eagle right up to the photographer’s face. Brooks knew the sequence would yield a wonderful time-lapsed effect of the regal bird’s flight mechanics. Those with her all gushed with excitement over their shots.

    A variety of raptors migrated through the mountain pass today. After our national symbol passed, other winged wonders followed. The intrusive sound of modern reality arrived in the form of gunshots echoing from somewhere below their scenic perch.

    That was more intolerable than illegal, and several of the group dropped their gear to brandish walking sticks. They left in search of the dastardly miscreants threatening nature in its home. Photographers of all ages took off down the trail. The dopes kept firing, so finding them was easy. The two perps nearly soiled themselves as a dozen angry birdwatchers descended upon them like the raptors they filmed.

    “What are you two numbskulls doing? Those are protected and endangered species.”

    The two teenagers threw their rifles on the ground.

    “We didn’t hit any. We’ll get out of here and never do it again.”

    “That’s right.” Two guys picked up their rifles and dashed them against trees. “Now get out of here.”

    The kids scrambled past the adults and never looked back.

    “Dang, I guess bald eagle soup is off the menu tonight,” one dummy exclaimed as they ran.

  4. Soaring After All

    This was going to be the last thing he would do with his life.

    He was tired, both physically and emotionally. His parents had brought him up to be a good person – strong beliefs, built on solid personal values. Those things hadn’t helped him though.

    Friends thought he was chicken when he wouldn’t jump from the top of a pine tree. They would laugh at him when he would rush to hold the door for someone. They made fun of him when he would study hard for an upcoming test, and called him hurtful names.

    When he said he was going to go to MIT and become an engineer, they said he would crash and burn.

    He had decided to end it, and was going to jump off Indian Peak into the Valley of Death. When he didn’t return from his hike, they would learn what he did.


    After six hours of strenuous hiking to the top of the mountain, he realized he was in better shape than he thought.

    Sitting on the edge of the cliff, contemplating his next move, he spotted a bald eagle soaring high in the sky. It was circling his position. As he studied the majestic bird, it was as if the eagle was passing its strength, wisdom and courage to him.

    Soon, he realized that he was a good person, and had a strong idea of his future path.

    He saluted his new friend and would indeed fulfill his dreams.


    Big Bird

    William “Bax” Baxter, sole proprietor of “Northwest Guided Hunting” glared at the two retired high school science teachers who were his customers. Taking a long pull from his flask he muttered:

    “Crap… out here five days and we ain’t bagged a thing. These guys are ‘bout as interested in huntin’ as I am ‘bout washin’ a cat. Goddamn, I wish they would shut up.”

    True enough, the old guys had bickered the entire time, stopping only when they were eating or sleeping. The argued about everything. Seems like the only time they were happy was when they were miserable. They disagreed about everything… the weather, the type of trees, whether some plant was edible, what the other ate, what the other wore… everything.

    Currently, they were arguing about the huge bird circling overhead. They been at it for the last hour or so.

    “I tell you it’s probably an Aquila chrysaetos,” claimed one.

    “You’re out o’ yer frickin’ mind… it’s mos’ likely a Pandion haliaetus… anybody with a brain and eyes to see knows that!”

    “Actually, I think it’s an Aquila chrysaetos.”

    “Nah… now that it’s closer, ’s probably a Buteo regalis.”

    Enough was enough.

    Bax stood and said, “I’ll tell you what it is.”

    As one, the teachers turned and looked at him.


    Hoisting his shotgun, Max said, “Dinner.”

  6. Soaring

    We led a carefree life on the mega yacht, relaxing, loafing about, sleeping, indulging in great foods and drinks. But then a nagging feeling encircled me like a swarm of annoying gnats. I harped back to the apocalypse- its almighty destruction, the reduction of humankind to insignificant figures. Fear. How many had withstood the apocalypse? What would we do? How would we survive? Did we even have a miniscule chance of survival?

    Then I saw it. An eagle! An eagle and the most majestic of birds. It was soaring. Soaring! It was soaring over dark mysterious forests without a care or concern. Then the words of Mariah Carey’s “Fly Like a Bird” blasted me like a colossal wind-
    “Somehow I know that
    There’s a place up above
    With no more hurt and struggling
    Free of all atrocities and suffering
    Because I feel the unconditional love
    From one who cares enough for me
    To erase all my burdens
    And let me be free to
    Fly like a bird….”

    I have never been overly religious, but I saw the wisdom in the lyrics. I had to have faith in God, myself and the group of survivors. We had to believe. Believe in the future.

    A black blur rushed past me. Midnight my coyote puppy had seen the eagle and was racing the length of the yacht in excited pursuit. No doubt, he too wanted to soar like an eagle.

  7. The eagle drew my attention, its wings a crucifix, promising damnation. It soared like a god, omnipresent and dreadful, death and fury incarnate. And if I were a mouse, I know I’d pray when I saw its shadow closing in.

    But I’m not a mouse: I’m a man. A man with a rifle and a need to even the odds.

    It would have been less than sporting of me to use my scope to target my shot. But that mouse would have been outclassed just as much: the eagle’s eyes acute enough to spot its prey from half a mile away or even more. And with that and the thermal trace of its body making it blaze like a beacon, I would have to be a fool to plump for Team Rodent.

    But nobody ever got rich betting on a cert.

    I drew a bead again, aligning the crosshairs. The eagle soared, dragging my sights as it circled, its eyes intent, its predatory mind shuffling scenarios, the certainty of its success baked in by experience.

    Team Eagle would always play to win. Defence was a loser’s game. And the best the mouse could ever hope for would be a draw.

    I sighed, lowering my weapon. Unlike the eagle, I had no need for this kill. I could walk away and not feel hungry: the contents of my stomach being governed more by choice and the balance in my checking account.

    I was saving my shots for a more profitable target.

  8. Getting away from Sparta Point had taken some doing, but right now Connor needed to be alone with his mind. When he took the service oath back in the Energy Wars, he’d never expected a time when he’d have to discern his duties toward the Constitution against the actions of the Federal government.

    Nor had he ever imagined that protecting and defending the Constitution would involve supervising an unrepentant Communist. But Spartan was a known military genius, and possibly their best hope to fight the Flannigan Administration. And the man had told the governor, “I lost my republic, but maybe I can help you save yours.”

    Which raised the question of whether the Republic could be saved, or they were fighting as hopeless a rearguard action as the Red Resurgence. When had things gone sour? After the Miracle of the Lightning Bolt, when everyone was glad the Cold War was over, people agreed the secret experiments were unethical but their subjects were innocent human beings. Somewhere along the line, attitudes changed and out came all the old blame the victim lines. Stigmatize them, mark them out so they can’t pass as regular people and make sure they know their place.

    A movement overhead caught Connor’s attention. He looked up to see a bald eagle soaring over the lake, beautiful, majestic, glorious. The sight left left him in awe, in a way he hadn’t felt since the Bicentennial, back when he was in grade school.

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