Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Duckies

3L0A9557 ducks at the fair flash 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!

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: Duckies”

  1. Rowless

    Harry my neighbor came over. He and Estelle, his much better half, and Marg and I play Canasta a couple of Saturdays a month. As for neighbors, we’re tight. I’d trust him with anything I own…even my weedwhacker.

    You know how it is in a cul-de-sac, and even in some straightaway neighborhoods, you either have good neighbors or Martians.

    Harry and Estelle.

    Good neighbors.

    I wouldn’t even care if they were also Martians.

    I mean, face it. if there are Martians, it’s probably better if they are amiable…


    You gotta figure even Martians like to trim the sidewalk.

    And clean the pond.

    So maybe you understand the predicament.

    With our pond.

    I probably shoulda went with goldfish.

    Or Koi.

    Those fancy-assed fish people get.

    But when the kids were little, little Frankie and even littler Jonina…my take on Frankie and Johnny, eh…and yeah, I know, the Elvis film was a dog and Johnny was Elvis and Frankie was that Clampett sexpot, Ellie Mae, but what are you gonna do, Marg loved the film…what choice did I have…or the kids…anyways…instead of fish, we went with rubber duckies in the pond…which would have been fine if they had kinda just kept their distance, kept in some order, like in queues but no, these quackers were all over the map…we couldn’t keep our ducks in a row…so we asked Harry to suggest a solution.

    He said to get rid of the ducks.

    That ended Canasta night forever, let me tell ya.


    Kitty Brain

    Gaff, the tiny alien from the mist planet Taiinax 10, stared at a map of Earth. “The world will never be mine,” he sneered, “until I eliminate BIG THINK, the supercomputer. Ack… ack…”

    To achieve his goal he created a mind-controlled kitten: a seemingly innocent, yet ferocious beast that would do his bidding. He achieved this by implanting a computer chip inside the kitten’s head.

    He called his new creature: Kitty Brain.

    The next day, BIG THINK was watching Dr. Anomaly’s property, when it spotted a crazed little kitten emerge from the shrubs, growling and baring a single fang.

    “Meow… grrrrr… meow… grrrrr…”

    Kitty Brain spotted BIG THINK’s eye staring at it, and immediately jumped up to swat the camera lens. But its short, stubby little legs simply didn’t have the strength to lift its body off the ground.

    Thwarted in its efforts to take out BIG THINK, Kitty Brain spotted a small pool filled with rubber duckies. Being a kitten, it was still easily distracted, and despite its mission to destroy the supercomputer, it jumped into the pool and chased the duckies round and round, until it fell asleep, exhausted.

    Gaff, who saw his plan defeated, vented his anger. He stormed around his room, raging, and as he did so, accidently stubbed his toe, and, hopping on one foot in pain, stumbled head-first into a garbage bin.

    “I’ll get you BIG THINK,” his voice echoed from the bottom of the bin. “Ack… ack…”


    Most people feel safe, staring at danger.

    So wrote the reclusive old writer who kept himself to himself. “Odd, but not dangerous,” is what neighbours said. But hidden in his back garden was an inflatable blue paddling pool. Captive in the pool, two plastic ducks bopped helplessly up and down.

    Over the years old Duncan had held, but somehow lost many more than two. Either they had learned to fly or someone was stealing. To deter theft, Duncan wrote his door number on his two remaining victims.

    Now, for the daily rollcall.
    “One duck, two ducks, three… No, that isn’t possible.”
    “One duck, two ducks, three… four, five, SIX plastic ducks!”

    Five bright coloured chaps, huddled together, faced away as they wobbled on the ripples. However, one yellow creature gave Duncan a menacing stare.

    There was a rustle in the trees. Duncan looked up and thought he just glimpsed a pink plastic shape taking cover behind some leaves.

    That’s odd!

    He swung around, thinking something bright and yellow had been staring at him from over the fence. Nothing there!

    He looked back at the pool. This time there were more than twenty. Several reminded him of duckies that he had once owned, but their faces were all turned away, except for that one giving him the evil eye.
    “W.. w.. What are you staring at?”

    No one could be sure how the old guy drowned.

  4. “That’s quite a collection of duckies you have, Ted.”
    “Hardly, Alan; the Guinness World Record for the largest collection is 5,631 different rubber ducks!”
    “Well, my friend, makes no difference. Your girls say you look so cute in there with them.” [Laughs hysterically]
    “Oh, yeah, well you look like a bucket of—”
    “Hey! No need to get abusive. I was just having a little fun. If you can’t abuse your friends, what’s the point of it all?
    “And while I’m at it, what’s up with those three white ducks? I can’t remember ever seeing white duckies. They certainly look a little worse for wear, too.”
    “Oh! Those. Back in 1992, the cargo ship Evergreen Ever Laurel, while traversing the North Pacific, lost three containers containing about 29,000 bath toys. Roughly 7,000 of those were yellow ducks. The others were blue turtles, red beavers, and green frogs. Two-thirds of the toys floated south to Indonesia, Australia, and South America; the rest headed to Alaska, and then, full circle back to Japan.
    “The ducks were bleached by the sun, and they faded to white. Susan and I picked these three up when we were in northeast Australia and Chile. I’m taking a trip to Indonesia next year in search of a ducky from there.”
    “I think you need to get a new hobby, Ted.”
    “Like what?”
    “Well, how about writing flash fiction for Indies Unlimited. The rewards are just as great, and it doesn’t take a king’s ransom to compete.”

  5. He took to water as though it was his natural element.

    He always wanted to stay in the bath for another few minutes, another quarter of an hour. He developed his endurance until it seemed he would never breathe again, lying there closed-lipped, with his head and shoulders submerged under the water.

    We always knew he’d be a swimmer. He spent the entirety of each day practising, perfecting the angle of his fingers’ entry into the water when he should have been paying attention to class. It was like a ballet when he did it; even when he raised his hand to answer a question, his palm cupped to deliver maximum power. He never used to like maths – he only used it as a part of his method. Recording his best times and his splits for every length, projecting and analysing until he had everything numbered, every event, every practice, every breath, and every stroke. He swam for himself, his school, our county and then finally our state, his head awash with thoughts of the Olympics’ podium’s highest step. Nothing could ever stop him; he had destiny on his side.

    His flight never reached Narita. We received the phone call from an official from the national team, her voice breaking as she choked upon the statement she read. His plane disappeared from the radar screens in the mid-Pacific, more than a thousand miles from land.

    It was too far for anyone to swim and survive.

    Even our Duck Duncan.



    “Hey, watch it! I’m trying to swim here,” yelled the yellow duck.

    Soon, he recognized this was going to be a race. He could win the race, but what was the prize going to be? That’s when he noticed there was an attractive pink duck with the same number as his.

    Why would there be two ducks with the same number? Fate, it must be fate! They were both meant to have the same number. He had to get closer to her, but how?

    He was getting shuffled closer and closer to her and they would make contact in just a second.

    There was a loud noise. They had been dumped into the fast-moving river and his target was now lost in the mass of ducks.

    “Watch out for the rocks,” someone up ahead yelled.

    He saw it at the last moment, crashing into the massive boulder. He felt the cold-water seeping in and starting to fill him up. So much for the race and his destiny.


    “Walter, it’s a good thing this duck crashed, as you numbered two of these with the same number. You will have to be more careful next time. Fortunately, nobody picked number two.” The man emptied the net containing the two ducks into a bucket.


    “Are you okay?” asked the pink duck.

    He turned to the voice and saw her number. “Well, I won’t be doing any racing in the future. Did you notice we have the same number?”

    “Fate, huh?

  7. Duckies

    Midnight dropped a rubber ducky beside my feet. Mystery where she had found this strange object! Besides her coyote blood, was she part Labrador Retriever? Ready for the throw, Midnight looked at me lovingly expectantly. Yet, before I lobbed it along the yacht’s deck, one of the apocalypse survivors examined it.

    “This ducky brings back some fond memories of a happier simpler time. The wife and I used to fill a cheap kiddie pool. The children squealed with delight when we threw in rubber duckies. The duckies became anthropomorphic creatures who sang, told stories and were blamed for a sibling’s tears. They were happy, joyful and cheery creatures who brought a lot of animation.”

    He paused cupping the duck for inspiration, “I remember the children piling into the old Vauxhall and driving to the County Fair. They thought themselves extremely mature, but headed for the duck pond game. Apparently, they had a system and even less money. Well, they realised that some duckies had a number under them. The ones were concession prizes- really cheap plastic. The twos were so-so prizes, but the threes were the superior prizes. By some quirk, our children won a super colossal soft toy. Just imagine me walking around the fairgrounds for hours toting a giant Scooby-Doo. I felt a right Charlie, but would have done anything for my children. Certainly, I took more taunts from the spectators than Scooby took punches. Those were Happy Days. Happy Days!”

  8. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    I wonder how many misadventures start with some variation on that line. Ours sure did.

    We were doing a fundraiser for the people who’d lost their homes in the recent wildfires. Carnival games in the schoolyard, sell tickets a dollar a pop, all proceeds going to the relief fund.

    Bob and I decided to do a duck hunt game. Get some cheap prizes and a couple of big ones that were super desirable but pretty near impossible to win, and we’d be the biggest draw in the place. Minds filled with dreams of acclaim for raising the most money, we set to work.

    Except the kiddie pool full of rubber duckies looked nothing like the duck hunt at the county fair. We got maybe half a dozen kids, and most of their folks would pull them away, saying that it wasn’t worth the price, even for charity.

    Just as we were winding things up, somebody’s dog slipped its leash and dived in. The next thing we know, we’ve got water and rubber duckies flying in every direction. Bob yells at the dog to get out, and it makes a run for the cake walk table.

    By the time we managed to get that mutt corralled, it had managed to destroy three booths and do serious damage to several others. Oh yeah, we were the center of attention, but not the kind we wanted.

  9. He got all his duckies in a row. Then he shot them with a water pistol. It was good practice for his big visit to the zoo tomorrow!


    “I’ve always want to ask you… what’s with the ducks?”

    “What ducks?

    My Aunt Martha glared at me until I felt nervous then, having pity on me, she smiled and gave me a wink.

    I mean really.

    Her house was literally crammed with ducks. She had duck pottery, duck carpets, duck teapots, towels, door knocker, chandelier. The guest bathroom tub is overflowing with those rubber duckies. She even has a duck spatula.

    Taking a long breath she began:

    “Well… it all started when I was about 3 years old. My parents sent a picture of me asleep with my toy duck and that was it. For some reason the picture became popular within the family and of course, they showed it to all their friends and neighbors. From then on every time someone came to visit, they brought me something to do with ducks. Every birthday, every special event, every holiday, even not-holidays, I would end up with another duck something… and as I had been taught by my mother… one should never get rid of a present. well… And so here we are.”

    Jeez, I’m sorry… I didn’t bring you one.

    “Oh please don’t be… you’re in very exclusive company”, she said.

    “What do you mean?”

    My Aunt looked kinda wistful. “There is only one other person who never gave me a duck.”


    “My late husband.”

    “How come he never give you one.”

    “Well, he’s the only person who ever asked me if I actually like them.”

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