Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Walk

Girl walking dog along mountains 3L0A0066 flash fiction writing prompt copyright KS 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!

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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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Walk”

  1. Buster

    I don’t think about Buster every day. He wasn’t the only dog I had growing up. Snooks when I was a toddler. I vaguely remember her. Sweet little pooch. Old though. After she passed, Daisy came along, a stray who stayed till I was about ten and then one day, took off. Or coyotes got her. Never knew what happened.

    I know there were coyotes aplenty.

    Human and critter both.

    So, sometime after Daisy left, Buster arrived. A pup. And a beauty. My father picked him special. My two brothers were older, and not all that interested in dogs.

    Girls for them.

    But it was just the right time for me, certainly over the next three years. Father and mother fell apart, Lennie started coming around, my brothers, one off to the city to work, the other planning to leave in a year for university.

    Mother was one of those women who didn’t think she could exist without being reflected in the eyes of a man. I didn’t know that then, of course. Don’t know when I had a grasp on what my mother’s failings were. Thinking about my own journey to adult womanhood I suppose.

    Liberating myself from the past.

    Liberating myself from Lennie.

    Buster helped that process.

    He and I would spend hours as many as we could squeeze in, roaming the hills of our valley. I could go deep into myself, tell Buster everything. No matter how dark it was.

    He saved me.

    That’s for sure.

  2. Unedited Footage of a Journey in an Elevator

    After a long walk with her dog, Cindy stepped into her apartment elevator and noticed someone had pressed every button on the panel.

    Sigh…

    She lived on the 30th floor.

    And it was summertime; the air was thick with humidity, and her hair hung around her face like a weeping willow.

    The elevator doors closed and her journey began.

    “Ding.”

    The doors opened.

    A lady entered mumbling something about travel costing the same as therapy but was a lot more enjoyable. She exited three floors later, still mumbling.

    “Ding.”

    The doors opened.

    A thin, sweaty young man was pleading with his little dog not to pee on the hallway carpet.

    The doors closed.

    “Ding.”

    Someone, dragging a heavy garbage bag, got on at the 8th floor and exited on the 12th floor. Curiously, the garbage room was located in the parking garage many floors below.

    “Ding.” “Ding.” “Ding.” The doors opened and closed as the elevator crawled skyward.

    By the 20th floor, Cindy’s mind began to wander. She couldn’t remember if it was Wednesday or Thursday. (It was Tuesday.) She yawned and looked at her watch. It had stopped working.

    “Ding.”

    Two children ran past the elevator doors chasing something in the hallway. “Get it,” they squealed.

    The doors closed.

    “Ding.”

    She finally reached her floor and, as she struggled towards her apartment, it dawned on her that she had left her small backpack in the car.

    The same backpack that contained her apartment keys…

  3. The Walk

    As I looked down one side of the mountain, I saw a trail hemmed in by mountains, grassy fields and barbed wire. I imagined a young girl taking her loyal black Labrador for a walk. Both were quiet and contemplating life. The Labrador was so well behaved that he could have been off leash and still have walked quietly beside his mistress.

    My thoughts became jumbled and there was a dramatic shift in who I was watching. Somehow, I replaced the youngster and Midnight substituted the obedient Lab. Off we went on the walk, only we did not! Midnight objected strongly to being on a leash and was hell-bent on not walking tethered to me. Equally stubborn, I was hell-bent on being the master, the one in charge, the lord, the conqueror. Midnight was equally opposed to not being mastered. Backing out of leash and collar, she ran free and naked, like nature had intended. Actually, when I thought about the collar and leash, I realised that they definitely did not belong on Midnight. Midnight was a coyote, a wild animal. As a wild animal, she should not be tamed beyond coming when called and having good manners.

    Just as man could not tame the wind, I had no right to domesticate Midnight. It was enough that she was my soul companion. Midnight was devoted to me and loved me with her entirety and that was more than enough.

    Her love was more than enough for me!

  4. Focus!

    A tall stack of boxes filled to the brim with photos, which resembled my life. There was only one thing I should have focused more on, but it’s too late now.

    Someday, I’ll have to go through them and cherish the great times.

    A photo was sticking out from one of the boxes. I looked at the photo. It was a wonderful time.

    I recalled Oscar was just a puppy and I noticed him first. He was lying beside somebody fishing. I couldn’t help myself and went over to the dog and patted him. Bill laughed and said he had a new friend, Oscar too. We hit it off, immediately dating and then tied the knot. Funny, of all the photos, this was the one sticking up.

    I remembered Bill had taken this photo of me walking Oscar. When this was taken, it was just before he passed. Oscar would often pull his leash off the counter and bring it to me. He really took me for ‘my walks.’ I think he knew my moods and would try his best to change my outlook.

    The tear drops were wetting my blouse and I moved the photo out of the way to prevent them from hitting it. Fortunately, a chair was right behind me.

    Today was five years since he passed. The photo was totally blurred now. Oscar nudged my arm and dropped his leash. I must pay more attention, or I will lose him too.

  5. ELIGIBLE FOR EDITOR’S CHOICE ONLY

    The Walk

    Walking with Lucy, my robust beauty of a lab, brings joy to us both. Even when the weather is not permissible, we venture out, as this is our connection. No conversation needed, as with a human friend. I watch in awe as she sniffs periodically, so interested even if it’s diminutive. If I’m lucky, I get an adoring look back!

    Fortunately, living on acreage, Lucy and I set out to walk the perimeter. Great exercise for the body and the mind equally. It’s quiet. The lead keeps us physically tethered until she is let loose to explore, sprint and seek out any relics that have appeared.

    We have a deep love for one another. My life has been enriched by her.

    Not sure how much time we will have together. It will never be long enough. I will know, when she can’t get up and take our walk.

  6. “That’s it.” Meredith said, storming off in the other direction, gripping onto Lora’s leash. “Forever.”
    Lora hesitated, panting, turning towards Edward. She wondered why he stared and ceased to follow.
    Edward shrugged his shoulders. He shook his head as he walked home. Things would be alright by tomorrow afternoon.
    But tomorrow came.
    No Meredith.
    She would not answer the door nor letter nor telephone.
    He knocked hard, the seventeenth time.
    No answer.
    Devastated, he turned home. He knew…
    He wanted away from the mountains.

    Several moons passed.
    March to August.
    Lora could not forget Edward.
    On every walk, she headed in the direction of Edward’s dwelling.
    The old tree that Edward and Meredith used to climb and swing on as children was to be cut down.
    On the walk that day, Meredith yielded to Lora. The weight on her shoulders lightened with every step. Meredith started to smile. Her knock was firm and rhythmic.
    A gray-haired woman showed up at the door.
    “Meredith, it is you!”
    Lora sniffed around quickly. The aroma of cedar and wet grass–a smell long missed by them both.
    “Ah, Lora.” Edward’s mother said. “He is not here; gone and married a pretty belle in the city he did. Look Meredith, he left something for you. He told me to give it to you when you came.”
    An envelope was placed into her shaking hands. It read:
    “Dear Meredith,
    Our firstborn is to be named after you.
    I
    still
    love
    you.”

  7. Basil almost didn’t see the girl and her dog. He already had his hands full with a skittish horse, and he was determined not to give his cousins anything more to laugh about. They’d been riding since they could sit on a pony, and they knew every horse in the Wild River Ranch’s stables the way his father knew every weapon in the Sparta Point armory.

    Sadie flared her nostrils and snorted. At first Basil had chalked it up to the mare being in heat, until the dog barked.

    “Easy, Sadie,” he called, even as the girl restrained her dog.

    Once both animals were back under control, Basil heeled his horse over to the girl. “Ma’am, you do realize you’re on private property.”

    She had the grace to lower her eyes in embarrassment. “Sorry, I thought I was still in the right-of-way. My car broke down a couple miles back and I wasn’t getting any signal, so Toby and I were following the fence back to civilization.”

    And didn’t even think to grab a bottle of water for the hike. A tenderfoot, then, a city girl with no idea of the dangers she was risking. Having her dog with her was probably the only sane thing she’d done.

    Which meant he was responsible for getting her safely back out of her fix. “Can you ride? I can get you to the house a lot quicker if you’re on the saddle behind me.”

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