Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Rock Star

farmjam 2022 writing prompt 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!

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Rock Star”

  1. “You’ll never guess who I ran into the other day in New York City.”
    “I give up.”
    “Ricky Connell and Joanne Pierce.”
    “You’re kidding.”
    “No, sir! Happily married, too. Found them sitting in Robert, overlooking Columbus Circle, enjoying lunch with some friends.”
    “Gosh, I haven’t seen them since graduation from Riverside High in 1966. They barely graduated, as I recall, because they were always skipping classes to practice with that rock band they had. What was its name?”
    “You mean The Stingers?”
    “Yeah. Ricky played lead guitar, and Joanne sang. Remember how we used to sneak into that tavern on the corner of Farwell and North Avenue on Saturday nights for a few brewskis just to listen to them play until 1 a.m. or so? Amazing the owners never threw us out, given we were only 17 years old.
    “Hey, it was Milwaukee. There was a tavern on every corner, sometimes two. Who the hell cared? When I was a kid, I used to stop in to every tavern on my way to grade school to collect cigar boxes to hold my ‘stuff.’ ”
    “So, what are Ricky and Joanne up to now? Remember how the class informally voted them the two people most likely not to succeed?”
    “Best I could tell, they own Stinger Enterprises, a privately held, multi-billion-dollar, worldwide media conglomerate comprising cable, TV, and record labels marketed on five continents.”

  2. Iggy took to the stage first, setting up a quarter note rhythm. Jacob followed him with his Precision bass, laying down the melody line that would segue into their opening number. The spotlights targeting the microphone at the front of the stage stabbed through the dark.

    Two minutes to go. That was if Julian managed to arrive in time.

    Julian Casanova’s reputation for being difficult was well-earned. He was the lead singer/guitarist/writer in the band, his talents for self-promotion unmatched by almost everyone in the business. He’d created a mystique by setting himself apart from his co-conspirators, usually refusing to be seen with them anywhere but on the stage.

    It made their pre-gig practices understandably fraught.

    The band’s rhythm section continued to play, Iggy’s rhythm faltering for a moment while he checked his watch. The two of them had been vamping for five minutes. The audience’s voices began to rise in the gloom as they became uneasy, many already suspecting they would witness fireworks tonight.

    Jacob rolled his shoulders. He was already feeling tense. Brother Julian hadn’t spoken to him for a week, his last text to him littered with Anglo-Saxon expletives.

    He moved forward to the microphone. He’d have to say something. He simplified his bassline, alternating between root notes and thirds, muting his strings so they were dulled and his notes short.

    “We’re opening our set with a sing-along,” he said. “I think Julian wants to hear you sing first. Check to see if you know the words.”

  3. The Roadie

    “You knew him well? “ I asked.

    “You betcha bloody bippy, I did,” Sam Walker said. “Almost from the beginning.”

    “Bippy?” the kid queried. He was a sharp-looking dresser, the kid. Had vocals that growled, and he knew how to lay down a tune. Walker looked at him with semi-admiring eyes and I guessed what he was thinking. You may know how to rock, kid, but you’re rolling on thin ice. You gotta know what came before, and you know diddly.

    I’d been sent by the Rock and Roll Times to interview Waco Preston’s long-time roadie, Sam Walker. Sam had bowed out a couple of decades earlier, too tired and too old to do the physical work that a Waco Preston concert demanded.

    “So,” I dug in, “the early years with Waco…what where they like?”

    “Oh, man, they were strange. Like for instance, in their off hours, the Band…” and here I interrupted… “They had a different name for a few months didn’t they?”

    “Yeah. Sure did. Waco and the Absolutes. Band hated it but Waco insisted. You gotta understand, he was a thinker. Deep shit. While the rest of the band was reading Archie comics, Waco was heavy into…what was that guy’s name….Bagel…some philosopher dude from Germany?”

    “Hegel?” I suggested, digging deep into my shallow pool of philosophical trivia for that one.

    “Who remembers? For Waco, it made sense. Something about Rock being logical…as if anyone disagreed.”

    Then the kid jumped in again. “Bippy?” What’s a bippy?”

  4. Rockstar
    With ample time on my hands while looking for survivors of the apocalypse, my mind was again doodlebugging. Thinking of Midnight’s last burst of energy, I thought he deserved the title Rockstar. Or perhaps Rockstar Dog would be more appropriate.

    My mind drifted away on the word “rockstar.” If I was a virtuoso, how would I attire myself? Would I dress like the classical long haired rocker. Unkempt, unshaved, grungy with swear words on my lips wearing a band tee-shirt and holding an upbeat guitar. Midnight would be by my side in a diamante collar, mohawk and aviator glasses. In fact we would wear matching mirror aviator glasses. Together we were the coolest of cool. The hippest of hip.

    What would I sing? Something loud, unique and unforgettable. The beat would warrant toe tapping. The lyrics would call pretty ladies to jive. It would be received as a personal song by every spectator as though I was addressing him and him alone. Like a stone thrown into water, from a softness the noise would increase dramatically. The crowd’s fervour would rise to a feverish peak. When the last song was sung, the crowd stamped their feet for more. I would go back on stage, take a bow then burst into an energetic guitar solo. The crowd was intoxicated by my music and made me feel like a king. Long live rock and roll.

    A bark at my feet from Midnight with the largest canine smile called me back to reality.

  5. I still remember when I found that old guitar at a church rummage sale. It wasn’t much to look at, but with a little work Dad and I were able to get it into respectable condition. Finding a decent amp took a little more work, but pretty soon I was practicing my chords and shaping up my singing voice.

    I was already in the school band, so it wasn’t hard to fill out the roster. Jake played sax, Bob played the electric bass, and Tony was our drummer. Mom exiled us out to the old barn really quick, but that just gave us motivation to fix the old place up.

    By my sophomore year, we were playing gigs. Mostly school dances, but we did some up at the Legion hall, especially in the summer when school was out. They paid us well enough that, even when we took out our expenses and split what was left, I was making good money. Certainly a lot better than flipping burgers or making pizzas.

    Except we’d forgotten one problem – the tax man. Seems our band was considered a small business, and we were supposed to be paying taxes on everything we made – for the past three years, plus interest and penalties. I ended up having to sell that guitar and get a job with a landscaping company of one Dad’s buddies ran, just to pay off that tax bill.

  6. Greetings from the Real Universe

    The concert hall went dark.

    A blue light lit up the stage.

    The band then began playing a slow, hypnotic melody.

    As the rhythm built in tempo, Gregg, the lead singer, walked on stage. He leaned into the mike, and, in a low, deep voice said: “Greetings from the real universe.”

    (The concert hall burst into cheers.)

    He held the mike close to his mouth and, in a seductive manner, spoke in time to the music:

    Hello ba-byyy…
    Hello ba-byyy…
    Will you dance with me…
    dance with me…
    hang with me…
    run around the world
    with me…

    (The crowd cheered.)

    A band member played a guitar solo. The melodic, piercing sounds reverberated through the crowd.

    Hello ba-byyy…
    Hello ba-byyy…
    will you come with me…
    come with me…
    play with me…
    wander the world
    with me…

    Surrendering to the music, Gregg slowly danced on stage.

    Hello ba-byyy…
    Hello ba-byyy…
    will you live with me…
    live with me…
    cry with me…
    live on the edge
    with me…

    He then dropped to his knees, sweat on his face and, holding the mike in both hands, whispered:

    I am a Lotus flower for your desires…
    a Pandora’s Box for your fears…

    Oh, ba-byyy…
    do not cry for me…
    tears ruin everything…
    they have no value…
    in our world…
    our created world…

    Gregg stopped singing.

    And as the crowd went wild, he laughed inside.

    All his life they said he would never be a rock star.


    Play On

    Hunter strapped on his vintage Les Paul and headed towards the rehearsal room he had set up in his parents’ basement. At the door, he paused to summon his spirit animals. He was going to need them if he was gonna show them what a real guitar riff sounded like.

    He’d show ‘em.

    The newly formed band was sawing away at what was supposed to be an old blues number when Hunter, sensing a quiet break in the music, prepared to launch his soon-to-be epic riff.

    He’d show ‘em.

    Now they’d hear true guitar virtuosity.

    He’d show ‘em fer sure.

    Communing once more with his spirit animals (he was “The Hunter” after all) he turned up his amp and struck the appropriate guitar-god pose. He started low, summoning the roar of the Serengeti lion, then the unchallenged power of the charging rhino. His fingers flew with the swiftness of the cheetah, then danced over the fretboard with the elusive hyena. He finished with the raucous song of the stalking eagle.

    Eventually, drained and exhausted, Hunter sank to his knees… head bowed. When he finally did look up, he was proud to see others staring at him with their mouths agape… obviously in awe of what they had just experienced.

    He’d shown them. They would never forget.

    The bass player helped Hunter up and gently removed the Les Paul, placing it reverently in its stand. Then he handed Hunter a tambourine…

    “Try not to hurt yourself.”

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