Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Lunch

ff writing prompt ksb lunch oysterville2
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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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Lunch”

  1. Lunch Break

    The fiftieth was the momentum, the push, I suppose. The class of ‘64 hadn’t commingled in fifty years. Well, that’s not quite true. A few had. The ones who stayed behind, who grew old together, shared the same lifelong stomping grounds.
    Yeah, cavorted. It was a large class, the class of 1964. Over four hundred. And it was inches away from the summer of love. How could that cultural transformation not impact them?

    And it did. The fifties had been their proving ground. Their values were locked in a time vault and the summer of love spun the dial and opened that safe secure view of the world.

    Danny and Liz, both married to others, both sensing the trap of domestic bliss, both wanting a piece of the action of the Summer of Love, drove up Island, separately, hunkered down in comfort on the ocean at By The Sea Shell Bungalows, an oceanfront hideaway decades ahead of the Love Boat. The owners, Cat and Sam Crawley had brilliantly realized that there was a market for secret lovers and that they were positioned to provide that licentious getaway.

    They even served breakfast, lunch and dinner straight to the cabin…oysters and such, farm-fresh eggs, and homemade bread, all lovingly prepared.

    When the fiftieth happened Cat and Sam came with their respective spouses, danced, laughed, looked over at the other, and let me tell you, their fifty-year affair might have been a secret…but trust me, others knew.

  2. The missiles were still flying. The hotel had been shaking for more than ten minutes, ringing the surface of my coffee with Jurassic Park ripples. It was a Wednesday in July, close to the end of our doomed civilisation.

    But I couldn’t fault the table Thomas had given me.

    The Hawks and the Doves had been hard at it for weeks, warring factions, both in America and China. The big Russian bear had also been growling – Glasnost was forever a thing of the past; its foreign borders irrevocably closed yet again. And then North Korea decided it was also spoiling for a fight.

    But it was business, as usual, here on the patio at Tom’s Seafood Diner.

    Thomas was a king – he was a professional, as always. Molly and Karim had gone home. The number of the clientele in attendance was severely depleted, so the remaining staff here managed the best they could.

    And then the rainclouds sealed the heavens from us forever.

    It was when Thomas was knocked off his feet by the concussions. I looked west and saw the mushroom clouds towering into the skies. I drank my coffee and ate my last home-baked croissant, not caring how much longer I’d have or who I would spend it with. I felt the wind and saw the tidal wave coming – not from the coastline, but from the inland side.

    I remembered my mother and her warnings – how everything I did would condemn me to hell…

  3. When I was younger, I never thought of myself as a worldly child. Partly because “worldly” had negative connotations in the faith community of my childhood, and partly because I didn’t really grasp what a privilege my trips to Russia were. Academician Voronsky needed to make sure my lungs were still growing with the rest of me, so why not spend the summer with my cousins over there?

    So I’d talk freely about my adventures when I returned to home and school. At the time I was just sharing my summer vacation. I never thought that I might be marking myself out as different, or that my classmates might envy and resent my annual adventures, my extraordinary companions.

    When those visits came to an abrupt end, my parents thought that I would soon forget. Immerse me enough in the activities of an ordinary child and the memories of distant lands would soon fade. Instead I treasured those memories, hanging onto the hope of a future return.

    Things didn’t go quite as I’d planned. I left that small town, all right – but not for the jet-setting life of my childhood visits to my cousins. Instead I live in an old ranger station in the redwood forests, helping fight the Flannigan Administration’s overreach. Even a trip to this tiny coffeehouse north of Eureka for lunch on their patio is a rare treat, and a risk.

  4. Planning is Everything

    Check List –
    [√] Cabin Reservations
    [√]Three Days Off
    [√] Gas
    [√] Camera Equipment and Telephoto Lens
    [√] Everything Else Packed

    Check List (On site)–
    [√] Location/Location/Location
    [√] Weather (Sunny Day)
    [√] High Tide
    [√] Lunch – Clam Chowdah
    [√] WIFI access
    [√] Totally alone
    [√] Perfect timing
    [ ] Great close-ups
    [ ] Other great shots
    [ ] Upload to headquarters

    “Randy, what are you doing here? I didn’t expect you here since you said you had plans.”
    “Kat, you’re not the only one who can make plans. Here, just a little something for you.”
    “I like little red boxes with white bows. What’s in it?”
    “Just something to say I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

    “It’s beautiful, and it fits.”
    “Of course, it does.”

    Kat thinking to herself – I wonder what cold chowdah will taste like tomorrow?

    “Honey, I really wasn’t expecting that look, but is that a YES?”

    Kat thinking to herself again. Sometimes, a person can’t plan for everything.
    I wonder if the weather is going to cooperate tomorrow.
    Who cares?

    “Yes, yes and YES!”
    Thank God, I don’t plan everything!


    I gotta admit I was hating my dad that day. I was taking him out to an extremely exclusive French restaurant for Father’s Day and he was being a… being a… well, he was being a dad.

    First he showed up in his “day off” clothes. You know the look: socks and sandals, bad shorts and his favorite unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, open to reveal a T-shirt I think he’s worn since the Eisenhower administration. I don’t know how he convinced the maitre’d to seat him, but he did.

    If his outfit wasn’t bad enough, there were the jokes… the tired, “Oh not again!” jokes. For example:

    Our waiter: “Oui monsieur, our special offering from the chef today is Filet Mignon and Le Pomme de Terre.”

    My Dad: “No no… I’m strictly a steak and potatoes man!”

    And then his overly loud raucous laughter.

    “I want my steak to be so rare that when I poke it with a fork, I want to hear it moo!”

    And so on.

    Was I embarrassed? Sure I was. Dad was the center of attention no matter where he went. He really didn’t care much for what other people thought of him, and apparently that included me. He was always so “over the top” in public… so… so… happy. How I hated him on those Father’s Days. I just wanted him to shut up.

    Now… now I would give anything to hear him tell one of his stupid jokes.


  6. “I never do such things.” Thelma thought, as she sat on the cold metal chair. She adjusted her pink sailboat scarf around her neck to keep warm. She twirled her fingers and looked across the water at the waves.

    “Being early makes things worse.” She tapped her feet repeatedly over the wooden planks. It was almost ten o’clock.

    A man nodded to her has he passed by, “Good morning,” he said. Thelma hesitated to murmur back, and then the wind carried her voice away. The man had already passed her table. Her anxiety heightened and she winced as if the encounter was too painful to bear, covering her face with her hands she said, “What is wrong with me?”

    She soon forgot what she sitting there for.


    Thelma jumped, her eyes wide, she stood up, already trembling with emotion as she embraced by her old friend, her old teacher.

    “Thelma dearie, are you okay?” Her teacher said, in the same soothing toned voice of old.

    Thelma sobbed, she did not let loose her grasp.

    “Mrs. Garner, I almost didn’t send you that letter. I almost didn’t make it here. I do not know what I was afraid of.”

    “I’m here now Thelma. I told you that I would be ready if you needed me.”

    “It’s taken too many years to realize that I needed help. I’ve been so blind!” Thelma exclaimed.

    “It might have taken you a hundred, but what matters is that you are here. Safe and sound.”

  7. Lunch

    Lunchtime was like Groundhog Day for me and my sister. We gobbled down our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a side of chicken noodle soup. If we came inside after moms first call out, we would receive those yummy chocolate and cream cake rolls named after me!
    Once I was in my 20’s, I would lunch with my friends occasionally. Couldn’t afford much more than a burger, fries and a cola. My 30’s consisted of any leftover lunch scraps from my children-couldn’t waste food, I thought! My waistline had doubled in size, to say the least! My 40’s allowed me to partake in an occasional restaurant lunch out. A menu full of scrumptious options!
    After years of enjoying multitudes of cuisine offered, a nostalgic voice overtook my whole being. I just wanted my peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a side of chicken noodle soup with my sister!

  8. There was five of us and already twice as many patients. BMX competitions consistently implode.

    Hoses temporarily settle the scorched grit. Commentators boom over the cocktail of music, spectators and tires.

    Riders go down.

    “Races aren’t won lying down!” A parent sneers, depositing a floppy child onto a spotless bike. The medic fights a losing battle to provide care.

    Track cleared.

    The pens release the teenage boys. Bikes pump furiously.

    First corner.

    Second straight.

    First ramp.

    Wheels tangle in the air.

    “Three riders down. Board standby.”, I report into the radio I drop to the floor as my hands clamp around my unresponsive patient’s head.

    Two moving, one not. Walking wounded belong to the stewards.

    Incomprehensible noises bubble from the patient’s crimson mouth. Crazed eyes burst open. Another medic smothers his flailing to minimise spinal damage.

    Echoing screams claw my attention. Riders battle down the straight towards us.

    People clamber onto the track, forming a human wall. Alas speed doesn’t disintegrate.

    Bikes, limbs, calamity.

    Dust settles.

    We scoop my incoherent immobilised patient off the track. “Rider four looks actually injured.”, a commentator notes.

    Head injury, several broken bones, internal bleeding. Lots of drugs. Swept away amongst sirens.

    The paramedic’s tale ricochets with the ringing. Sung at every handover; resus, surgery, ICU.

    Mum weeps, burning my nystagmic eyes that tick over to the idyllic scene hanging behind.

    Expansive waters, but I’d settle for the perspiring bottle for my blistering tongue.

    A bike is my camera, so why can’t I lunch there?

  9. Lunch
    In our quest for survivors, I daydreamed about food. Mum’s Sunday roast- a ring of roast potatoes around a well done beef joint, a steamy pan of homegrown Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. The rich brown gravy, a new food group. Creamy rice pudding with treasures of fat sultanas. For special occasions, the very British jewel, shining like a beacon calling guests to the table was THE trifle. Layers of mouth watering sponge soaked in sherry, homemade jelly -rather than the store bought dyed confectionary- swimming with Dad’s fresh strawberries. Thick custard layer, topped by whipped cream sprinkled generously with crumbled Cadbury chocolate flake added to the masterpiece. THE trifle was the desert of all deserts for lunch.

    Meanwhile, Midnight and his glossy coated siblings ran off together to explore. The litter of six, often thought as one. They became more dog-like; each was hand-reared by humans in our post-apocalyptic group and enjoyed the company of Black Beauty, the horse we found at the fairground.

    The coyotes stopped abruptly before a gated deck. Behind photinia shrubs were chairs inviting one to a table. On the table was an expensive camera, beside a steaming cup of aromatic cappuccino. Condensation ran down the bottle of water. Someone was home. Friend or foe?

    Was she looking at us wondering the very same question?

  10. Both detectives stare at the table, set for lunch. “Who reported him missing?” Chad asks.

    “His sister,” answers Katie. “She hasn’t heard from him in days.”

    “Not unusual,” observes Chad, “but that is.” He nods at the half-empty soup bowl. “Looks like he left willingly.”

    “But in a big rush,” Katie adds. Donning her gloves, she picks up the camera. “I wonder what he was photographing.”

    Chad chuckles. “The Loch Ness Monster?”

    Katie laughs. “Wrong part of the world.” She bags the camera. “Maybe we’ll find something in here.”

    Later at the station, Katie scrolls through the photos. She sees shot after shot of pelicans, seagulls. Then she stops and zooms in. She calls Chad over.

    “A woman on that rock. What’s she doing?” he asks.

    “Brushing her hair, I think. Can’t see her face clearly, though.” More photos show the same woman. Then Katie notices the upraised hand. “Is she waving to him?”

    Chad studies the photo. “No, I think she’s motioning him to her.”

    Just then, the rest of the forensics team announces that they’ve found footprints along the beach.

    Chad and Katie turn back to the computer screen. As the next photo displays, Chad drops his coffee cup. “Do you see it?” they both ask at once.

    “Some kind of costume?” Katie surmises.

    The woman’s legs appear to be wrapped in a large, scaly tail. Katie draws a long breath. “Do you think we’ll ever find his body?” she asks.

    Chad answers slowly. “I really don’t know.”

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