Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Glitter

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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6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Glitter”

  1. “Frank, Merry Christmas to you and Judy.”
    “Same to you and Marcy, Jeff. Hope the New Year brings you and the family good health and happiness.”
    “Thanks, and the same to you and yours. By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you—and I hope you don’t mind—”
    “No, go ahead.”
    “Well, as you know, we’re new to the block. Marcy and I couldn’t help noticing since we moved here 2 years ago, the only outside decorations you and Judy put out during the holidays are those five ornaments, the string of lights, and some glitter on that evergreen at the corner of your house. Is there a reason for that?”
    [Frank chuckled] “Actually, that tree was planted back in the mid-1990s as a high school project by our son, Jimmy. The ornaments and lights are some of the decorations we had at that time, though they were used to decorate the tree in our living room. Judy found them in the attic a few years ago. We thought it would be a nice tribute to Jimmy if we hung them on ‘his’ tree every year at this time in his memory.”
    “In his memory?” What happened to him?”
    “His UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed on April 2nd, 2003. He was the first West Point graduate to die in Iraq.”


    All That Glitters…is Old

    The Christmas Eve sun had set in the dusky winter sky. Any hope of light was gone. Walter sat in the shadows, comfortable in his father’s easy chair, the one he had died in twenty-seven years earlier.

    He knew it was way past the time to turf the old chair, but he clung on to it even though the springs were sharp and each month a new lump found a way to make him fairly uncomfortable.

    Though not totally in the Christmas spirit, he had hung a red ornament on the withering cactus plant that sat on the window sill.

    As Walter looked out of the window that housed the modestly decorated fading desert flora, across the way at his neighbor, Sol, who had strung several Christmas strings of lights in the apple tree in his front yard, a ritual Sol had performed for the fifty years they had been neighbours, he was struck by the loneliness of the repetitive ceremony he and Sol embraced, both the well-worn lights sashaying almost arthritically amongst the naked fruit tree and the neighbour that he was, the grouchy recluse who’d never married, who had secretly coveted Sol’s now deceased wife, Evelyn, and how the strings of lights seemed so pointless.

    There was no cheer in either of their houses.

    Their festivities would be spent alone.

    In all likelihood, they would shrivel on the perennial vine of aloneness.

    Unless one of them reached out.

    Walter wondered who it would be.

  3. The infestation had spread further. A length of tinsel had been wound around his thigh, spiralling up from his ankle. A bauble hung from his nose. A paper streamer spanned the gap between his horns, and an encrustation of glitter shone across his forehead.

    It was awful. He’d never felt more ashamed.

    “You’ve got to keep still. I can’t reach properly if you’re moving.”

    Penelope teetered on the top of her ladder, one hand holding onto a paper frieze that declared that Hobbins was the king of the elves and the other starfished across his cheek. She was breathing heavily and had her tongue sticking out, her eyes crossed as she concentrated on her decorations. He couldn’t remember what it was that had brought him here, but it was a given he’d rather be anywhere else.

    Even a troll needs to maintain some measure of self-respect.

    He’d tried to escape while the little girl was sleeping, but the wards her mother had erected confined him to her room. In daylight, he was immobile, his posture frozen into whatever position he’d been in when the sun rose. Two days ago, he’d been thumbing his nose in protest when the first of the day’s light set him like stone. The next night he’d woken with a gaudy bauble swinging from it, the glass ornament decorated with a playful cat climbing a tree covered in presents.

    His humility was at an all-time low.

    There ought to be a Geneva convention for supernatural creatures.

  4. All that glitters

    Driving back to my mothers cottage on the outskirts of town, causes me to take notice of the familiar lone branch of five ornaments, lighting the almost hidden driveway. Nothing special, nothing magnificent. I drive here once a year to attend the holiday gathering.

    My mother insists on continuing this yearly ritual. A feast that is barely edible, bland sides and fowl are mediocre. Her lacking in the culinary department, hasn’t swayed her to turn the reins over to another family member for good reason.

    What we do next as a whole, is why we come here. Each of us pitch in to place many containers out back. The neighborhood strays, come out of the foliage. The aroma of our leftovers has awakened their senses. They devour every bite, leaving nothing behind. I am grateful to help my mother in this small, but meaningful way. Mothers eyes tell it all, as they sparkle and glitter with satisfaction.

  5. Glitter-The Glitter of Past Christmases

    Our group were all visibly shaken by Friedle’s emotional recounting of her nightmare. Could it possibly be true that we would eventually coexist with aliens? Did our sweet yet overly anxious Friedle have some uncanny insight into the future?

    In order to clear my head of the squeamish end to my night’s sleep, I went on a brief walk. The brief walk became a longer exploration. Strangely, the Bakery possessed more hidden storage units and crannies than one of those old fashioned desks with multiple pigeon holes and secret drawers.

    Rounding a corner of the Bakery Guesthouse, I faced old glittery Christmas ornaments. How long were they there? I could not say. The moon playing on their glittery sheen brought them into focus. Moonbeams danced on them, reminding me of childhood Christmases in their simplicity, sweet fairy lights and huge showy baubles.

    The Apocalypse had left a permanent horrible taste in my mouth. The metallic taste of fear and uncertainty. As I stared at the glittery decorations, I saw several units of guards silhouetted against the silvery water. Even the twins were there long after their guard hours. Were they doing extra penance for their silly yet dangerous shenanigans? Or were they trying to be men long before they should have to in this Post Apocalypse horror show? Survival, self-preservation and sanity were all necessary. Being sentimental, I held onto one cold glittery Christmas decoration, made a wish and ambled back to bed.

  6. Christmas in sunny California was going to take some getting used to. On one hand, Maureen didn’t miss the ice and snow of winter in Missouri. On the other hand, it was much harder to get into the holiday spirit while surrounded by lush greenery.

    It’s probably just that you’re missing home and family. Although her intellect knew her judgment was right, the thought still sat sourly on her mind.

    Yet she also knew she would never have passed up the chance to come out here with Rog. Life back east had become unbearable, thanks to the growing prejudice against anyone who had been touched by those secret genetic experiments in the Cold War. Just getting her California driver’s license, with no stigmatizing mark on it, had been like a taste of heaven after the years of living under ever-increasing suspicion.

    After all, every refuge has its price.

    As Maureen continued on her way through campus, a flash of light caught her attention. Curious, she turned to find out what it could be.

    There on one of the trees hung several Christmas ornaments, red, white, and green, shining in the reflected glow of a string of lights wrapped around the branch. Were they really old-fashioned blown glass, out here in the open where anything could happen to them? Or were they more modern high-impact plastics that looked like them?

    No matter. Just the sight of them was bringing back childhood memories of Christmas past.

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