Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Kites

dec 2022 flash fiction 3 kites long beach wa
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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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Kites”

  1. Travel to Tomorrow

    Eight year old Billy was flying his kite. “I can time travel,” he said, as he manipulated the kite through the air.

    “Can not,” replied Sally, his younger sister, who was watching him.

    “I can,” he said. “And it’s easy.”

    “Tell me.”

    Billy stopped playing with his kite and looked at Sally. “Well,” he began. “A person can move forward in time with almost no effort or expense.”

    “How?” She asked, intrigued.

    “When you go to sleep at night, you can magically travel through time, and awaken hours later in daylight. You have moved forward in time, say, eight hours, from night to day. Time travel.”

    “That’s amazing,” she gasped. “Can we also travel into the past?”

    “Yes,” he replied. “When you fly from New York City to Los Angeles, you actually travel back in time by three hours.”

    Sally got excited. “Does that mean that if I flew west from New York City, and kept going around the world, I would eventually meet myself in New York, before I started on my plane trip?”

    Billy coughed. Caught in a paradoxical quagmire, and unsure of the intricacies of time travel, he replied, “I’m not sure. I don’t think it works that way.”

    “No?” Sally looked down, disappointed. Then she brightened. “Well, I can still travel into the future.” She looked at Billy with an adventurer’s determination. “I’m going to bed right now,” she said emphatically. “I intend to fall asleep and time travel to tomorrow.”

  2. There were dragons, hawks and angels; soaring together. Somebody had constructed a biplane, and it was spiralling with the others, its wingtips trimmed, so it was more a statement than a threat, its guns silenced and impotent. And Konstantin was here too, his classic box kite simple in comparison.

    Konstantin was a stout man. He resembled a fist with a head attached. Roughly as wide across as he was tall, his clothes were functional, designed to cover rather than enhance, bought from one of those specialist websites catering for those with abnormal forms. He didn’t aspire to be fashion-forward – he was modest and unassuming, his thoughts weighted down by a life’s experience.

    But Konstantin loved to fly. He had been a pilot before it had been fashionable, his cohorts in the squadron dressed in RAF blue, the creases in their uniforms sharp enough to shave with. He had been an engineer, his duties limited to starting and taxiing their planes, readying them for battle. He’d been overlooked because of his accent and his country of birth. He was often told he should be grateful, that he would have been replaced by a woman if they could have found one with his skills. He never knew when he’d be dismissed or demoted to wielding a spanner, his feet anchored permanently to the ground.

    That had been his war, forever hiding, awaiting the instruction to return his wings.

    So now, he flew his kite with defiance, his head aloft, looking down.

  3. Kites

    You go down to the ocean one day, it’s a brisk day, lots of people out, a bit of wind, refreshing, breezy enough to ruffle the occasional poorly affixed toupee maybe, or lift a skirt like in that old Marilyn photo.

    So you’re there, taking in a blustery Sunday, people-watching mostly, people just walking like they always have, others resting their butts on log benches, a little too pooped to amble, others taking a stroll out on the pier, where kids and others, older maybe, or maybe not, tossing their lines in the sea, hoping to catch something.

    Just a lazy sort of weekend day.

    There’s always a couple though who seem…fidgety, I guess you might say. They don’t look comfortable relaxing. It’s the way they look at the kite flyers. Scornfully. You get to thinking that they’re thinking, “what a waste of time.“ You can often spot those pinch-faced people, and maybe even think, or wonder, is that me?

    Maybe they were kids who were told “to beat it,” “to scram,” to go fly a kite,” and forever thought that that is where the useless lonely people go, what they do, let the wind pick up a piece of paper tied to a string and watch it flopping around in the sky until it comes crashing down to the earth, to the sand, crashing down and busting to bits.

    You go down to the ocean one day and you see all sorts of things.

    Leastways, I do.

  4. ‘Fly in Freedom’
    ‘The many storms that we dealt with, we still overcame. The light at the end of the tunnel gave each person hope. Each life has its freedom. We fly high. The beauty of each color stands for the freedom of society and humanity of unity. Nothing can stop us. No cloudy sky, no storm. We rise and we always fly above it all into freedom. Be free in happiness and gratitude and faith. We’re the kites of the world, flying with freedom. Inspiring and encouraging, in making the world a better place. The movement will always be intense within the pulling of the string but in the end, there’s always the beauty of happiness.’

  5. Fortunate Fortune Cookies

    “Daddy, how did you meet Mommy?”

    “Carter, that’s a strange question. Okay, I blame it on a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant.”

    “Daaad, she wouldn’t have fit in a fortune cookie. So, was she the waitress?”

    “Don’t let her hear you say that. No, the fortune cookie said something like, ‘Let your life soar to new heights.’”

    “You can remember that?”

    “Why wouldn’t I? Had I not gone to the restaurant and got that fortune cookie, you might not be standing beside me.”

    “Really?”

    “Okay, here’s the detail. When I got home, the television was advertising a kite fair for a local charity. Since the cookie mentioned soaring, I thought that might be what it was talking about.”

    “This is cool, Dad.”

    “Well, I bought what I needed at the site and soon I was with hundreds of other people. I think when I was growing up, my dad took me kite flying once.”

    “So, what happened?”

    “Well, I had this monster of a white kite, and it was hard to see in the sky and it got knotted up with someone else’s kite. That would be your mother’s.

    She wasn’t any too happy about it, but when I offered to pay for her kite, she looked at me and just smiled and said it wasn’t necessary.”

    “Had she flown a kite before?”

    “She never had. She got a fortune cookie that said what mine did.”

    “NO WAY, Dad!”

    “Fortunate, huh?”

  6. “Well, whaddaya think,” murmured Paul, as he lurched onto his elbows and glanced to his left, where his buddy, Martin, lay with his legs crossed and his hands clasped firmly behind his neck.
    The two men had been lying on their backs, watching early morning kite enthusiasts display their polyester wonders, many of the stunt variety.
    “Man, how times have changed,” said Martin, as he placed a cigarette in his mouth and, flicking his lighter, lit the end, took a drag, and exhaled. “Remember how we used to tie two balsa sticks together with wire, cover them with tissue paper, and use a tie for a tail?” he asked as he plucked a speck of tobacco from his tongue. “Now, that’s what I call a kite. None of this fancy, schmancy stuff like the kids have today, assuming daddy gives ’em the big bucks required!”
    “I’ll say,” said Paul, shaking his head. “I’ll bet those parafoil kites with the long streaming tails cost at least 50 bucks apiece. Not that they aren’t some of the most beautiful little flyers you could possibly own. Don’t none of them even have a frame, so you can just scrunch them up and stuff ’em right back into their tiny pouches when you’re done showing ’em off.”
    “Ain’t like the old days, though,” lamented Martin, taking another drag. “Just something else to remind us the days of stickball, kick the can, and dodgeball are a thing of the past.”

  7. I grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, not too far from where the Wright Brothers did their history-making airplane trials. When I was a kid, we all used to fly kites on the strong sea breezes – little kites for the most part, but we all watched wide-eyed when someone would put up a the big one and practice for the annual kite-flying contest.

    Every year I’d beg my dad to let me fly a kite in it, and every year he’d tell me I was still too young. Even in jr. high, when some of my classmates were competing right alongside the adults, he’d still tell me that I was to little to control one of those big kites properly.

    When I started my junior year, he finally admitted that yes, I’d reached a size and strength to handle a kite. But just before the contest, I went to a friend’s house one Saturday evening, lost track of the time, and got back late. That got me put on restriction for the rest of the school year, and there went that chance.

    Believe me, I didn’t intend to make that mistake again my senior year. Talk about watching your p’s and q’s, I watched my b’s and d’s and every other letter you want to name. I was not going to get into any trouble – but the world goes as it will, as I learned that winter when we had to move away.

  8. Kites- With a Message

    Kay and I stayed beside the water for a long time watching the water and enjoying each other’s company in companionable silence. A huge kite caught my attention as it fluttered, ran and galloped in the breeze. Below it, yet hidden by a thick tree line, I heard chatter. The occasional word thrown our way like breadcrumbs tossed in the wind indicated that the group kiting was relatively large. I nodded to Kay indicating that she too should enjoy the free-wheeling kite and hopefully take her mind off her husband’s disappearance.

    The kite and attached group came closer, giggling, laughing and jesting. The story teller amongst the group and like myself a British Expatriate was already in the middle of a memory, “So my sister and I were having so much fun running up and down the beach on low tide. Our kites followed us like obedient puppies. The other kites were purchased, but Dad made ours. Cloth, wood, rope, string , ribbon and glue. It was sturdy, heavy, not weighted or balanced properly but such fun. Mum and Dad watched from a distance. Mum – no doubt in hysterics fearing that her little girls would be swept up into the sky and sailed over the grey dismay sea. Dad no doubt marvelling at the colour display strewn across the grey dismay sky and wishing he was a young boy again flying a giant kite. Oh to be free of responsibilities!!!

    “Well, you know if we wanted to, we could write a message on the kite. A simple message. Perhaps ,
    ‘HELP!’ Would that be okay? Dangerous? Do we want to tell other survivors that we are here? After all, we don’t want to advertise our presence to the wrong group!”

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