Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Village

Bavarian village lit with holiday lights at dawn 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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5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Village”

  1. Crusty the Germ

    “What are you looking at?” asked Merle. He and Earle were cleaning bathrooms in the village hotel.

    “I… spotted… a… germ…”

    Merle’s face turned white. “A germ? After all our cleaning? Where?”

    “There!” Earle pointed at a bathroom tile.

    “Get it.”

    The two brothers ran at the germ with detergent-soaked sponges.

    Hearing a hideous cackle, Crusty the Germ opened its eyes and jumped, just as the sponges descended on its location with germ-killing power.

    Whack! Soap and water splattered everywhere.

    Crusty scurried away, as the brothers scrubbed the tile with maniacal intensity.

    Not finding the germ, Earle asked, “Where’d it go?”


    Clinging to a small fibre, Crusty shook its fist at its attackers, and then, ♫ to the theme song of The Great Escape ♫, ran across open tiles, weaving, bobbing, and jumping over obstacles, in a bid to gain its freedom.

    “That germ is no newbie,” gasped Earle. “It’s definitely had survival training.”

    Undeterred by the clever germ, the brothers scrubbed vigorously for several more minutes until they eventually grew tired and stopped.

    “I’ve had enough,” said Earle, wiping his brow.

    “Me too. Did we get it?”

    Earle scanned the bathroom. “It’s headed for the door.”

    With a smile, Merle looked at his friend. “Don’t laugh. I kind of admire that germ.”

    “I know what you mean. Its got guts.”

    Silently, they lowered their sponges, and saluted their worthy adversary.

    Crusty was last seen scurrying under the doorway, escaping enemy territory, on its way to freedom…

  2. Travelers

    We had no destination in mind. That’s the way it was with us. Gas up the coupe, fill up the cooler with comfort food, get a neighbor to feed the cat, keep an eye on the place, and then hit the road.

    We allotted two weeks this time.

    “North!” I flipped the coin.

    “South,” she said.

    North it was.

    She got behind the wheel, I said shotgun though it wasn’t necessary and Saturday morning, we headed out.

    A couple of hours in, kind of a gray day, water cascading from the heavens like the faucet couldn’t be turned off, I started warbling NORTH TO ALASKA, WE’RE GOIN’ NORTH …which I called a halt to when she punched the radio on.

    “Fine, no Johnny Horton.”

    “Johnny would be relieved,” she responded.

    I concurred.

    She’d veer off from time to time, side roads, most leading somewhere, others dead ending.

    We had lunch at the River Bend café, burgers, junk food for the sheer pleasure of it.

    Around dusk, we hit a small village, a pretty little lit-up one-horse street, festive, a dark blue sheen of night.

    “Looks quaint,” I said.

    “Everything in the country looks quaint at sundown,” she replied. “Doesn’t mean we should stop.”

    But we did.

    The only open restaurant had a German thing going on. Wiener schnitzel. Potato Salad.

    It was also a B and B.

    Getting ready for bed, I started singing, First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin.

    “Now you’re Leonard Cohen.”

    “Barely,” I said.

  3. “You need a vacation,” the doctor told me. “I know a little village out by the coast with this wonderful rest cure. A couple of weeks there, and you’ll be right as rain.”

    So off I went. No need to pack a suitcase, he reassured me. Everything would be provided for me at the hostel. Just hop in their car and go.

    I arrived just after sunset. How quaint everything looked in the moonlight reflected off the snow. Getting checked in was a breeze. Within minutes I settled into my room, enjoying a bed soft as a cloud.

    After a night of dreamless sleep, I woke to what at first appeared to be a cheerful village of vacationers. But as the days went by, I noticed more and more peculiarities. Random people would walk up to me and ask who was “number two” today, as if the question needed no explanation. Familiar brand names had been replaced with ones such as Moka-Kola soda and BridWash detergent. Some people wore a lapel pin with a design of an old-fashioned big-wheel bicycle, while others wore one with the logo 6+ in brightly-colored type. Now and again I’d glimpse what looked like an anthropomorphic red dot wearing shades, running in and out of the shadows at the edge of my field of vision.

    Everyone acts as if all this is perfectly normal. When challenged, they become distressed, even aggressive.

    Have I gone mad? Or has everyone but me?

  4. Handkerchief Lesson

    As a teenager, I couldn’t really get into the ‘village thing.’ My dad owned one of the shops. I never told him I was upset about being the designated ‘counter’ for the number of village lights. He was doing a favor for the mayor, but I got the task. I finally determined that nobody was ever going to prove me wrong, so I developed some calculation methods.

    When I got older, I was one of the light installers, which I learned the hard way – you put the lights up when there’s no snow or ice on the sidewalks.

    Years later, on my winter semester break, I was motivated by something and had to go back to the village. While I was standing at the shop my dad had owned, a beautiful girl was nose against the glass looking at the train display they had operating inside.

    I guess thinking back at that night, I was more interested in watching her. However, at one point, she tried to wipe her tears with her mittens. Not the best choice. I handed her my handkerchief, which my mother always said I needed to carry.

    Now, the village life is my life, or I should say our life. I wonder where we would be today if I hadn’t learned that lesson about a handkerchief. The village light festival is also a fond memory for our family.

    The first present I bought her was a train set to remember her deceased brother.

  5. “Details and precision… be accurate, be precise… details details”, Roman muttered as he focused on the all consuming project he had labored on and worried over for the last six months. That the miniature city diorama was his first project for a major motion picture was never far from his thoughts and, “Even seemingly insignificant microscopic details had to be accurate”, became his mantra of a sort… from the unimaginably tiny coat buttons featured in the menswear shop to the minuscule poppy seeds on the bagels in the bakery window.

    The film crew rushed about, setting up the camera, lights, and stations for the various departments. Under the disapproving gaze of a nearby grip, Roland took a seat on a spare apple box with good view of the set and waited for the director to arrive. He couldn’t wait to see the famous auteur’s reaction to the massive diorama.

    Roland was certain this would be his ticket to the fabled “Big Time”. Eventually fame, red carpet strolls, starlet girlfriends, an unconscionably immense mansion, the private jet, the Lamborghini… eventually all would soon follow. Roland imagined hearing his friends’ gasp in awe and admiration when seeing his work at the mall multiplex.

    The crew finished their various tasks as the director entered and with a quick glance at the set, yelled, “Action!”

    Roland’s heart sank as an immense actor in a shabby rubber monster suit stomped his set, the work of half a year of his life, into rubble.

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