Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Boots

cowboy grave at a western theme park flash fiction writing prompt 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!

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9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Boots”

  1. Feed Me

    Alfie sat in the crowded doctor’s office annoyed with himself. In his haste to get here for his appointment, he had put his boots on the wrong feet. Plus, he had skipped breakfast, and now he was hungry.


    It was his stomach. It needed food. He pressed his arm against it, to quiet it.

    “Gurgle… gurgle…”

    He hunched over like Quasimodo, hugging his stomach, and scanned the waiting room. His stomach was getting louder.


    A few people lowered their magazines, giving him the stink eye.

    “Me… hungry… gurgle… gurgle…”

    Alfie’s eyes popped wide open. Did his stomach just speak to him?

    “Feed me…”

    Everyone was staring at him. A little boy pointed.

    Alfie stood up and ran from the office. He had to get away from people and find food. There was no telling what his stomach might do.

    “Feed me… appease me..”

    He ran into the nearest convenience store, grabbed a bunch of chocolate bars, slapped some money on the counter, and then ran outside to find a secluded spot, away from prying eyes.

    “Feed me… appease me…”

    Finding a quiet location he consumed the candy, sending gobs of sweet chocolate into his demanding stomach.

    “Gurgle… gurgle?… hmm… tasty… gurgle… gurgle…”

    He ate several candy bars, filling his empty belly.

    “Gurgle… burp… gurgle…”

    Alfie patted his stomach. “Feel better now?”

    “Better… gurgle… gurgle… But… enough… with… the… chocolate… gurgle… gurgle… I’m… watching… my… figure…”

  2. Boots

    “Oh man, Charlie, my dogs are killing me. I gotta rest.”
    “You sit down now, wanker, you never gonna get up again. Gotta keep movin’.”
    “That’s bull. If I don’t rest up, I’m gonna seize up and become a damn rock.”
    “Fine. You do what you do. Me, I’m keeping on my feet and on the move. You wanna become carrion fodder, that’s your business. Mine’s staying alive.”
    “I don’t see no vultures circling, Charlie. All I know is that I’m beat. So here I flop. Whew…that’s a relief. Say you gonna leave me?”
    “That’s what I said…but I’ll give you a couple of moments…for old time’s sake.”
    “You’re a heartless bastard, Charlie. But thanks…wooey, I gotta get these damn boots off. Barely feel my toes. My aching toes.”
    “I wouldn’t do that. Take off your boots is nuts. You’ll never get them back on. Your feet have probably swollen up like they’re covered with friggin’ boils. You know that. Keep ‘em on.”
    “Too late. They’s off. What a relief. Man, they were killing me. Never had this kind of foot pain before. Never.”
    “Try putting them back on. Go on…”
    “Fine. Here goes…whoa, you’re right. It’s like they shrunk. What t’am I gonna do Charlie? Thery won’t go back on.”
    “Kee-rist, I told ya. Plain as day I told ya. I ain’t stopping no more.”
    “I can’t walk without wearin’ boots. You gotta wait.”
    “No way. Maybe your feet will shrink later. I’m outta here>”

  3. “Watch yourself, grunt. You need to shape up if you’re gonna be of any use.”

    The Major General rolled in the dirt, hoping to catch the legs of the man who’d knocked him down. He was a little slow, but he did manage to wing him enough to make him stagger.

    That would have to do for now. There’d be a next time, and he’d be ready for him then.

    “What’re you talking about,” he said, squinting up at the uniform towering above him. “I’m a Major General, and I think I’ll probably outrank you.” He reached for his boots and tried to pull them on again. His hand passed through them, and he swore, puzzled and disoriented.

    “A Major General, you say? Well, ain’t that a treat?” The other soldier was a mountain, his cigar bobbing at least ten feet above McAdam. He took a long pull on it and then jabbed its glowing end down at his fallen comrade. “I figure you’re gonna need to re-evaluate your position. You’re a grunt until I tell you any different. You better shut up and get with the new regime. We can use you, but only if you pull your weight and do as you’re told without any wisecracks.”

    The Goliath was from a long-defunct regiment, Corporal Evans, judging by the name embroidered on his chest. He seemed kind, despite his bluster.

    “Accept that you’re dead and move on,” he said. “Now get back on your feet and keep fighting.”

  4. Boots

    My tranquillity never lasted longer than a minute. As Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, gang aft a-gley.” My plan for peace went awry, the moment I heard the Twins laughing. Peering over a hedge I saw them building a grave. Tragic writing on a piece of wood read, “Here lies all cold and dead..” Yet, it was not a grave for a person but for boots! The Twins were such jokesters!
    The boots’ owner bulldozed against them menacing and demanding justice. Indignation reddened his face and he could only sputter.

    Now I understood the commotion. The Twins using outrageous theatricals were blatantly saying that the boots stunk so much that they needed burying. The owner made wild gestures at the gravestone, at the bed of rocks and at the boots. Would he have a heart attack or injure the Twins?

    The commotion reached dramatic proportions gathering most of the survivors who giggling and pretended they were not.

    The kitchen door banged open and like a wild banshee, Kay screamed with a belly of wrath. Waving her rolling pin, she threatened to give the Twins a real bruising. They had stolen a valuable piece of her cookware and burnt words into it making it useless. As one, our eyes moved to the gravestone.
    The Twins galloped off fearing a dressing down from Kay.

    When they were far away, we all burst into loud uproarious guffaws. I guess a laugh is as healthy as experiencing tranquillity.

  5. Boots Fit!

    “Why did you bring me here, doobie?”
    “You don’t hear what I say, so – read the words real close.”
    He started to walk over to the sign.
    “No, I meant read the words closely!”
    “I wonder what size they is.”
    “You stupid sh*t, I asked you to read what it says.”
    “Hold on a bit, let me see…Okay, I read it, and now I know the truth.”
    “I thought reading it might make a diff, have U got it now?”
    “Yup, got it.”
    “Do ya really?”
    “Yeah, something about the guy never heard you.”
    “What I told him, he didn’t pay any attention to.”
    “What did you tell him?”
    “I told him to never tell me I’m full of bull.”
    “u told him that?”
    “Yup, and I told u that too.”
    “I guess I didn’t hear you.”
    “That’s why we’re here. So, what did you learn from the sign?”
    “You used the wrong word, ‘lies’ isn’t correct.”


    “Just enough room to add an ‘s’ to guy.”

  6. BOOTS

    “Excuse me. Can you help me find a pair of boots?” Gwen asked the salesperson.

    “Sure. Brand? Size?”

    Gwen noticed he wasn’t particularly interested in helping, so she made it easy. “I need a pair of men’s blue boots in size ten.”

    “I’m not sure if we have men’s blue boots but look down aisle twelve. If we have any, they would be there.”

    Aisle twelve must have been the ‘non-traditional’ aisle as there were all colors and styles of boots. She made a mental note that she might need to come back another day for herself. But she was here for Ray, her neighbor. He has passed away and she had to get the boots for him.

    Years ago, over coffee, Ray told her a heartbreaking story. He accidentally killed his son when he didn’t check behind his car when leaving from his lunch break. He was running late and thought the child was in the house. He told her he sees his child’s blue cowboy boots sticking out from under the car every day. He hoped to find his own pair someday so that if he made it to Heaven, his child would be able to find him easily. Their tribe would have matching boots.

    Gwen rushed to the funeral home with boots in hand. She could only think of a smiling child taking his father’s hand and them taking a walk together in their blue boots.

  7. Cigarette smoke filled the conference room, but nobody seemed to mind. The boss, JP, closed his briefing book and, sneaking a look at the young lad at the end of the long table, cleared his throat. “Beanie Boy, whatcha got?”

    Beanie Boy, wearing his propeller cap, sucked loudly at the dregs of his cold drink (vanilla bean frappachino, hold the coffee) and then straightend up, his feet 18 inches from the floor.

    “What we got is this.”

    He stabbed his handset and up flashed the photo. A pair of dark blue cowboy boots extended from a pile of dry desert rocks and dirt.

    “I’ve got 259 other photos from every war going.” Beanie Boy sucked again. “Same kind of boots. Boots that we made and sold. Our boots are the boots of choice for all those people getting killed or killing. Bad optics.”

    JP took a handkerchief from his back pocket and wiped his damp face. “Sales are up. Marketing is doing a bang-up job. Margo, give them all a bonus.”

    Margo, a spindly secretary, punched the message into her tablet.

    “What I had in mind,” said Beanie Boy, “is some proactive messaging. Somebody’s gonna come after us for marketing “death boots.” Maybe it’s time to push beanies.”

    JP pulled a cigar from his coat pocket and stuffed it into his mouth. “We sell boots. That’s our business. If war boosts sales, bring on the wars. Everybody wears our boots, boy.”

    Beanie Boy looked down at his feet. “Not me. I’m wearing sandals.”

  8. When Halloween rolls around, you’d think the haunted houses just pop up, like mushrooms after a rain. Here at Nekropolis, work starts before the Fourth of July.

    This year’s theme was the Weird West, and I wanted to make my mark as a designer, not just a builder or a performer. For the past several years every one of my designs had been shot down: not scary enough, too realistic so it’ll be traumatic rather than scary, too complicated to build on our budget, you name it. There was always something wrong with my ideas, so I’d be building other people’s.

    I’d spent the whole winter noodling around ideas. Simple enough to be built on a budget, but complex enough to be interesting. Scary, but in a fun sort of way that would make attendees shudder, but not leave the younger ones with nightmares.

    So I was a bit downhearted when the big boss took a look at it and commented, “We might be able to do something with it.”

    I told myself something’s better than nothing. If anything, it’d be a step in the right direction.

    However, I didn’t expect what the design team turned it into. At least they kept the boots, but they were supposed to be climbing out of the grave, not sticking out from under a pile of rocks.

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