Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Flying Solo

woman in a formal dress alone looking at her phone flash fiction writing prompt
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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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Flying Solo”

  1. She sat at the table alone. Carol kept checking her phone for messages. She became convinced that her phone was broken. She tried to text him again but there was no answer. Her mind went from a broken phone to he had been in a horrible accident. He was in the hospital on death’s door. Carol called all the hospitals she could think of. Not one of them had anyone fitting Mark’s description. Next her mind went to he just hasn’t been found yet. He is out there somewhere hurt. What other explanation was there? No one in their right mind would not go on an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii.
    Should she go and look for Mark? Where would she ever start? She looked at her watch. Maybe he was just running late. He still had time to get here before their plane loaded. “He will be here.” She kept telling herself. She kept checking her watch, the time was approaching fast. Surely he would be her any minute? If Mark didn’t get here soon Carol would have to make a big decision. She would have to decide on whether or not she was going to waste her ticket. She kept hoping he would show up at any minute. The time came to either board or throw her ticket away. She debated with herself for a while. She took a deep breath and made the decision she would be flying solo. Mark’s loss.



    I flew to Havana from Montreal.
    She came via Mexico City.
    “A little circuitous, doncha think?” she said.
    I said, “Nah. Just being extra smart.”
    These days, adultery requires stealth. Maybe it always did. I don’t know. It’s not like it was a habit with me. Well, what’s a habit, eh? I mean, how many times can a guy fall off the marital turnip truck and land in a field of tantalizing parsnips before someone calls it a habit?
    My messy root vegetable metaphors aside, I need to be clear that I haven’t been in the habit of uninterrupted infidelity as much as you might be thinking. Trust me, maybe once, twice a year max. There’s only so much treachery a fellow can commit.
    In any case, Amy was different. She was going to be my last…fling.
    Yeah! I was reforming. You reach a certain age, you gotta wise up. That’s what I was telling myself. All the way to Havana.
    We were gonna meet at a cute little café.
    The Café Arcangel. Between Galiano and Aquila…just a hop, skip and a jump from the Casa de la Musica.
    I knew she’d be there. Waiting for me.
    Amy was a punctual gal. Never kept me waiting. Always with a smile.
    Trusted me.
    So why did I get cold feet.
    I’ve ridden this bucking bronc before.
    It wasn’t my first rodeo.
    I’ve horsed around before.
    No secret there.
    Stayed on the tarmac.
    Caught the first flight back.


    It was a whirlwind romance some would say. They knew each other only a few weeks before he went home to London. But those few weeks were full of excitement, love, and laughter. Her children were in love too, which made him even more attractive.

    He said he would be back soon. She would plan their wedding, getting the paperwork necessary for them to be together permanently. He would be wrapping up his job there, saying goodbye to loved ones and friends.

    It seemed to all go well for a moment. There were deeply moving letters from Europe. The kids got little gifts. They were on a first-name basis with the mail carrier!

    He would call several times a week from his office, but suddenly the calls stopped. She was worried. What if he had been in an accident in another country? She kept checking her phone for messages but nothing.

    He had given her a home phone number with instructions never to call there unless it was an emergency. She had to hear his voice, to know he was okay.

    She dialed the number. He answered, “What’s wrong?”

    “I just wanted to hear your voice and know you were okay. Your office said you no longer work there. What is going on?”

    “I told you never to call me here unless it was an emergency!” He hung up.

    And so, with that, she never heard from him again. Nothing. She was back to flying solo.

  4. Flying Solo

    Curiously, everyone required personal time and scattered around Kay’s Bakery like buckshot. With Midnight, I crawled into a tight private space with views of both the lake and the guest tables around the restaurant. At one, a solitary girl fiddled with a notebook. Her hair fell down in an untidy waterfall on either side of her face concealing her identity. For some reason, I imagined her flying solo because she was fiercely independent and a loner. Perhaps in her former life she was a spy so flying solo was necessary to living. A government spy?

    Perhaps she was also literally flying solo for a private rendezvous; an absolute secret from family, friends, government and country. She would meet the same debonair young man that she had for the last year. Despite her unconventional work, she was a true-blue old-fashioned girl who believed that you mated for life.

    Was she now planning the final stages of her romantic getaway which would begin by flying solo? The secrecy added mystery and romance in equal tantalising amounts. She longed to feel his strong arms around her in a passionate sensual embrace. Once she lived for the adrenaline that spying provided in almost lethal amounts. Now she hungered after these clandestine meetings with her lover for exhilaration, excitement and euphoria. Her whole soul lived to be in a total state of high caffeine.

    Me? There was far too much drama in my life to fly solo; the theatrics had to be shared.

  5. You think it’s difficult piloting a generation ship? Knowing you’re the final link in a mission taking centuries to reach its destination?

    That’s what I’m doing. Yes, I’m Captain Madison.

    Of course, I wasn’t the original Captain. I’m not nearly old enough for that. Not even if I used cryogenics or regeneration. Captain Bligh was the man who qualified for that honour, commanding our ship as it set off alone out into the unknown, a cradle for our future. Thousands are still alive from back then – not Bligh, of course; he was lost in an accident – a whole town of people kept in stasis somewhere down below B deck, waiting for the time they can be woken, oblivious of everything after the injection that took them into the deepest sleep they ever had.

    Not that I feel bitter. People like that are used to being cared for, accustomed to shucking their responsibilities, letting other shmucks do the work.

    I was a service engineer. A humble technician. I was the woman with the pipe-cleaning thingamajig. The unblocker for the nozzles. I’ve done very well for myself since then. It’s been a meteoric advancement. But what can you do when people start dying? When the algae farms fail? When everyone in the command team suffers from a virulent plague?

    You make do with the remaining crew member lucky enough not to die.

    Do you know I can control this starship using my tablet computer?

    I’ve got an app for that.

  6. She had waited all night: and wondered whether to wait any longer.

    He hadn’t called, which was not like him. Her phone battery is running low and she’s in a pickle without her charger.

    She wore the red dress, especially for him, but she was approached too many times last night with many illicit proposals. Even the maître de had offered her a place to stay when he was closing up late last night.

    She understood his situation all too well, and calling or texting him was out of the question. She also knew his proposal to take her away was too good to be true. Maybe she should just call him and get him in trouble. He could have at least given her a heads-up that he couldn’t meet her last night.

    No car, little money and a phone almost dead, left her wondering what to do next. She remembered leaving her overnight bag next to the entranceway, but it must have been stolen. Her emotions were getting the best of her feeling the tears on her cheeks.

    She never heard the person approach but smelled the pleasant scent of lime. He was offering her his handkerchief.

    “Excuse me miss. Do you need some help? Is there anything I can do for you? By any chance, is this your bag? I noticed someone running with it, but he dropped it when he saw me.”

    “Yes, yes, and yes.”

    When a chair moved, she couldn’t hold her tears back.

  7. Flying Solo
    Being the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the Solar System was cool. While the merely rich were vacationing on the Riviera and shopping in the Gonzalo, Monique was spending the weekend on the Moon. Up here, she didn’t even need bodyguards.

    On the other hand, there wasn’t a whole lot to do up here. Without the necessary training — so tedious — there would be no moonwalks. Just sitting here in this little restaurant on the first level of Grissom City’s famous Main Concourse, trying to amuse herself.

    A sound attracted her attention. Who was that man in NASA blue? His shoulder patch was the Shepardsport squid. Her hand drifted to the panic button her father insisted she carry.

    The man’s lips curled upward. “You look lonely there. Mind if I join you?”

    No, no, no, said the voices of adult authority. Never trust a stranger.

    He must’ve noticed her hesitation. “I’m Commander Chandler Armitage of the US Navy. I thought you might like a tour of some of the sights.”

    Monique recognized the name. The son of Governor Armitage of New Hampshire, exiled to Farside to get him out of the way. Yes, he had far too much to lose to try anything stupid.

    “As long as we stay strictly to public places. No secret rooms, no funny business.”

    Commander Armitage gave her a solemn bow. “Upon my honor as an officer and a gentleman.”

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