Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Hot Rod

hot rod car burning out in the middle of the street copyright K.S. 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.

Author: Administrators

All Indies Unlimited staff members, including the admins, are volunteers who work for free. If you enjoy what you read here - all for free - please share with your friends, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don't know how to thank us for all this great, free content - feel free to make a donation! Thanks for being here.

6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Hot Rod”


    Buck Buick-Speed Zone Vigilante

    I’m out there everyday. Wearing my safety vest just in case some yahoo decides to drive on the sidewalk. Could happen. Seen it in the movies.

    That aside, I’m sitting there, occasionally standing to stretch my legs, all the while flashing my main sign.


    Got another sign I flash as well.


    Pretty much the same message. Different targets though.

    Speeders don’t care about crosswalks.

    Maybe that’s too general a statement.

    Maybe not.

    Who’s to know.

    Speeders live in their own little world.

    Oblivious to the outside.


    On the other hand, Pol’s care. You know, the decision makers. The ones who get to spend our money.

    Or don’t.

    Tough job, I’ll grant you that.

    Spending other folks’ moolah.

    So, I sit there most days, alternating signs, smiling at the fingers thrust my way. Sometimes I pretend that they are waving but, truth be told, the universal language of the finger is usually unmistakable.

    But I’m tolerant. Over the years, I’ve tossed a few digits to the passing parade myself.

    So darn easy.

    Middle finger!

    States your case!

    Sometimes, and this is hard to swallow, some of these yabbos actually drag race. Yeah, I know, weird. I guess I get their urge to have a growling motor, foot stomping on the gas pedal, going like the dickens.

    Sad, eh!

    Most speeders are anonymous.

    Like me.

    I go by the handle, Buck Buick-Speed Zone Vigilante.

    It’s got a nice ring, doncha think?

  2. Some Competence

    The phone rang.


    “Is this Dr. Brutus D. Luzional?”

    “Are you from the collection agency?”


    “Then, I’m Dr. Luzional. What do you want? I’m trying to wash my cat, but I’ve got spiders.”

    Momentary silence. “You applied for a staff position with our hospital as a doctor. To save time, I thought we would conduct the interview over the phone. Would that be okay?”

    (((Sound of hot rods revving their engines outside)))

    Dr. Luzional replied, “Sure,” then placed a hand over the phone and yelled, “Could someone please shut the %#$@ window?”

    The interviewer coughed. “Doctor, is everything okay?”

    (((Engine revving gets louder)))

    “Of course. Hold on…”

    The doctor rushed to the window, accidently knocked over a vase, cursed, slammed the window shut, and then shouted, “Who let the cat out of the bathtub?”

    “Doctor? Are you still there?”

    Out of breath, Dr. Luzional rushed back to the phone. “I’m here. What a %#$@ place.”

    The interviewer fell silent again. “Doctor, since this staff position is in our psychiatric department, we are looking for someone with certain attributes. What would you say are your best qualities?”

    The doctor yelled, “I have some competence.”

    “Fine. What things do you dislike?”

    “Dislike?” While the doctor was thinking of a response, he caught sight of a spider chasing his wet cat. “I dislike spiders…” he yelled. “Do you hear me? In fact I hate them. And loud cars… and people… and a lot of other %#$@ things…”

  3. I have spent most my life around classic, hot rod cars, from car shows to family and friends who owned their own piece of the American pie. When I was six my parents bought a cherry red, nineteen seventy-one Chevy Nova.

    Except, where the backseat should be, bones of the car as well as the original alien green paint, were exposed. A tall and dark tattooed funny man named Angel installed new black, burn your skin off in the California summer vinyl and we cruised that thing all over. From school to after school activities to the beach and of course the mall.

    A few times Mom was pulled over because she was a young, good looking blonde probably up to no good in a flashy car. Cops were always shocked when they saw us small kids riding along. Gripping my lap belt that wasn’t ever latched, my heart thumped hard as if I were caught in a lie. The new seat belt law was hard to get used to. We spent many years avoiding wearing them. Plus, cops can’t see the lap belts. I remember Mom attending traffic school a few times.

    Eventually after years of fun, the car needed serious repairs and Dad was too old and in bad health to fix it up. Naked to the elements, the cool hot rod sadly rotted until Dad passed. With a punch to the gut Mom sold our own piece of the American pie.

  4. Joel was looking for a certain car. If one was to ask him what kind of car he wanted he wouldn’t be able to tell you. All he could say for sure was that he would know it when he saw it. He was looking for a connection. I know what you are thinking, a connection with a car? It’s not like a car was a living, breathing creature. Milly, Joel’s girlfriend, didn’t understand. But that was okay because Joel understood it.
    Joel went from car lot to car lot to no avail. Then one day Joel saw it while walking home. A car that looked to be just an old junker. Looking at it one would think the car belonged in the junk yard. Joel went to the door and knocked. When the man answered Joel asked about the car. The man smiled. “It doesn’t look like much but if you put in the time you will be surprised. Joel looked the car over. “I’ll take it.” Joel said. “You know not many people see this car for the hot rod it is. Joel ran his hand over the car. He knew the car for what it was. Not only was this car a hot rod but it was alive and it called to him. The hot rod was calling his name.

  5. The Hot Rod

    “Many people have commonplace hobbies like gardening, reading, and cooking, but my mate …” And so we moved from talking about the last drive-in to hot rods.

    “Some people see hot rods as fast flashy cars. Perhaps classic, modern or old that have been modified. The new large engine increases speeds and acceleration. A hot rod was ‘a car that has been stripped down, souped up and made faster’ according to the urban dictionary. Of course this crude definition forgets one thing. Hot rods have souls.

    “My friend swore it was so much more than a car on wheels. He believed it could think for itself, was alive and had a conscience. On a very ordinary street, heads turned towards the devil fire red paint, salivated over the shine, gasped over the height and had fits thinking of themselves in the driver’s chair. Because the car had a conscience and a real moral needle it never excelled the speed limit in town.

    “In a race it was another matter. It was as though the car was determined to win. My friend joked that his car was vain and enjoyed showing off its hot rod flames. So stylised. The racing flames seemed afire when the hot rod was truly racing.”

    Suddenly, I realised that The Twins who were supposed to be on duty were intently listening to the tale of the car. The storyteller fixed them ominously with his eyes and calmly ordered, “ Twins, hot rod it back to work!”

  6. Belle sat sullenly on her tyres; their rubber cracked and crazed. She’d not moved from the spot for more than a decade. It was enough for her owner that he had her: she was one of an increasingly small number of cars still powered by gasoline, their allure stronger now than ever.

    There’d been a world of changes since she’d rolled onto the road. Generations had come and gone; gasoline had been cheaper and as plentiful as water when she’d taken her first few turns around the town, her tailpipes roaring as she’d shone like a jewel, glowing in the sunlight. The gloss finish of her paintwork, the gleaming of her chrome. She’d provided freedom and glamour. Excitement readily available at the turn of a key.

    She’d turned a lot of heads since then. Prompted a lot of smiles. Encapsulating the thrill of the space race. She’d been the future you could own. A world where anything was possible.

    If you were willing and able to pay.

    And then everything changed. Excess became a swear word: economy and efficiency the new kings. The Japanese rose again – re-engineering, improving. Everything smaller than before. The skies began to burn, and all the forests died.

    And Belle was driven for the last time.

    An indulgence? Perhaps. But she was also an achievement. People now queued to hear her roar, a physical memory of the better times before electrical storage cells and muted motors.

    Bland and impersonal. And forever tethered by a wire.

Comments are closed.