Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Gold

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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9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Gold”

  1. “I told you we were close.” Woodrow picked up the pace, his feet almost skipping. If there was going to be a discovery, he wanted it to be him who made the final reveal. At first, he’d been reluctant, but now he’d been fully converted. Months from now, he would claim it had been his idea from the start.

    My enthusiasm had peaked at the beginning and steadily waned. There’d been too many difficulties: the Oxford Explorers had underdelivered on their promised funding; our native porters had blown hot and cold, keen to accept our retainers but stubbornly reluctant to honour their agreements. And then, when the better of our two antiquated Bedford trucks was stolen, it would have been easier to have turned on the spot right then and come home.

    But Woodrow had begun to believe then. He thrived on a challenge, the thrill of the chase. I’d become weary and despondent. He’d become our galvanising spark. We were now the only pair remaining from the seven who’d begun this adventure.

    Our share of the reward had almost doubled and then doubled again.

    Woodrow disappeared around the bend, the overarching walls snuffing out the light of his torch as I lost sight of him. I almost lost my footing when I ran into his back, his eyes rapt as he looked up at the spectacle before us.

    “I think we’re going to need a bigger truck,” he said, as self-satisfied as a rookie magician successfully performing an illusion.

  2. The Drive Back

    After the interview, Danny hit a small Campbell River restaurant for a quick sandwich and coffee before the trip back to Nanaimo. The town was busy with end of summer tourists, likely, he thought, fishermen for the most part, dreamers dreaming of the next big salmon.

    He’d never been much of a fisherman but since his reinvented life on the west coast had begun, he’d been increasingly tempted to give it a try. Anne had suggested to him early in their marriage that he ought to go with her and her parents. From her earliest years, they regularly took the family dinghy out on the salt chuck to spend a few hours, moments she described as golden, moments when the sun would shine down on the water, and one could imagine the silver-tinged salmon almost turning gold.

    “Like a lost treasure…” she’d wistfully added.

    He’d smiled at that image, fish as Spanish coins, but had ruined the moment by asking, “How many can you actually get in your twelve-foot family yacht? I’m no small fry.”

    “Farmer,” she’d rebutted. “Didn’t you learn anything growing up?”

    And he gave his stock answer about his growing-up years, that “the last thing I wanted to be is a farmer. If I’d stayed tilling the Alberta soil, we just wouldn’t be.”

    And her stock reply, “Now, you’re just fishing for a compliment.”

    He had finally broken down and joined the fishing troop.

    As had their two children.

    It was all golden.

  3. “Papa…?”

    “Yes, Beauty Girl?”

    “My fingers are cold.”

    “Want me to do ‘Hot Hands’?”


    ‘Hot Hands’ was one of our “things”. I softly clapped my hands in front of where she could see them, then rubbed them together… the friction making them warm.

    I gently covered her tiny hands in my comparatively huge mitts, taking care not disturb the various finger monitors and and IV line. She was right, they were tiny bits of ice.

    She let her eyes slip shut, “Ooh… that feels good.” She managed a crinkly little smile.

    We sat for awhile.

    Just sitting.

    Just being.

    “Papa… “

    She was weak, her voice whisper thin. I leaned down to hear. If the bed had been big enough, I would have climbed in and put my head on her pillow.

    But it wasn’t.

    “Papa… I’m really scared.”

    “I know, honey… I know… me too.”

    I stroked her forehead and snuggled woolen cap she and most of the other kids who had her condition seemed to wear.

    “Tell you what, let’s play our “What Makes Me Happy Game”? You first.”


    Her eyes closed.


    “I love PeePee.”

    Her voice was mere dust in a breeze.

    “PeePee” is our irretrievably dumb dachshund. She is actually named Penelope, but PeePee was the best our infant baby girl could do. The two became inseparable.

    “Okay, what else.”

    “I love… rain.”

    Barely a breath.

    “I rea… really… love… rainbo…”


    And my heart tore.

  4. It took us fifteen years to perfect our Fairy Divining Rod, and today was going to be “Our Day.”

    Our biggest headache was how to test each iteration. It wasn’t easy. Mother Nature has a way of hiding her Fairies. We had numerous successes and failures, but the cameras never caught the Fairy image for some strange reason. However, our proof was the collection of fairy dust.

    We were offered many times our investment for the vial containing the gold dust. To us, it was priceless. The elusive Fairy was our true mission.


    For four days we zeroed in on our target area. The climb was life-threatening, and if Mother Nature didn’t want us successful, all she had to do was intervene.

    Tom was now using all his strength to hold onto the rod. It was whipping his shoulders back and forth, but his scream of delight was music to my ears.

    “It’s around this boulder, I can tell,” Tom yelled over the sound the rod made, moving back and forth like a snake.

    Turning the corner, we both saw the dust trail but didn’t see any fairy.

    Tom moved forward and the whipping rod disturbed the dust and sent it rushing toward us.

    We were soon covered in gold and laughed our heads off at our success. Tom had dropped the now car-sized rod, and we soon discovered we were now reduced to miniatures.

    The camera must have captured the Fairy’s image, but we will never know.

  5. What it’s Like to be a Memory

    Just a fleeting memory,
    riding the wind,
    a hazy, ephemeral dream,
    drifting, drifting,
    going nowhere…


    that memory about you lights upon a mind…

    that mind

    and later…

    the moment
    is gone,
    that memory
    drifts away again…

    drifting with the wind,
    hazy, ephemeral…

    drifting, drifting…


    that memory,
    that is worth more than gold…



    My father wasn’t a fan of romantic comedies, adventure films, or espionage movies. But put John Wayne, Gary Cooper or Henry Fonda in a cowboy hat? The quiet Jewish patriarch would become more animated than Shrek 1 … 2, 3 and 4!

    It was common knowledge that Dad’s favorite movie of all time was The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. “There’s gold in them thar hills!” he’d declare in his best Walter Huston imitation – to visiting cousins, neighbors, and my prom date, pointing north towards Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan.

    I recall my youngest daughter begging Dad to take her to Toy Story 4, a month after Shavuot and his first stroke. “Don Rickles plays Mr. Potato Head, Grandpa” said Rachel. “And he’s Jewish!” she proclaimed. Okay, so maybe I prompted her to say that.

    When the twosome returned from their outing, Dad’s lips were as blue as my new dinner set for six. “How was the movie?” I asked. Dad answered quietly, “Being there for a child is the most noble thing a toy can do.”

    Three weeks later, school ended and Rachel celebrated her tenth birthday. “Double digits,” said Dad, as he handed my daughter a present. That same evening, my father’s second stroke brought him to his final rest.

    Rachel still sleeps with her Woody the Sheriff Talking Action Figure. But when a neighbor or a friend comes to visit, she points northward and says, “There’s gold in them thar hills!”

  7. Gold
    Kay lovingly continued, “I always imagined that this room, my husband’s shrine, was impenetrable, that it was like a miniature Fort Knox but more magical. It was lined with gold, and rainbows and protected by a wizardly lake. The gold shone so powerfully that it dazzled, mesmerised and enchanted. The gold beams caused a lovely unworldly rainbow. The room was like a magic grotto from a wondrous fairy tale. There were even formidable trolls guarding it. Inflammatory, aggressive, ugly and hairy. Huge monstrous brutes because I would only use the superior models. Silly thinking it was magically protected when my husband’s shrine was so easily ravaged.”

    My mind wandered thinking that somewhere in our lives we all had that secret room of gold. A room so precious that we did not want anyone to enter and share the beauty. What was in my room of gold? Memories piled upon memories. Nostalgic images of being raised in England. Of a carefree childhood running free in a wild garden. Laughing, skipping and jumping with my sister. Tumbling through fresh grass kissed by morning dew. Splashing in the ditch or being uncharacteristically quiet in order to catch minnows. Pretending we were pirates and embarking on a treasure hunt to find marvellous ruby ripe strawberries or jewels of emerald gooseberries. Being a child was the golden highlight of my life and such memories deserved to be stored in a room of gold and rainbows guarded by formidable trolls.

  8. The silence between them was as oppressive as the heat on the trail. Jeremy, leading the way, stopped where the trail bent around a slab of desert rock, breathing too hard for a man in his forties.

    “I don’t know why you chose this place if you can’t handle the heat,” said Alice, Jeremey’s acerbic wife. “This is stupid.” She wiped the sweat from her forehead.

    “Remember?” said Jeremey. “Around the corner. That waterfall way back when?”

    “That was then. This is now. Different time, different people.”

    Jeremey turned towards his wife. “What about another chance?” He wanted to say more but couldn’t trust his voice.

    “You lied,” said Alice, her voice hard.

    “You lied, too,” said Jeremey. He wanted to make a joke but he couldn’t trust himself. Besides, Alice didn’t like his humor, not at times like this. And there had been so many times like this lately.

    Jeremey reached for Alice’s hand but she wouldn’t budge. “That time we were here,” she said, “that’s long gone.”

    He caught his breath, unable to tamp down the sadness. Instead, he turned the corner into the misty waterfall. Droplets sprang to golden life as the sun infused the falling water.

    Jeremy closed his eyes, the water cooling him, but he couldn’t hold back the tears. He reached out as if someone were there, close by, to take his hand.

    Alice, who had crept up to the falls, was there and walked into the golden mist, grasping Jeremey’s outstretched hand.

  9. I’d never really believed Grandma’s stories about the pot of gold that was supposed to be at the end of the rainbow. So I wasn’t paying all that much attention to the colors splashed across the stone, the full ROY G BIV we learned in school. My focus was on the alternating patterns of deposition recorded in the stone, the story it told of a sea that had once lapped against a forgotten shore.

    That was when the glitter caught my eye. Curious, I realized they were metallic inclusions — pyrite most likely, although an amateur might think he’d made his fortune.

    Even as I reached for my sampling hammer, something hard poked the small of my back. “I wouldn’t do that, pardner.”

    He was a little man, maybe four feet tops, dressed in a suit of green with old fashioned buckle shoes. In his hand was a Colt 45

    How could I get out of this fix? Would be believe I was a geologist studying Earth‘s history?

    “Damn if I don’t have the luck of the Irish. Find something good and end up worse off for it.”

    The leprechaun started laughing so hard he dropped his pistol. I beat feet right out of there and made a mental note to avoid this place.

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