Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Sun Kissed

golden maple leaf kissed by the sun
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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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Sun Kissed”

  1. Sun-kissed

    Wandering around, thinking, the sun smiled on me and my face seemed gently sun-shot. Walking under trees, I gazed up and admired perfection. Yellow leaves were being sun-kissed. Yellow? I gasped! Was the world already moving towards autumn? I had utterly lost all sense of passing time, passing seasons. Despite the horrific apocalypse, time was still moving forward. How long since the brutish apocalypse took us by our throats to choke us? How long since it tossed us about like some useless chaff? How long had we been together as a survival group? I would have to consult a calendar. But did it really matter? We were still alive. Admittedly, some of us were a little broken. Confused. Longing for home. Looking for answers. Lonely for love.

    Still staring at the leaf, I looked at it in depth. Although yellowed, it did not seem to be aged. It was still healthy and glowing. It had an intricate map of veins. Through the veins, I imagined life running, vibrating and gushing. I had no sorrow for the leaf; it was still living. Breathing. It seemed joyous being surrounded by friends. There definitely was a camaraderie amongst the leaves.When the wind moved among them, they seemed to talk, joke and tease. A famous quote echoed through me reaching my lips, “She is not sun-kissed, she kisses the sun.”

    Then it dawned on me, we were still alive to be both sun-kissed and to kiss the sun. We were the lucky ones!

  2. Hidden Among the Leaves

    Though it was mid august, something other than the calendar was in the air. Danny could sense that in less than a month the weather would be turning. He would lament the loss of the warmth of summer but would cherish the turning, the falling of autumns leaves.

    The colours would sharpen, magnificent in the transition shades of yellows, oranges, purples and especially the reds and then ever so quickly their withering into the crispness of time.

    With these immutable change of season thoughts, he drove to June’s house to try and delve more deeply into the changing of the colours of her marriage.

    Danny was interested in knowing how she had interpreted events, the erosion of love. He was spurred on by his recent conversation with Anne. They had explored the topic, a topic both hypothetical and painful. He wasn’t sure how healthy or even helpful it was for lovers to talk out possible domestic disintegration.

    Whether healthy or not, they had.

    Cards were on the table.

    They both had equal flushes.

    They were good.

    Unlike June and her combative husband.

    June was feeding her three kids when he arrived. They’d spent the day with their grandmother. “I won’t take much time,” he promised.

    “They need watching,” she said. “I don’t want to talk about marital things in front of them.”

    Danny waited in the living room.

    An hour later, she put them to an early bed.

    Everyone paid a price in a custody battle.

  3. Picture Perfect

    by Boyd Miles

    I fumbled my phone trying to answer a call, I had been trying to get a photograph when the ring tone startled me. It had been so quiet there in the woods and I had been concentrating on the perfect shot.
    I don’t know why I always want the “perfect shot” I never show them to anybody and I almost always find an imperfection and toss them in the virtual trash can.
    An unfulfilled quest for perfection.
    I picked up the phone and hit the shutter button as I did, I heard the camera noise that reminded me of my many rolls of wasted film stock from years past. I could use the money I had wasted on that film.
    Spam, of course it was, not like I get any calls.
    I review the images to throw away the accidental photo.
    It was perfect.

  4. “Hey Boss?”


    “We got a complaint from one of the kids.”

    “Which one?”

    “Number three… the blue marbly lookin’ one.”

    “Them again… what now?”

    “They want you to turn it down a notch or two.”

    “What… why?

    “She says the wobbly ones that live there are gonna die if you don’t.”

    “Aw gee. Bless their little hearts, but ain’t that a shame. Lemme ask you something… Have I changed anything? I mean, am I like a lot brighter?”

    “No boss.”

    “Did I get hotter or sumthin’?”

    “No boss.”

    “So what’s the deal?”

    “Well, the wobbly ones kinda screwed up some stuff and now they’re pretty much getting steamed.”

    “For real?”

    “Well no… but the way they’re goin’ on about it sure sounds like they are.”

    “So somehow they think it’s my problem? Screw ‘em… y’know I never liked those guys.”

    “How come, Boss?”

    “Well, they used to worship me … ’n then they stopped. Then they gave one of their sisters a name that sounds like an unmentionable body part, and finally they named the baby after a damn cartoon dog.”

  5. “Please listen to your decoding devices and I will continue the tour. I hope you have enjoyed your two weeks at the Solar Museum. Today, as you know, we are touring the Earth portion of the museum. Yesterday, we witnessed the 8-hour documentary of planet Earth from inception to final destruction. Earthlings called our flying observation machines ‘UFOs,’ but they were truly reporters documenting and even rescuing some before the end.”

    The machine continued, “This room is dedicated to some of the photographs we believe represented the best things offered to the earthlings. This particular photo shows their sun brightening a leaf that grew on a Maple tree. The photo was taken by one of Earth’s noted photographers, K.S. Brooks. She titled that photo ‘Sun Kissed.’ As we discussed yesterday, the sun was the key ingredient to that planet’s different life forms.”

    “Unfortunately, their final war started as small battles, but as time went on, the powers to be launched a final catastrophic war, which they called a nuclear holocaust. After that war, the sun’s rays were blocked by a dark cloud for decades. Life as they knew it became unlivable. That picture and the others in this room show what a beautiful planet it was.”

    “Fortunately, in the next exhibit area, you will see some of the many races we rescued before that final war. The rest of the earthlings live in peace on our largest moon, which we call ‘Earth’s Annex.’ Please observe, but no feeding is allowed.”

  6. You followed me into the woodland. I was a hundred yards ahead, but your red jacket caught my eye. I’d come here today, like I always did on a Sunday, taking in a little air and stretching my legs.

    I was a solitary walker. I was self-confident and fit; I ran marathons and often competed in Ironman events, regularly placing in the top third of the field.

    You were less of an athlete. You were shorter than I was, thirty or forty pounds lighter, your idea of a race being an African tribe. You smoked and drank; you regularly ate junk food, scornful of people like me – gym bunnies with no real social lives, sharing their experiences with like-minded drones, seeking out adrenaline rushes instead of living life to excess.

    You considered me a fool. An automaton. An inane narcissist, self-obsessed with my fitness and personal bests. I didn’t consider you at all. Why should I have done? We lived in different worlds when we weren’t at work.

    And yet, you still followed me. I must admit that I was amused. I wondered what you wanted. I waited in the clearing, thinking you might want to chat. You were pale and unattractive – not sun-kissed and freckled – wearing a jacket with bulky sleeves and hiding one hand behind your back.

    Your knife slid into my stomach easily, taking my breath when you pulled it out.

    I bled out into the leaves you covered me with, staining them red.

  7. Grandma always said that the bright colors of fall were to console us through the dark days of winter. When I was young, I didn’t really understand her. Honestly, winter was my favorite time of the year. I loved playing in the snow, building snow forts and having snowball wars with all the neighbor kids.

    I can’t say exactly when things started changing. Even when Dad said I was old enough to take my share of responsibility around the house, shoveling snow didn’t change my view of the season.

    Maybe it was when I started having to drive to work in snow that winter got less fun, and I actually started looking forward to spring. Or maybe when shoveling the driveway left me with a sharp pain in my lower back, even with a weightlifter’s belt.

    These days I’m starting to see my grandmother’s words in a new light. The world is in an awful state, with wars cropping up all over the world even as our own leadership is in disarray. I never watched that show about the fantasy world where winter came once every few generations, but I’m really feeling that winter is coming, less in the meteorological sense than the social. We’ve got a long, difficult time ahead of us, and I daresay we’ll be lucky if our children’s children see the far side of it.

    In the meantime, I enjoy the sunlight through the golden leaves while we have it.

  8. Sun Kissed

    My wife is an artist. In the last 40 years, her preferred medium has been clay. Since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she has been unable to stay focused enough to work with clay or any other medium.

    However, the artist part of her is still there. She will head to her vegetable garden to check on the tomatoes and see a leaf that triggers some artistic part of her. She would stop, examine it, and bring it into the house like a lost kitten.

    Later I would find it on the kitchen counter, sitting in a bowl she made and glazed yellow. When I asked her about it, she could not remember where she got it, but she did point out how the yellow in the leaf matches the glaze color. She would be amazed that the sun’s kiss could change the color of a leaf to perfectly match the glaze she created.

    I stopped trying to figure out how her brain works. Her reality is different than mine. But we do share in the wonder and beauty of fall.

    Driving on the way to the grocery, she would look out the window like a child in wonderment, point to the far hills, and, for the fifth time in five minutes, say how beautiful the trees are with their yellow, red, and orange colors.

    “Look”, she would say. “All those trees and leaves are sun-kissed.”

    “They sure are,” I responded for the fifth time in five minutes.

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