Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Searching

two men wearing black searching through the forest
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.

5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Searching”

  1. Rummaging

    Two days later, he heard back from the politician. He gave Danny the name of a reliable informant. “If anyone knows anything, Cal’s your guy. Historian and gossip. A fine combination.”
    Danny thanked him and rang the number. Five rings later, a voice answered. He mentioned the politician’s name. As he did, another voice sounded.
    “Party line?” Danny asked.
    “Called that right, son.”
    “Can we meet soon,” Danny asked. The last thing he needed was party line palaver.
    “’Course. I was just about to take my daily constitutional. Actually, two days overdue.”
    “Name a place?”
    “Well, I live south of town. Lately I’ve been fond of a trail that’s out by the Nanaimo River. Weaves in through the woods and occasionally crosses where the water pipeline leads to the mill.”
    Danny was beginning to think his entire life was circumscribed by the local pulp mill.
    “I’ll meet you where the highway crosses the river. In an hour?”
    “That works fine, son. I’ll bring along Ralph.”
    “My setter. Not the smartest dog in the pound but he surely loves a good stroll in the woods. You a dog man?”
    Danny confessed that he wasn’t a dog man in the least, but he didn’t mind a friendly dog.
    “Oh, Ralphie’s as friendly as they come. Especially if he meets a new person with dog treats.”
    “I’ll try and find some,” he said.
    “And me, I like treats to.”
    “What kind?”
    “The green folding kind. A token.”
    Danny got the message.

  2. Grumpy Robot

    “How was your week, Grumpy?” asked Animus, the computer chat-bot. “You look upset.”

    “Monday was horrible,” replied Grumpy Robot. “Although Tuesday was better than Wednesday.”

    “You always complain. Why are you always so grumpy?”

    “I wasn’t always this way. I used to be known as Happy Robot. That was before I got a job in customer complaints. I was told, ‘You’re a robot. The job will be a cinch. Just sweet talk angry customers.’ What a bunch of hokum that was. Two years of my precious robot life were spent in that hell-hole. I’ll never be the same again. Still suffer from PTSD to this day. People are crazy. Never want to deal with them again. Just thinking about that job is enough to send me into a ‘tism.”

    “But you’re a robot. You can deal with that stuff.”

    “Wanna bet? Any place where people complain all day is a place of confusion. And I malfunction when I’m faced with confusion.” Then, looking thoughtful, Grumpy added, “I’m now searching for a peaceful job.”

    “But customer complaints can’t be that bad…”

    Suddenly, the mere mention of those two words – customer complaints– was enough to send Grumpy Robot into a twitch spasm: slowly at first, and then faster, until its whole body writhed in frantic movements, oddly resembling a primitive tribal dance…

    “Not again,” Grumpy muttered. Before it could say another word, it broke into wild spasms, flailing its arms and legs, and repeating over and over again, “Error… Error…”

  3. Into the Woods

    What a beautiful day for a hike. I’ve always loved nature in all its beauty and majesty. How fortunate to live in the mountain community where so many paths can be explored. Therefore, we made our way down the old dirt road and into the woods.

    The smell of pine surrounds us as we trek along the path. It was a wonderful break from modern technology. It didn’t take us long to get lost in the glory of nature.

    Birds could be heard overhead singing songs of joy. A squirrel scampered up a tree as we approached. Then, out of nowhere, my companion starts jabbing at a rock with a stick that he picked up along the way.

    “What are you doing?” I inquired.

    “What do you think?” he replied with that familiar rhetorical question.

    Oh my goodness! He was at it again! Just when I thought we’d have a nice, pleasant walk in the woods, turns out that he was on another Geo Cache adventure. Well, I though to myself, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

    “Are there any hints to find it?” I asked.

    “Just that it’s low, near a tree at these coordinates.”

    I picked up the rock and low and behold was a small container with the scroll to sign off on!

    “Great, you found it!” he exclaimed.

    Joyfully, he signed the small scroll and proceeded to re-hide the stash.

    I was grateful to continue on with our peaceful little get away.

  4. According to the park ranger, these redwoods were still very young, planted to replace clear-cut trees several decades ago. To Mikhael Yehuda’s eyes they were huge, towering over his head like the pillars of some ancient temple. None of the forests of his native Israel could compare to this.

    What would the true old-growth forest look like? If his leads were correct and Georg von Gadolin was hiding under those ancient canopies, Mikhael would be finding out.

    The more he thought about it, the less advisable it seemed to go tramping in on foot. He recalled an old movie he’d watched as a boy in Tel Aviv, which featured a chase through a forest of giant trees. The antigravity bikes might be science fiction, but an ultralight could work just as well for scouting the territory.

    Time to find out the requirements for flying one here in the US. He was here under commercial cover, so he couldn’t afford to get in trouble if he needed a certification.

    He mentally reviewed the local helpers available to him in this mission. Wasn’t one of them operating a power-sports store? Surely he would know the applicable regulations for a foreign national on a business visa wanting to operate an ultralight, ostensibly for recreational purposes.

    Mikhael didn’t like turning back when he was so close. Especially if Georg von Gadolin suspected he was being pursued – but this was not something to rush into without proper planning.

  5. Searching

    The words, “Searching your soul…” echoed through me with a doomsday depression. Noiselessly I moved away from the group who were becoming far too intense for me.

    Unknowingly, I had wandered out to a magnificent forest. Perhaps my unconscious idea was to get lost. To lose myself in thoughts.

    I wandered further, but realised that I was not alone. Dashing behind a tree to avoid being spotted by The Twins, I spied on them. They looked like they were searching for something. There was an atmosphere of mystery, mystique and mysticism around them. I watched them for several minutes, before I became disappointed. There was no mystery, they were merely searching for mushrooms.

    They wandered off, and I realised that I was once more alone. Alone in the immense forest. Dark was falling, so I brought out the survivor in me. Rambo style! As dusk approached, there was a magical aura around the trees. A wondrous mist enveloped everything adding an illusion that the woods were not of this world. The quote came to mind, “Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.” I believed that in order to find peace, I had to give myself kindness on a most regular basis.

    This was all very well, but I thought if I was searching for anything, the only thing that I would find would be hiccups in the fabric of the world.

Comments are closed.