Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Valley

dusk in the valley with light on the golden field by 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 Friday.

**If you make a typo or mistake in your story, please REPOST it and we will delete the first one. Please do NOT respond to your own comment. Thank you!**

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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6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: The Valley”

  1. Wilson’s Valley

    Beatrix led Cal Dunsmuir and Danny into her parlour. It may have been the 1950’s, a time of steel and colour, but the room was a forest of darker wood. What it lacked in the present it made up for with view.
    She saw his mien of appreciation, looking out the large window and down into the valley, of the hills and city beyond. “He chose this very spot,” she said. “Or so I’ve been told.”
    “It’s a marvellous view,” Danny offered, stating the obvious and trying to be as solicitous as possible.
    “The view and the house?” he added.
    “Oh, the house was an acquisition. Built by a member of a mine owners’ family. It was on its own for so long. Part of the build up after the big war and of course, in the past few years, houses popping up like…like gophers.”
    “Progress,” Cal interjected.
    She gave him an aloof stare. “People, to be sure. Progress, I highly doubt. He predicted this. This growth of humanity, what it would mean for the chosen.”
    “The Chosen?” Danny asked, aware of the Aquarian notions that Wilson had espoused.
    She revisited her frosty stare and parried with, ”Calvin did advise me that you were authoring a book about the Brother. Surely you have some familiarity with his wisdom?”
    The recent five-part expose by Paul St. Pierre in the Sun newspaper had been devastating to the reportedly deceased mystic and charlatan.
    “I am an admirer,” Danny lied with aplomb.

  2. Shadows in Whispering Valley

    In the heart of Whispering Valley, nestled between towering mountains and lush forests, lay a tranquil community that had existed for generations. The villagers lived simple lives, farming the land, tending to their animals, and enjoying the breathtaking views that surrounded them.

    However, beneath this picturesque facade, there was a sinister force lurking in the shadows.

    One evening, while out on a walk, a young girl named Sara, witnessed a group of townsfolk gathered around a large stone pedestal dedicated to BigBroCorp. They chanted and performed ancient rituals, seeking to summon forth a potion that would cure them of a disease they were told would fall upon their village in the near future.

    Horrified, Sara fled back to her home, feeling the ground tremble beneath her feet.

    Over the next few days, more and more villagers joined the rituals, their behaviour becoming increasingly erratic: some wore masks and ritualistically washed their hands, while others continually jabbed themselves with sticks. It became clear that the valley’s idyllic life was merely a facade, concealing a sinister plot to harness dark powers and control the minds of its residents.

    Sara knew she needed help to stop the evil forces before it was too late. With the aid of a wise old hermit who lived on the outskirts of the village, Sara embarked on a perilous journey to uncover the truth behind BigBroCorp and save her community from falling under the sway of its evil plans.

  3. The Valley

    Another day. Another glorious day and I looked out across the valley in awe. This sweet tranquil place was cradled in the arms of smoky purple mountains. So well protected. Lush forests rose up on one side. I could well believe that they had been on Earth for eternity and knew many secrets. When the wind rustled through them tree whispers were heard. Unfortunately, my ears were not sophisticated enough to comprehend these whispers. Midnight stood before me gazing out at the valley. I could well imagine it speaking to her. She could see with her hearing so was well in tune with the Universe. The sun was coming up behind the mountains painting the valley different shades of ethereal golds. Midnight twitched her nose appreciating wonderful smells and was off tearing across the valley. She romped this way and that delighting in the fresh morning and its exotic scents. Out of nowhere, black dots pelted towards her and before long she was one with her siblings.

    Midnight moved like a blur across the golden valley. Her coat shone blue black polished to a sheen by my attentive brushing. She was in the peak of performance, pure defined muscle. Her feet hardly touched the ground as she accelerated. How old was she now? I found her as a whelp in an abandoned barn alone with her siblings just after the Apocalypse. Perhaps one. Although the Apocalypse seemed a lifetime ago.

  4. Elaine looked out at the distant mountains beyond the car’s window. How long had it been since she’d seen anything but the redwoods that encircled Sparta Point, and the bit of sky overhead, so small she could cover it with her palm at arm’s length?

    Long enough to find the vista disorienting, that was for certain. Intellectually, she knew the clear air down here made distant things seem much closer, but she hadn’t had this much trouble when she was living in Santa Clara and made some trips through California’s Central Valley. Half the time those mountains looked like pictures stuck to the window, they seemed so close.

    Like that blue sign that seemed to jump right in front of them. Rest Area, 1 mile.

    I’ve got to get a handle on this. It’ll be my turn at the wheel, and I can’t very well beg off.

    Spartan guided the car into the rest area and to a parking spot with the same expert hand that he’d once handled helicopters, before he’d been wounded in a firefight in Afghanistan. If he could judge distance and be a safe driver with only one eye, what excuse did she have?

    She stretched as she got out, then hurried to the restrooms. When she got back, she’d take her turn, and she’d do her best job.

  5. There was an abundance of threats in the valley. The mountains soared up to either side, their haunches blocking out the sun, but between, shadows blotted out almost everything. Whatever fauna or flora there was was hidden. You could be surprised or repulsed after every step.

    The three remaining adventurers were now wary, having lost three from their original party. The open plains had been hazardous too, providing little cover and leaving them open to attack, but it seemed that there were few places now where they’d be safe.

    “We’re being watched from the trees,” Juliette said, lowering her binoculars. “Some kind of quadruped. Dog-like, but like no dog I’ve ever seen.”

    The Changes had ripped through the world, following the release of the gene-stripper virus, with few species remaining intact, the more complex ones seeming more vulnerable to mutation. Millions of years of evolution had been unwritten in a matter of months, even the most recognisable survivors warped and deformed.

    Grant stood stooped beside her, his unnaturally extended body a handicap in most of the places they’d been. On the plains, he’d been their lookout, but he’d also been vulnerable, his telescoped height making him too visible, drawing the attention of predators.

    “I don’t like it,” he said, using his hands to communicate. His face had morphed too, and he’d now effectively become a mute, his thoughts mostly unheard by the others.

    Eleanor said nothing. She rarely spoke, her mind too strange and alien for the others to understand.

  6. They reined in their horses at the crest of the hill. As the horses pranced about, eager to continue their race with the wind, the young girl pointed to the sunlit valley.

    “That’s where we go,” she said as the wind ruffled her brown hair. “The sun’s our friend,” she said to the boy riding with her, though he seemed unsure. “Magic is there. We’ll escape!”

    The boy struggled with his horse. He needed to be sure. Looking back from where they had come, he saw the horde approaching.

    “Come,” said the girl, standing in her stirrups, eager to fly away. “Magic will save us. Believe.” She couldn’t wait forever. While she was fond of the boy, she wondered if he was too careful, needing more proof than her words could give.

    “They might not hurt us,” he said. “If we just explain.”

    With that the girl gave her horse free rein. Rocks and dirt rose as the horse raced down the hill to the sunlit spot, the girl wide-eyed and laughing as they gained distance.

    Suddenly, they were in the sun. Urging her horse on, the girl reached the center of the light. The horse’s hoofs pounded on and then, magically, they lifted off and away.

    The boy reached out, maybe to bring her back or maybe to join her in the magic. It was too late, though, to make the leap of faith as the horde surrounded him while the girl’s laughter haunted the air around him.

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