Friday Flash Fiction Train

Friday Flash Fiction Train

All aboard the Friday Flash Fiction Train! Each week, a new prompt will take us to parts unknown – sit back, check out the prompt, and enjoy the ride.

But first, some rules.

  1. Every week, a random prompt will be posted on Friday. Participants have until Wednesday at 12:00 PM EST to write and submit a response in the comment section. Your story must be posted in the comments to count.
  2. The catch – after the first week with a winner, the responses to the weekly prompts must build off the previous week’s winning entry, continuing its story. To avoid never-ending stories, the contest will reset every 5 weeks. We’re aiming to tell a story in 5-episode bursts.
  3. Voting will be open to decide a winner from Wednesday at 12PM EST to Thursday at 10PM EST. Voting will be on site and also in our Facebook group, OWS Word Mafia.
  4. The winning piece will be featured in the next prompt, with links to the winner’s social media.
  5. Word limit: 400.
  6. All responses are property of the authors.
  7. Completed stories might also be compiled into ebooks in the future!

To the prompt!

Last week, we had a winner! Congrats to Stephanie Ayers on kicking off our story. Check out her piece below and pick up where she left off:

The cacophony of bird song woke Julia earlier than usual. A warm ray of sun filtered across her face from the gap in her bedroom curtains. She basked in it for a moment, waiting for the warmth to work itself into her heart. (43)

Her heart… She didn’t think she would ever feel anything but stone there ever again. The weight of it crushed her chest, weakened not only her will to survive, but also to ever leave this room again. Her only hope now lay in finding her daughter’s killer and acquainting him with every torrid mark he left on Sophie’s body. Every morning the sun shared a ray, she found new resolve. It only took one new piece of information to bring her closer to his hiding place.

His hiding place… If the cops hadn’t quit, he’d be found by now, but they did. She put all her resources into picking up where they left off. If the beast lived, she would find him. She swore to her daughter’s grave it would happen.

Her cellphone vibrated off her nightstand, landing face up on the floor. She eyed it reluctantly, wary of anyone calling her this early. 842-657-5454 glowed from the screen. Her eyebrows furrowed and her mouth dropped in shock. Impossible!

“Sophie?” she answered, hope hiding behind uncertainty. No sound came from the receiver.

“Sophie?” she tried again. She closed her eyes, held her breath, and listened hard. Breathing. Shallow and thick, but there.

“Sophie? Is that you?”

The breathing quickened. “Mo–” squeaked out before the line died.

“No! Don’t hang up!” Julia screamed at her phone. “Sophie!” She pressed the redial button and called her back.

Ring. Julia’s heart hammered in her chest. Ring. She jumped as the second ring burst the silence. Ring. Her chest heaved as she breathed. Ring. Nothing but the stabbing silence. Riiinnnnggg. Click.

Julia’s hand trembled as she stared at her phone. Deep breaths calmed her down yet blood still raced through her veins. She pulled open her nightstand drawer and fumbled around until she found the business card she sought. “Det. Ian Somerall” glared at her in thick black print. The corners had been worn thin from her fingers picking at them. Her hand trembled harder as she punched his number into her phone. She’d worn his number out in the early days, too, and didn’t even know if he would answer now. She had to try.

Ring. She sighed as no one answered. Ring.


Be sure to congratulate Steph at her social media links:

Remember – participants should include name/pen name and any links they’d like to share for promotional purposes (Twitter, FB Page, Goodreads, Website, etc).

Not sure you want to play? Check out the contest’s previous incarnation for an idea of how it works.

Hop aboard the #FriFlashFicTrain & enjoy the ride! #amwriting #writing #prompt Click To Tweet

Like a stone

Welcome to the Darkroom where we open our photo album to you to help spark your creativity. Each week we offer a new photo, but the story is yours to write.

The Rules, because there are always rules:

1. The photo is here to spark your imagination. Use it as the landscape for your story, to remind you of a moment in your past, or the punch line to a joke. Use the photo as inspiration in any way you want.
2. Your submission can be fiction or nonfiction, memoir, poetry, dark or humor – your pick.
3. Please no adult content, no racial or political posts. Also, where applicable, please include a trigger warning introduction.
4. Keep your word count to 1000 or less. (Don’t worry if you go over, we won’t count.)
5. Link to your submission’s post URL in comments. If you don’t have a blog, you can add your entry to the comments below.
6. Link to this page’s URL in your post.
7. Limit one entry per person.
8. Submission deadline is Wednesday, midnight CST (Thursday, 5 a.m. GMT)

This week’s prompt:

If 1,000 words seems daunting, and you want to try your hand at something more compact, check out the 100 Word Challenge at “Thin spiral notebook.” Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, midnight CST.

Coldly Calculating: One Over the Eight

A.L. Mabry will be your host each week as we probe the darker corners of your imagination. This series is meant to help feed your mystery/horror muse, so try to give us chills! The prompt is open to interpretation, but try to include the phrase somewhere in your piece.

This Week’s Prompt

The origins of this phrase date back to the early 1920’s and derive from military slang. It can be found in Fraser and Gibbons’ Soldier & Sailor Words, 1925.

One over the eight, one drink too many. Slightly intoxicated, the presumption being that an average ‘moderate’ man can safely drink eight glasses of beer.

For this prompt I want you to focus on your sidekick or a prominent secondary character. Your MC is “one over the eight” and kicking up a ruckus. Does your sidekick join in? Do they escalate it? Or do they play the voice of reason to keep your MC out of hot water? I like it dark, don’t be afraid to push the envelope.


The rules are simple:

  1. Read the prompt and the history behind the phrase.
  2. Write a story 700 words or less answering the challenge.
  3. Share the URL to your story in the comments OR, if you don’t have your own blog, share your story in the comments. Either way, it will be seen.
  4. Add trigger warnings where necessary. Keep vulgarity to a minimum.
  5. Have FUN!
Join in this week's Coldly Calculating #writing #prompt! Click To Tweet

Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy!





P.S. Have you subscribe to OWS Ink, the exclusive literary journal brought to by the Our Write Side team you know and love? Why wait? Subscribe now!

What did you say?

Welcome to Two for Tuesday, where you are offered two similar, yet distinct, words to spark your imagination. One prompt will be an ordinary, oft used word. The other prompt will be a little more expressive, maybe even unfamiliar.

Each word will include a definition to help get you started.

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

What to do:

  1. Write in any genre – fiction, memoir, poetry, horror, mystery, fantasy, romance, YA – you get the idea.
  2. You must use one or both prompts in your story – any form, any tense, as long as it is grammatically correct. (For instance, if you’re given a noun, and can use it as an adjective by adding “ing,” or change it to an adverb with “ly,”  that is allowed.)
  3. Share the URL to your story in the comments OR, if you don’t have your own blog, share your story in the comments.
  4. Please keep your stories PG-13 or under, and be sparing with the swearing. This is a family-friendly kind of place. Please include trigger warnings where needed.

This week’s words are:

Vociferous and/or Loudmouthed

[adj] (especially of a person or speech) vehement or clamorous; (of a person) tending to talk too much in an offensive or tactless way.

The deadline to submit a story is midnight Monday, CST (5 a.m. Sunday, GMT)

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