Flash Fiction Challenge: Career Change

Flash fiction writing prompt south mountain arizona copyright KS Brooks IMG_3375
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

This spot will do nicely.

Selena regarded the valley far below with the first flicker of hope she had known since she was brought here three years ago.

She had come with a glad heart and and a young woman’s dreams. She was one of the few who had made it from her war-torn village.

But her hopes were quickly crushed; she was delivered to Solano. Now she led a life of slavery, degradation, and abuse at the hands of strange men with dark desires.

It took a while to save enough money to get what she needed, but today would be the day. Any moment now, Solano would be coming by to find her and to deliver the requisite beating for being late with the night’s earnings. He liked to do his own dirty work with the girls.

She smiled at that, knowing his own arrogance would be his undoing. Now she would do what she was trained to do as a guerrilla fighter back in her country. Yes, this spot will do nicely…

Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture and the written prompt above. Do not include the prompt in your entry. 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 Tuesday night, judges will select the strongest entries, and on Wednesday afternoon, 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. Then, at year end, the winners will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Career Change”

  1. She was familiar with this spot. She came here periodically to get away from the abuse and to clear her head. The valley below represented her freedom, but although within sight, it could still be a continent away. However, with each visit her tears only pooled her resolve to end the vicious cycle.

    It would easy to just close her eyes and leap to the valley below. She knew that would not help the many others who were dying a slow and degrading death with each passing day. There wasn’t anyone else with the power to end their slavery.

    Her heart was beating in her ears as she contemplated his arrival. Today would be the day her dreams and hopes of a new life would be realized, or she would become part of the valley below.

    She closed her eyes and let her mind recall his previous arrivals. Although she tried to hide the scars from those beatings, the other strange men with dark desires only seemed fueled by them.

    Solano was very predictable. She was counting on that and his arrogance to be his downfall. It took a while to save enough money to pay one of the men for her weapon, but she learned her new trade very well.

    After he was done, he made her kneel while he proclaimed his triumph to the valley. There was no lightning on that bright afternoon, but there was a sharp static sound.

    The device followed him to her freedom.

  2. Selena went through her check list one last time: rocket launcher, grenade, handgun, GoPro camera. She was taking no chances. She wanted revenge for the last three years of degradation and she wanted the world to see it.

    She looked across the valley and saw Solano approaching. She turned on the GoPro and started streaming, yelling, “Death to Solano!” Then she picked up the rocket launcher, took aim, pulled the trigger, nothing happened. She yelled, “Damn It A Dud!”

    He was now close enough, for her to use the grenade. She grabbed it, pulled out the pin and threw the grenade. It bounced harmlessly off Solano, not exploding. He stopped and started laughing at her, “You are so funny my little clown, but I still want you.”

    Infuriated, she grabbed her gun, aimed, pulled the trigger, it jammed. “Ahhhh!” She screamed as she threw it at him, totally missing him.

    Now, he was laughing, like a hyena at her futile attempts to stop him. He laughed so hard he cried and fell to the ground laughing hysterically.

    She was beyond furious! She grabbed the rocket launcher to us as a club and charged him, she tripped, fell, got up, but she was to late. He already died laughing. She stood over him looking down at that ridiculous grin on his face.

    She forgot she was still streaming to the web. She did not know that it had already gone viral as the funniest video of the day.

  3. “Crunch Down,” said the camera man.

    “You crunch down,” I yelled back, “How do you think this feels? These hills are killing my knees. God I hate this business I’m in.”

    Just then a rock slid down the Santa Monica Mountain letting me know just what would happen to me with one slip. These hills have no roads for cars or rescue- just trails that are tough on the steadiest of horses. In the stillness I lit a cigarette. God I loathe this business.

    One more drag before flicking the cig off the edge. I readjusted the sub machine gun, making sure it was secure in its stand. I wasn’t sure if my hands would ever stop shaking. Visions of abuse flashed in my mind. This film will serve as a warning to young girls of what human trafficking is really about.

    “All set?” yelled the camera man.

    “Just a minute,” his impatience was contagious.

    I crunched down and waved the cameraman on. Solano was nearing on his horse. I hit the trigger and it was all over. I shed one tear.

    “That’s a rap,” the cameraman held a hand out to help me up with a smile.

    “It’s only a movie,” I said. “Now call the helicopter to get me out of here. I need to buy a new pair of shoes.”

  4. ***FINALIST***

    Satellite cameraphone, twelve weeks’ labor. Stun gun, four months’ toil. Equipment lies on the grass at my feet. Below, nothing stirs. Above, my rescue searches.

    “Selena, are you ready?” chirps the phone.

    Five years ago I led an empire. Ten minutes from now, I shall be free.

    “Affirmative, Control,” I whisper to the phone, and set it on the grass. The camera faces the densest area of turf, the bed on which Solano will die.

    “Exfiltration is six minutes out,” advises my operator.

    Women of my family ruled video entertainment in our country. Men worldwide sought our discs. Our exotic scenes put Kyoto’s geishas to shame.

    “Copy, Control.”

    Solano’s ballcap appears below on the trail. Six minutes is enough.

    Carving knife, sharp as a scalpel, stolen today.

    Solano—the pig—treats me as if I were a mere working girl. I was a mogul.

    “Selena, are you ready?” bellows Solano on the path.

    My left hand grips the stun gun; my right caresses the blade. “Don’t make me wait,” I call.

    Let the show begin.

    Revenge, priceless.

  5. ***FINALIST***

    Tossing my hex bag earlier left me visible to Solano, he would be coming for me soon. Reaching into my jacket, my hand clasped my rosary tightly and I knelt, imploring for strength from above.

    Many had tried to kill Solano, but none had succeeded. None knew old lore, nor had they seen inside Solano! Last year during a brutal beating, his eyes met mine and they turned black. That was when I knew— El Demonio! A man born evil like Solano would be unwilling to cast out his demon. There was no alternative but death! I researched, saved for the Spanish jeweled dagger—crafted centuries ago for this type of work.

    The hot oppressive wind came from the east forewarning his arrival. Clouds rolled in on a strong wind with a light but stinging rain. The lights of his car were closing in on Lookout Cliff. Silhouetted by headlights, I watched him stride forward. His gait was abnormal, accentuated by his seething anger—of course nothing about this was normal.

    When he was close, I flung the salt around us in a circle. He was trapped, but all he did was smile. Giving no warning, I charged the short distance between us, drop kicking him to the ground. I removed the dagger from the sheath at my waist. With my hand made swift and strong by the Almighty, I drove it deep into his heart, releasing all of us from his possession and sending him back to El Diablo.

  6. Ending the life of her captor was long awaited. The five hundred dollars it cost her to obtain the knife was well worth those last degrading nights.

    Solano had been for-warned of Selena’s plan however. For their loyalty, the informants were rewarded with the right of punishing her themselves, as they saw fit.

    When two large figures stepped out of the vehicle Selena climbed further into hiding, holding the knife between her teeth.

    “I don’t think she showed.”

    “We’ll wait it out, I’m gonna get mine out of the little bitch!”

    With stealth movements and a quick slice over their throats, the two strangers lay dead.

    “I’m no one’s bitch!” she growled in disgust. ”Now to find Solano.”

    Selena jumped into the vehicle and stepped on the gas. Solano had seen everything from inside the vehicle and grabbed her throat from behind. Pulling the knife from her boot, she stabbed him in the throat. Crying out, Solano released his grip. Leaping from the vehicle, just in time, Selena watched as it drove over the cliff and landed in a burst of flame.

    After a three mile walk to the city below, Selena’s first stop was the television station and then a phone call to the police sergeant to tell her story.

    Six months later, Selena opened the doors to her new self-defense studio. Her studio was a front where she led the charge against human trafficking.

    Her dreams had changed, but they did come true.

  7. ***FINALIST***

    Selena’s life the last year had been pure hell. Solano had paid little for the truckload of young immigrant women looking for a better life. Each new arrival of girls brought in more filthy money for Solano. One would die from the beatings. Another was there to replace her.
    Each time Selena used her skills to defend herself against Solano’s abuse, she felt his wrath that much more the next time.
    Solano’s insecurities in his own manhood would play well into her plan to end the life of degradation her and the others were forced into.
    “Solano, why do you beat me when you can enjoy me yourself?”
    Surprised by the change in Selena, Solano lowered his hand to his side. “I don’t need a whore like you to satisfy me needs!” he huffed, eyeing her body.
    She saw his pupils dilate and smelled his hot breath. “You would like something a little exotic, no?” She asked sweetly.
    As soon as he had his pants around his ankles she pulled the smuggled rope from under her mattress.
    With a quick trip, kick and shove, Solano was on the floor, hog tied and bellowing.
    Tossing the other end of the rope out the door, her co-heart in crime tied it to the bumper of Solano’s jeep.
    Selena jumped in the driver’s seat and shoved the jeep into gear. Solano got the ride of his life through the valley of their dreams.

  8. Carpets of lights danced below Selena’s feet as she stood in the place that would seal her destiny. Bought from a slave trader, she was forced to give pleasure to paying customers down in the valley before her. Here, above the lights, she was free, an angel of her own making who would fly.

    Rocks crunched under heavy footsteps. Wafts of booze and cigarettes announced Solano’s arrival.

    “You whore, you made me climb a thousand steps”, he choked out in gasps. “Where’s my money? I hear you’ve been busy.”

    “I have it here”, she patted her right pocket.

    “How much?”

    “$4,000, Solano, yes I’ve been busy.”

    His fingers parted greasy hair and then scratched his dark beard. He moved closer.


    “Come see the lights, Solano. Look, nothing like that in my country, so beautiful.”

    “Give me my money, but first, on your knees.”


    He yanked her hair, pulled her to him, pushed her down into his unzipped pants.


    Solano let go of her hair and punched the side of her face. “Do it, whore. Do what I pay you to do.”

    She started the rhythm he’d taught her.

    He moaned.

    The wire she’d wound in her mouth like the stem of a cherry found it’s way around his shaft, her hands pulled both ends tight, separating Solano from his manhood.

    Blood gushed with his screams just before she shoved him onto the lights of the valley below.

    Now, she would fly.

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