Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: By the Light of the Moon

new mexico full moon flash fiction writing prompt copyright KSBrooks April 2017.jpg
Photo 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. There will be no written prompt.

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 2016.

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.

13 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: By the Light of the Moon”

  1. [Submitted for an Editors’ Choice Award only; not eligible for a Weekly Award. NB Alyssa Devine is a pen name of Theodore Jerome Cohen, who has already won a Weekly competition this month.]

    Leonie rejected the occult and things like alligators foretelling death. It was enough to tolerate her poor sainted mother Philomine’s dependence on tarot cards, palm readings, and crystal balls as well as the many superstitions foisted on her from the time she was little. From childhood on, for example, Leonie had been told her brother Otis’s mouth was crooked because he had slept with the Moon shining on his face.

    To Leonie, anything derived from tarot cards and other such contrivances was as worthless as were the horoscopes found in her daily newspaper. Born under Leo, the fifth astrological sign of the zodiac, she’d laugh out loud over breakfast every morning after randomly selecting one sign upon another, reading the associated horoscope, and thinking about how it applied to her life. As far as she was concerned, the horoscope for a Scorpio, say, on any given day was as relevant to her life as was the horoscope provided under her own sign. “What a crock!” she would utter with disdain.

    So, when the Louisiana State Police found Otis—who everyone agreed had been born under a bad sign—drowned in the bayou west of Levee Road one morning, exactly as had been foretold by Madam Ophelia, the fortunate teller on the north side of Lebeau, Leonie concluded knowing the future was not such a good thing after all. From that point forward, in fact, she decided there would be no more visits to Madam Ophelia’s. No more tarot readings, period!

  2. Moon Walking

    The moon, as bright as a giant golden dollar, shines at our back.

    “You dare to turn your back to the moon?” she asks. “That is heresy. I cannot walk with you. I must go in the direction of the light.”

    I see the distress in her eyes, the urge she has, the compulsion to walk in the way her people have always done. They do not question. They have no will of their own. How can I convince her that we were meant to spurn the light, to have it follow us into the night?

    I begin. “You see how the glint of moonbeams lights our way? How they cast our shadows ahead of us, how our shadows guide us?”

    She has already turned away from our shadows. I clasp her hand. Lightly. “Wait. You must try and see how our shadows reach out to the dark of the trail ahead? And there, if I raise my free hand in an act of caring, pointing the way far beyond where we stand now, how the night and the light at our backs offers us a special camaraderie? You must see that?”

    I know I sound as tender as a stream rolling over river rock. And though my thoughts trouble her, the timbre of my voice should soothe her. I know it is not easy for her to change direction, to follow a stranger, even if our love is immediate and overwhelming.

    And then her hand slips away.

  3. Phases of the Moon

    By Annette Rey

    Faces in the moon
    Moon pies
    Mooning over a lost loved one
    My sister’s nickname was Mooney
    Don’t you dare moon me!
    Moon cheese
    Moon over Miami
    Man in the moon
    Moonlight Serenade
    Arkansas Moonshine
    “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow”
    “By the light of the silvery moon”
    Moon babies
    “The cow jumped over the moon”
    Sun Myung Moon
    Full moon
    Harvest Moon
    Moons of Jupiter
    Moon, June, Spoon
    Blue Moon

    Any more moon ideas?

  4. Moonstruck

    Jason and Jessica had trudged up the south face of the mesa. It was going to be a magical night.

    “Honey baby, did you bring the stuff?”

    “Jason, you ninny. ‘Course I did. Got it all — your stash, my acid. An’ we’re gonna be close to heaven!”

    “Awesome, babe.”

    “Yeah, totally awesome. An’ look at that MOON !!”

    “They said it’d be a supermoon.”

    “Jason it’s a super-duper moon!!”

    “Groovy. Yeah, well pass me a doobie & I’ll get cool wit it.”

    “You know man, you’re a stoner — get chilled out and let the world pass you by. Me, I can transcend it all and get closer to the universe.”

    “Ever since you joined that ashram…”

    “Listen…I find my inner peace…and love…and oneness with creation.”

    “That’s cool babe. But you’re trippin’. Go easy on the acid, huh? An’ stop dancin’ ’round in the moonbeam. You’re makin’ me dizzy.”

    “It’s dark, but look at the light. The light of the moon…I can dance, dance in my shadow. Look at me.”

    “You’re one crazy chick. Now sit down ‘fore you hurt yourself!”

    “But Jason, it’s a full moon. A super-duper full moon. I’m dancin’ in the heavenly light!!”

    “Listen, you’re jus’ trippin’. I told you go easy on that stuff. You’re moonstruck.”

    “Yeah, well I’m free…and dancin’..an’ I’m in love with life!!”

    Park rangers found Jessie’s lifeless body at the bottom of the cliff as the sun rose.

  5. Violet ran from the castle, heart pounding. As she rushed through the dark forest, the bramble scraped her legs and shredded the hem of her dress. She had to meet him at the lake so they could disappear together.

    She’d overheard her father telling someone about suitability, instability, and traveling overseas. She couldn’t be sent away without Edwin. He loved her; he promised to take care of her.

    The golden moonlight shimmering on the calm water illuminated an origami boat floating nearby. A clue from Edwin. She waded in, ignoring the cold sting, and picked it up. “You know I was never real” was written along the neatly folded edge.

    She jerked around, letting the paper slip from her fingers, when she heard her father’s concerned voice, “You need to return to your room, my dear princess.”

    “Edwin?” she asked weakly. “Was he ever here?”

    “We’ve talked about this. He’s imaginary. The doctor has something to calm you.” He gestured to a guard who immediately went towards her.

    Her senses prickled; she retreated further into the lake. She’d seen a shadowy figure beneath the surface. Edwin could be dead, anchored below. Violet dove under; she had to know for sure. The guard yanked her out of the water as she realized despondently it was just a cluster of rocks. Without further resistance, she went with them.

    The King requested his chief advisor stay behind. “Violet will go abroad to recuperate. The snake oil salesman, Edwin?”

    “Unmarked grave, far from here.”

  6. A wound opened in the indigo sky. The incision grew, lengthened, widened, bleeding silver light into the deepening evening.

    Farlu gasped and set a pale, trembling hand on Connor’s shoulder. “What is that?”

    Connor stroked her slender fingers. A night-hound cried in the distance. “Don’t be afraid. It’s just the moon.”

    The crack had split wide, revealing a glowing orb in its fullness, a cloudless haze smeared across each of its poles.

    “What is the moon?”

    He looked at her tall, thin face, her pale skin, her sparkling, wide-set eyes. A creature of the night, the light pained her. He stroked her cheek. “Nothing. It’s a long way off.” He raised his face to the luminary. “I came from there. They’ve opened the gate, searching for me, hoping I will come home.”

    “That is your home?”

    “Almost. Mine is a great blue world of oceans and forests and ice and fire.” Connor smiled at Farlu. You might like it there, on dark nights.”

    She forced herself to face the light, blinking at its sting. “You are leaving us?”

    He couldn’t remember anymore where he’d hidden the wreck of the capsule, nor did it matter. Farlu’s people worked stone and wood, not electrons and metal. The gate would never find him. Above, the sky wound healed, closing, narrowing, shrinking, and snapped to a point.

    He embraced Farlu and whispered to her as the last glimmer vanished and a night-hound wailed in the dark. “How ever could I leave?”

  7. “Do you want to dance by the light of the moon, Katie, like the old folk song says?”

    “Don’t be a nerd. I’m no buffalo gal.”

    “You have no sense of adventure.”

    “Let me guess, Asher. You find the moon romantic.”

    “It’s brightening up a dark blue sky; we’re lying on a blanket in a New Mexico desert. Nothing could create a better mood.”

    “It’s big and bright alright. It’s looming up there, reminding us we have no power and no control over what happens. It makes me feel small—and alone. Considering the news we may get tomorrow, doesn’t it worry you?”

    “Like a bad omen? Nah.” Ash laid his hand on his wife’s swollen, pregnant belly. “We have an amniocentesis tomorrow. It’s a test, that’s all. And it’s not pass/fail.”

    “It could change everything. I’m not ready.”

    “It won’t change what is, only what we thought it was. The results will give us knowledge, and with that, power, and some of that control you want. Dance with me.”

    “Why’re you so content?” Kate allowed herself to be pulled upright.

    “Because I see a beautiful, blooming mother in the light of a New Mexico moon, Katie. You are so deeply in love with our son and that’s perfect. The rest doesn’t have to be.”

    In Asher’s arms, Kate couldn’t help but smile at the moon-lit spark in his eyes and let herself be swayed under the moon’s light. They danced until the sun came up on a new day.

  8. Tondalullah Lipschitz leaned closer to the microphone and, in her sultry, Coloratura Contralto voice, began crooning,“By the light of the moon, I want to spoon…..”

    “Again. No. No. No!” Busby, her director, screamed. “You’re driving me insane. How many times do I have to tell you,” he continued, waving his arms frantically. “Not ‘the moon’,” for Pete’s sake, “’the Silvery
    moon’. Silvery. Silvery. Silvery. You dunderhead. Getting too old to remember lyrics?”

    Lullah lit her Java Mint cigar and puffed smoke into his face. He waved it away from his nose. “Oy gevalt,” he moaned.

    “Listen, kvetcher,” she replied, “you want me to do this show then you gotta stop your kvetch kvetch kvetching,.” She flicked some ashes on to his slipping toupee. “You couldn’t get Merman for the part. You got me.”

    He frowned, shaking his head in confusion.

    Was that a tear in his eye, she wondered? Seems he’s pretty close to having a nervous breakdown. Imagine embarrassing me in front of the rest of the cast like that.

    He reached over and gently kissed her cheek to apologize and led her back to the microphone. “Okay, gang. Let’s pick it up where we left off.”

    The chorus shifted into position. Busby signaled the orchestra to start.

    As she leaned forward she noticed the perspiration on his forehead and the twitching left eye. Got him. I’ll teach him to embarrass me, Tondalullah Lipschitz, she mused, and began “By the light of the moon, I want to spoon…..”

  9. “They can’t! They just can’t.”

    “Yes, they can. The moon is lovely, but it doesn’t do anything. It has no practical purpose. It just moves across the sky.”

    “But the moon has inspired generations of lovers and romantic poets. And don’t forget mystery novelists. They always have murders committed by moonlight. Oh, and the tides! Without the moon, there would be no tides.”

    “Tides are not important. Tides cause nothing but trouble.”

    “Okay, so say you’re right. What will the verdict be? Yes or no?”

    “It’s not up to me, but I’m guessing it’ll be a big Yes. We’ve had the moon for a million years.”

    “A million years? Really?”

    “More or less. Come on, less chit-chat. Keep loading. We’ve got to finish on time.”

    The vote was a unanimous Yes. At zero hour, rockets loaded with countless nuclear weapons launched from all over the Earth headed for the moon where the weapons would be remotely detonated.

    Nuclear disarmament was a hard-won reality on Earth. Poems about the moon would become meaningless. The moon was destined to become thousands of brilliant particles circling the Earth. Similar, strangely enough, to the rings of Saturn.

  10. The moon was full and bright.

    The villagers had finally backed the beast into an inescapable corner. With pitchforks, torches, and rifles loaded with silver bullets in hand they slowly move in for the kill.

    Growling, snarling, exposing its fangs at them, the beast could sense the end was near.

    “Stand aside,” Eric Von Braun said, stepping through the crowd carrying a large rifle. “’Twas my brother who died. This beastie is mine.”

    The people parted. Eric raises his rifle, taking aim. His finger gently starts to squeeze the trigger when suddenly –


    Everyone turns to see Eliza Müller quickly step in front of the beast blocking Eric’s shot.

    “Please! You mustn’t, I beg of you,” she pleads.

    “Out of the way woman,” Eric barks. “Was it not your own husband who went searching for the beast nigh on a month ago and met his end?”

    “Franz was not trying to kill the poor creature,” she explains in tears. “He was trying to save it.”

    “Nonsense,” Eric retorts. “Why would he?”

    “Wait and see,” she responds, pointing to the breaking dawn.

    The sun rises. The villagers watch in awe the beast’s transformation. Black fur and claws retract. The huge grotesque muscular-body shrinks down into human form. A dog-like face contorts, becoming more human-like.

    When it was over the villagers stood in silent shock, unable to believe what they saw before them.

    Lying on the ground, cold, naked, and whimpering with fear was Adam Müller, Eliza and Franz’s ten-year-old son.

  11. As the Wolf moon rose low over the horizon, Malcolm got back to camp after a long day of hunting. He panicked when he heard the wolf pack howling nearby. In blind fear he tried running, but repeatedly stumbled in the deep snow. 

    After a few minutes of attempting to escape through this frozen landscape, he was out of breath and out of luck. Still breathing hard, he closed both eyes and listened for the wolves. Knowing the wolves would soon be upon him, he muttered, “Come on! I know you’re there! Just get it over with, I’m easy pray for all of you!”

    With eyes closed, he waited and listened for the wolves attack. However, it never came. Peeking through half-frozen eyelids he looked back to see how close the pack was to tearing him to shreds, he discovered the wolves had not followed across the deep snow of the frozen landscape. 

    In fact, the pack was once again howling at their moon. Their howls were now further away in the opposite direction. Still out of breath, and talking to himself, “I don’t get it, they had me dead to rights and could have torn me to pieces. Why didn’t they?”

     His breath finally returned as he headed back to the camp site. The embers of the camp fire were almost out, the rifle and ammo remained untouched along with his tent and bed roll, but luckily the deer he had shot was gone. 

  12. “Moonlight sends a shiver into night’s brisk sky.”

    “You keep spouting poetry and I’m leaving,” said Gary.

    “I’m just trying to set the mood. Got the camera ready?”

    “It’ll take pictures every ten seconds and I programed the mechanism to adjust automatically with the moon’s movement.”

    “Super,” said Mark, rubbing his hands together. “This is going to be a magical night.”

    Gary rolled his eyes, then tossed him a can of soda. “Don’t care how full the moon is or how perfectly aligned the stars are. All you’re going to get are pictures of a moon.”

    “We’ll see.”


    After several hours of listening to the camera click, Gary’s eyes started to feel heavy. Even the ancient oak he leaned on began to feel as soft as a feather bed. He drifted off to the sound of giggles. A sharp pain in his leg woke him up. Mark stood over him, holding the camera.

    “What the hay,” he said, rubbing his leg.

    “I’ve been trying to wake you for ten minutes. We both fell asleep.”

    “Surprising,” he said, with another eyeroll.

    “Remember when you said we would only get pictures of the moon?”

    Gary grinned. “Did it magically turn to cheese?”

    “Funny,” said Mark. “Check this out.”

    Gary took the camera and flipped through the digital pictures. Half-way through, his jaw dropped. “Is that a.…”

    “Yup. That’s a sprite’s bare butt and its drinking your Sprite. We got mooned. Told you there were fairies in these woods.”

Comments are closed.