Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Chester the Chipmunk

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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.

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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!

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12 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Chester the Chipmunk”

  1. “Come on, Chester, I’ve been waiting for two minutes! Let’s get this shot before the sun goes down.”

    “I shoulda known better than to give a birdbrain like you my camera, Inga. You’re always getting your feathers ruffled. There’s plenty of time. Besides, I found a beautiful pecan on my way to the stump, and since I’ve already started eating it—”

    “Sheesh! There are nuts all over the ground, Chester. Drop it, we’ll take the shot, and then, you can pick it up or find another. It’s not like we’re facing a famine or something, ya know!”

    “All right, all right, how do I look? Is my tail fluffed? I can’t stand it when my tail isn’t fluffed?”

    “In a minute I’m going to fly over there and peck on your head. That’ll take your mind off your tail, so stand up! Smile! Three, two, ONE! Done. Now, come over here and take one of me.”

    “Oh all right.”

    “Well pardon me, Mr. Big Shot. You’re the one who wanted pictures taken for the holidays, and now that you have yours—”

    “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. Get on the stump, Inga. Stop primping, will ya? Look into the camera. That’s good! Three, two, ONE! Great shot!”


    “Now, where’s that pecan?”

  2. Donald and Chester Save the World

    “Hey Chet.”

    “Quiet Donald. I’m thinking.”

    “Sorry. Look, I’ve got a question.”

    “Do I look like I have answers?”

    “Yeah. Yeah, you do. Great answers.”

    “You’re right. I do. Okay. What’s so important that I need to interrupt my train of thought?”

    “I need advice.”

    “That goes without saying. Who’d you last talk to?

    “Dean Martin.”

    “What advice did he give?”

    “Start drinking. You know I don’t drink.”

    “I know. We all know. Okay. What’s the question?”

    “Well, you’ve heard about the May meeting?”

    “No. I’ve been focussed on my depleting nut supply. It’s been a long winter. What May meeting?”

    “The one I seem to have agreed to with…you know who.”

    “Zowie. That is a conutdrum. Wait. No it isn’t. I don’t know who you’re talking about.”


    “Sorry. I’m kind of preoccupied. Conundrum. Who?”


    “Walt, eh! The MAN. Old Disneymeister himself?”

    “Yeah. Him. And he’s not that old. Jeepers, mid-fifties, at best.”

    “Fine. Six of one… What’s he want to see you about?”

    “My morals clause.”

    “Oh buddy. That’s terrible. Walt’s pretty virtuous. What specifically is he concerned about?”

    “Daisy. Me. How we haven’t tied the knot?”

    “He knows you’re an animated character, right?”

    “Sure he does. I think. Of course.”

    “Humans have funny notions. Remember when Walt said that Mickey and Minnie were married in private life?”

    “He was serious. He wants Daisy and I to get hitched.”

    “Okay. My advice. Play along. You can always get an annutment.”


  3. Oh, sure, stick me out in the open, all alone, on a big rock, with nowhere to burrow, nowhere to hide. You might as well hang a “Wanted Dead or Alive” sign around my neck while you’re at it.

    How come you people think squirrels are so cute but not chipmunks? We are cousins, after all. We wouldn’t mind if you’d feed us once in awhile too. Then maybe we wouldn’t have to be tunneling through your yards looking for food all the time.

    And that’s another thing, who says they are “your” yards? They were ours long before you came along and claimed them for your selfish selves. We never signed them over to you.

    Oh, you’re coming closer? Smiling? Maybe you’d like to pat me on the head? Go ahead, wise guy. Try it.

    Hah! Don’t like having your fingers bitten, do you? Maybe that’ll teach you a lesson.

    Oh, hey! Wait a minute! What’s that guy behind you doing with the butterfly net? There are no butterflies around here…

  4. “That chipmunk’s out there again!” Marcia grinned, waiting for the inevitable explosion.

    “What! Damn critter! Show me where it is so I can get a shot at it!” Ted threw himself forward, sending the remote flying and knocking the small table beside his chair so it teetered on its four close-footed legs. His milky tea slopped out of his cup, spilling into its saucer. It was a close escape; it was already an orphaned cup and it had almost gone the same way as its siblings. There was little that wasn’t mismatched in this house – including its occupants.

    “It’s just doing what animals do. Surviving.” Marcia sipped at her tea, then placed it neatly down on its saucer. She peered out of the window, her head canted to the right. “I think he looks like a Chester. You had a cousin looks like this fella does. Squirrelly, but with barely a dab of intelligence. I bet he’s got a hole round here, maybe a wife and children too; all of them snug in the ground.”

    “What? Chester’s dead? You never said!”

    Marcia pursed her lips. It’d be so easy to get more fun out of this, but she was tired and needed a few more minutes of calm. She was already regretting having stirred him up.

    “No, Chester’s fine. Both him and the whole clan he’s got. Now, sit yourself down.”

    “Bleurgh.” Ted peered back at her and then at his chair. “Now…what did I get up for?”

  5. The tiny creature arrived in Martin’s yard the summer after his wife died. When the chipmunk ran past his window, it appeared miniscule and fragile. So he laid out treats, corn, birdseed, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and crackers.

    Soon the little chipmunk was growing. Martin looked forward to its daily antics. It skittered across his porch, stuffed food into its cheeks, and dashed away through the yard. It scurried back and forth atop his fence. Then it jumped onto the neighbor’s tree and raced away. Eventually, he named his new pet Chester.

    When Martin’s daughter returned home after her divorce, she brought her cat. He welcomed her, but warned that the cat must remain inside, to protect Chester.

    Shortly before she moved into her own apartment, the cat slipped out the back door. After that day, there was no sign of Chester and Martin fell into mourning all over again. His daughter had no patience. “It was only a rodent, Dad.” He couldn’t explain himself.

    When she left, he felt lonelier than before. He sat in his rocker and stared out the window. He couldn’t focus on anything. He had no ambition, not even to dress in the mornings. Nothing interested him.

    Then one morning, he hears a familiar chittering. There, on his back legs stands Chester, fatter and sleeker than ever.

    Martin leaps from his chair and runs for the seeds and crackers.

  6. Chester didn’t like being called lazy, he preferred to call it ‘work challenged.’ He loved the summer. If he could spend his whole day basking in the sun instead of foraging, he would. He didn’t have the massive tunnel systems his friends had built, but his own dwelling suited him. After all, who needed a thirty-foot burrow? Chester just needed a safe space to store food and hunker down for the drab cold season.

    He had a month left to get his summer bounty together so he wouldn’t starve during the winter. Chester had spent the morning watching a snail meander along a log. Finally, he decided to get focused on scavenging for food. He scampered into a clearing filled with chairs and tables. Nothing impressive at first, but then he saw a huge bowl on a center table brimming with seeds. Life couldn’t get any better!

    He quickly climbed up, savored a few bites, and then began stuffing his cheek pouches. This bowl of food would last him months. Chester began calculating how many trips it would take him to get all this back to his place.

    Drat, someone was coming. Chester’s rounded cheeks were so full, he couldn’t shove anymore in. Panicked, he darted off the table. A woman in a lavender dress grabbed the bowl and disappeared with his little piece of heaven.

    Easy come, easy go, he supposed, thoroughly awash with disappointment. Oh well, this was enough foraging for today, he’d get back at it tomorrow.

  7. Chip stood on tippy-toe looking for his siblings. He sang a high pitched, “Where’d everybody go?” and waited for an answer. The cluck-chuck warbling reply of his brother, Munk, made him smile. He sang out again, hopping from paw to paw. Soon, the chirp-chip- chirping of his sister’s happy shrill trill tickled his ears.

    They stood together in the acoustically perfect hollow of an old Oak tree. Chip, his striped tail upright, waved it like a baton, nodded twice, and they all crooned in perfect harmony, “shrill, cluck, chip, chirp, chuck, trill,” and, pleased with the flawless sound, patted each other on their tingling backs. “Next week, Carnegie Hall,” Munk chuckled.

    “Oh, Daddy,” the girl, plucking acorns among the fallen leaves, called out. “Did you hear that?”

    ”Sure did, Gaga, my little lady. Sounds as pretty as you singing in your school chorus.”

    He crouched down and saw three cute critters cowering behind cushioning leaves at the back of the hollow. He reached in. “Come on, guys. Gotta get you to New York. Just a couple of months at the Julliard School of Music and I’ll have you all opening the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall.”

    They blushed and belly-flopped into his car. “What’ll we call ourselves?”

    The man suggested, “Gaga and the Squirrels?”

    “Hey! We’re not squirrels. How about The Kritters and the Kid?”

    “Oh, we’ll think of something,” he replied.

    Chip raised his tail. “Brace yourself, world. Here we come!”

  8. Sir Chester of the Acorn, was on his way to the land of the giants. He had been tasked by the King of Munkland to secure a sample of peanut butter. Accompanying the knight were two friends. One was Ulysses, who was the strongest chipmunk in Munkland. The other was Mutters, who had spent half of his life running up trees and the other half falling out of them. As a result, he had developed an odd speech defect which caused him to repeat the word, “If.”

    After an eventful journey across the park during which they had encountered swooping birds, ravenous cats, and an inquisitive yapping poodle, the three companions finally spotted their objective: a large container of peanut butter sitting on a picnic table.

    As they approached their prize, a human girl called Lizzy, spotted the scampering chipmunks, thought they were adorable, and decided she was going to pet them.

    As Lizzy ran towards the chipmunks, it dawned on Sir Chester that humans were indeed huge. After thoughtful consideration, he turned to his companions and issued a knightly order: “Run for your lives!” Ulysses dropped the banner he was holding and hightailed it to a tin can he saw laying near a log. Mutters, seeing everyone scatter, made a mad dash for the safety of a tree, all the while yelling: “If-If-If!”

    Lizzy, concerned she had frightened the little creatures, stopped, took the container of peanut butter, and offered samples of it to the three grateful chipmunks.

  9. A hunter eases his body against a rock, adjusting his visor and zeros in on a red deer. The rushing sounds of a nearby waterfall fade as his finger curls around the trigger. Suddenly, a chipmunk appears in his sights, forcing him to realign his scope. “This hasn’t been my day! I should shoot both and get on with it,” he whispers. Despite his chagrin, he hesitates and watches the chipmunk’s quick, foraging movements. The rustling noises startle the stag, and he dashes off into the undergrowth – free to live another day.

    Well, the deer got away, and Chester over there probably did him a good turn. I might as well go back to the camp, he decides. “Tomorrow is another day for all of us, Chester, my chipmunk friend! Remember, I might not be so kind again. If I see you in my sights, you will be a goner – even before the deer!”

    Chester the Chipmunk doesn’t move, but stares at him – his paws folded in a thankful and prayerful pose. The hunter smiles as he turns to go, but a sudden movement from the corner of his eye stops him. He gapes at a young falcon as he grabs the chipmunk, soaring back into the sky in a steep curve. Gazing into the clouds, he forgets to watch his step; loses his balance and drops backwards into the waterfall ravine. Neither the human hunter, nor Chester the Chipmunk would have the privilege to live another day.

  10. “Pesky chipmunks,” mumbled Kyle as he fired off a shot. The enhanced bullet hit the rodent and splattered it against the back fence.

    He spotted one last chipmunk poking its head above a mound of dirt.

    “Daddy, don’t shoot the chipmunk,” said his six-year-old daughter standing behind him.

    “Alice,” said Kyle, “these are like rats, only smaller. They’re no good.”

    Kyle opened the bolt and let the empty shell casing fly off to the side. He loved this new bullet. It did a number on all kinds of rodents.

    “Really, Kyle,” said Carol, his wife. “Do you have to do that now?”

    “Yes. And I don’t need your permission.”

    “Come away, Alice,” said Carol.

    Kyle heard the anger in his wife’s voice, but he didn’t care. He was caring less and less.

    Aiming the .22 at the oblivious chipmunk in the backyard, he relaxed, let out his breath half way, and pulled the trigger.

    The bullet screamed out of the barrel and, unexpectedly hitting an astral crease, missed the chipmunk. It sped over the horizon and, in the space of a few seconds, traversed the 25,000 miles of the earth’s circumference.

    Kyle heard the ping of the bullet break through his dining room window at the front of the house. Before he could fully process what was going on, the bullet had gone through the house, punctured the glass in the patio door, and blown Kyle’s brains out, splashing them on the railing of the patio.

  11. He watched us as we sat at the bench in the park. I didn’t want to frighten him as my young baby boy nursed in the morning sun.

    Again, each day, while we took our constitutional he watched while the boy grew into toddlerhood in his carriage and we tried not to disturb Chester the Chipmunk’s reflection and concentration.

    He watched when my son pushed himself up from his hands and knees poised for a moment on wobbly legs only to land splat on his bum on his full diaper. The boy didn’t cry only clapped his hands and gurgled to Chester.

    The boy each day grew stronger and stronger, and tentative steps, reached a milestone when the boy did a fascinating dance, step plop scooch, step twirl plop scooch, step step twirl plop scooch, until one day he did step step step wobble wobble hold. Tah Dah!

    Chester watching the progress each day only tipped his head to the side without comment. After that as Summer eventually became Fall, the boy decided it was time to have a face to face with Chester.

    When I saw my boy bend over and pick something up in his tiny hands from the dried leaves on the ground and approach. Chester started to run away but paused a moment to look back. The boy held out his hand and bent down to the chipmunk and handed him a nut.

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