My favorite go-to source for 100-word flash fiction prompts is The Prediction. In general, I recommend the site highly. Except for weeks like this week.

The Prediction follows a simple format for their flash fiction prompts. Always 100 words of horror or fantasy with the criteria that three specific words be included. It’s simple, but effective.

Unless, of course, one or more of those three words is so obscure (and unknown) as to totally ruin the fun of the prompt, forcing the writing to come up with some convoluted exposition or dialogue just to cram the damn thing in.

Such is the case this week.

So, rather than using this week’s prompt, I went back a couple of years and used a much older prompt. A good flash fiction prompt should add to the story, not make it difficult to understand.

The prompt I used was:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘flatter’, ‘cotton’, and ‘shackle’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.


“They’re quite flattering,” she said of his bonds. “They suit you.”

His wrists were crusted with blood.

She licked her lips and removed the cotton bandage from his neck. He tried to pull away. The shackles bit into his skin, but there was nowhere to go.

When she finished he screamed, his voice hoarse and his words unintelligible.

“Cat got your tongue, darling?”

His eyes were ablaze, but he closed his mouth and pursed his lips.

Glancing at a lump of dead flesh on the ground, she said with a chuckle, “No, I suppose that was me.”