If you are disturbed by this image, you should be. But at least we can take images such as this one and use it to create and educate like my friend, Professor Maria Klouda, did when she offered her students extra credit to write a piece of flash fiction using the image of this poor, poor, poor whale as inspiration. Enjoy! My challenge for my writer friends is to use this image to write a piece of flash fiction and submit your piece. Please share with me in the comments as well. I’ve provided three paying markets currently seeking flash fiction. Easy, easy, easy. All you have to do is write, submit, and share.

Thanks to the two students who contributed to this little project!

Although we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, let’s make every day Earth Day so we don’t have to be disturbed by images like this one.

I’ve also included three paying markets seeking flash fiction. Get out there and submit!

Fishy Fantasy by Ivey Chastain

The man swallowed his pill before entering the fish market.

“What’s the specialty?” he asked the fisherman.

“Same as yesterday but these are more vibrant than usual,” the fisherman said reluctantly.

He ignored the fisherman’s reactions. He could tell the fisherman hadn’t taken his pill.

The fisherman hesitated, wrapping the fish the man bought.

Later that evening the man noticed his vision fading. He knew he would need more pills soon. He lifted his fork to take a bite of fish and suddenly remembered the fisherman’s hesitation.

Glancing down, the man dropped his fork. On his plate—a rotten fish filled with bits of colored plastic was swimming in black oil.

Plastic Food by Andersson Jaxon

“It’s normal for me to be weak after such a long migration to lay my eggs,” the turtle said to herself. After such an arduous journey the turtle was tired but was still eating plenty. However, as she ate more, she continued to feel worse, often choking on the jellyfish and not knowing why. “It’s all because of the journey and laying eggs,” she lied to herself as she became weaker by the day. She kept lying to herself hoping it would get better. Seeing her hatchlings in the same state she realized too late that those “jellyfish” they had been been eating for so long weren’t jellyfish but plastic bags.

Paying Markets Seeking Flash Fiction

Midway Journal’s -1000 Below: Flash Prose and Poetry Contest for a chance to win the $500 grand prize! Opens: March 1st & Closes: June 1st; Charges a $10 fee. See Submission Guidelines: -1000 Below: Flash Prose and Poetry Contest (

Reflex Fiction– Quarterly international flash fiction competition. Reflex is looking for stories between 180 and 360 words with a choose your own submission fee. See Submission guidelines: Flash Fiction Competition and Print Anthology – Reflex Fiction

The Lascaux Prize in Flash Fiction: Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. True stories are welcome as long as they’re written in a narrative style. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review. There’s a $15 fee for submissions: See Submission Guidelines: Contest Guidelines | The Lascaux Review

Happy Earth Day!

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