Flash Fiction | The Unexpected Visitors

For a fun homeschool writing assignment, my mom had us write a 300-400 word story beginning with this sentence: When they finally unlocked the door, they were met by the smell of furniture polish and old books. It had to have a surprise ending. I really enjoyed writing this piece, and I hope you enjoy reading it! My mom and brother each wrote one as well, so look for those coming up on this blog or my mom’s blog!


When they finally unlocked the door, they were met by the smell of furniture polish and old books. As the door swung open on well-oiled hinges, they grinned to each other. This was a perfect house for him, just as the countryside and town they’d just traversed so suited the cheerful inhabitants. Sunbeams poured in from the enormous, round windows, gilding the parlor with afternoon light. The creamy walls were framed by trim that matched the oaken floors and furniture. The room’s simple ornaments were solace for weary eyes: books, scrolls, vases, candles, apples, pinecones, flowers and more. From the doorway behind the travelers wafted birdsong on the delicious breeze.

Image found on Pinterest here (I could not find an exact source)

    “Can’t you see that he isn’t at home?” said one. “If he were, he’d never stand for our letting ourselves in like this.” 

    “You’re right, and I’ve got an idea,” chuckled another. “Let’s go hide somewhere, so that when he returns, he’ll have a marvelous surprise!”

    At this suggestion, the whole party burst into cheers of assent. 

    “But we’ve got to keep quiet,” warned the first, “So those nosy, curly-headed neighbors don’t get any more curious about us.”

    The travelers removed their boots, not daring to defile the tidiness as they had in times past. As they entered, the floor creaked a welcome. Upon seeing a familiar map lying among other parchments, the travelers once again grinned and elbowed one another. On the same table sat an open jar of furniture polish and a hastily thrown rag. That was curious; did he rush out to get something in the midst of polishing his table?

    They continued through the sunny parlor into the kitchen, their minds once again flooded with happy recollections. The memories were tinged with sadness, though, for some of their number were gone now. 

    “I’m so hungry,” whispered one. “He wouldn’t mind if I took just a little roll or a bit of cheese from the pantry, would he?” 

    “He minded last time, but he doesn’t have to know!” snorted another in reply. 

    The first hastened to the pantry, neglecting stealth in his hunger. As he reached his hand out to grasp a tantalizing roll, an unexpected voice spoke from behind him. 

    “You think you can just barge in here and steal my food again?” The voice had a smile in it. 

    The traveler whirled around and immediately mirrored the grin. “Bilbo!”


Did you figure out what was happening? Only fans of The Hobbit will. 😏

6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction | The Unexpected Visitors

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