Adventure’s Bitter Memories

old tree

© Sandra Crook

Nine-year-old Taylor jumped grabbing the tree’s largest branch and pulled himself up. He danced among the leaves this way and that like cinematic swashbuckler’s of old, wielding his sword.

“Taylor, Grandpa said it’s time for dinner.”

Darn. His twin sister Paris. “I’ll be down in a minute.”

“He said now.”

The boy stopped and looked down at her. He used to ignore Paris but they’d been through too much together. He remembered when the demons were real and she almost died.

“Okay. Coming.” With acrobatics honed on the battlefield of Dragonworld he deftly landed near his twin. “I’m here now.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

As you might have guessed, I’m again leveraging ideas I’ve presented in The Whisperer, Mr. Covingham’s Secret and other similar stories about a group of five siblings who are somehow spirited away to another realm, one of dragons and demons, of friendship and warfare.

In today’s tale, I showcase two of Zooey’s siblings, twins Taylor and Paris. I’m writing a novel with these children at the center. I’ve got four chapters in rough draft now and am continuing to write. Hopefully, these wee tales will whet your appetite.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

For a different point of view on the old tree, and a look at one of Taylor’s other siblings, read The Remembering Tree, an expanded tale based on today’s prompt.

43 thoughts on “Adventure’s Bitter Memories

  1. I like the way you’ve constructed this. The opening, with Taylor dancing and wielding the sword like a swashbuckling hero, is vivid and captures our attention. You then maintain momentum by increasing our understanding of the emotional dynamics between the twins. The end is neither a surprise, nor an action climax. It’s the confirmation in action that Taylor and Paris relate to each other in an adult way, rather than a childish one. It’s a very satisfying conclusion.


    • Thanks, Penny. I wanted to illustrate that while they’re still children, they’ve gone through a lot of adult experiences together, experiences that changed them.


  2. If nothing else all they have been through has taught him his sister is not so awful after all – not a bad lesson to learn! Nice interraction between the two, James. Good luck with your continued scribbling


    • Taylor is the adventurer among his siblings. Even before his sojourn in other realms, he was the risk taker, the one who imagined himself a hero. That’s still part of his personality, maybe more so after the wars on Dragonworld, but he knows the difference between play and reality now.


      • What an interesting coincidence, because that’s exactly what I did in my FF story this week. I had written up the “storytelling” or summary version of what happened to the daughter, but hadn’t started fleshing it out in terms of characters and scenes. This little scene happens long after the “main” story ends, and it’s the first part I’ve really written.

        Liked by 1 person

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