Fairy Dust

stacks

© Sandra Crook

He had let the garden go after she died. Erin was six when she was hit and killed in a crosswalk. She believed fairies sprinkled magic dust on the plants to make them grow.

After Jared and Paulette divorced, it had been just the two of them. Now he was alone in the backyard at night.

At first, he thought he was dreaming when he saw them. He walked closer to the stacks and got on his knees. They were little people with wings spreading dust. One came nearer, right up to his face. The little fairy smiled. “Hi, Daddy.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. After a lot of editing, my word count is 100.

My wife buys a lot of things at yard sales because they’re cheap. This includes a ton of children’s books for our three-year-old granddaughter. We have several books in the Pinkalicious series (no, I’m not kidding), and my granddaughter loves them.

In one of the books, Pinkalicious believes fairies come every night to sprinkle dust on their garden to make it grow, and she and her brother Peter, not only camp out in the backyard at night to see them, but build the fairies a pretty impressive little house.

That’s where I got my basic idea.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

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One Last Hill

uphill

MorgueFile April b5afa0fad12c0fc6b1d0bf8cc983d6e4

The hill seemed to get steeper everyday, but then, it really wasn’t the hill, it was him. He was getting older, always older, each and every day. He couldn’t remember the last time he could actually ride his bicycle up the hill on his way home. Was it last year? No, maybe it was five years ago? How old was he? It didn’t matter.

“Half way up.” He huffed and puffed. He got out of breath more easily these days, and he was just pushing a bike up a hill. “Have to make it home.” Home was at the top of the hill. If he could get there again, he’d be safe.

“Wait. Need rest.” He leaned against the wall. The old man couldn’t breathe and there was a terrible weight on his chest.

Then he was six years old again and racing his bike up the hill with his mates Jerry, Tommy, and Little Sam. They were all laughing and zipping between the parked cars. He made it. He was home. He was free.

I wrote this for the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner challenge for 2018, Week #22. Once again, the idea is to use the image above as a prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 175.

I couldn’t read the sign in the photo, even magnifying the image, so I couldn’t use that to influence my writing. Instead, I concentrated on the (presumably) old man pushing his bicycle up the hill. I let my mind drift and this tale is the result.

To read more stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

As always, you are invited to contribute a wee tale to this linkup.

If You Don’t Believe In Me

destroyed church

St John Church in Benwood, West Virginia (Photo: CNS)

Darwin Oliver Starling stared down at the smoldering ruins of the Vatican from the window seat on Flight 3076 which had taken off from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport ten minutes ago. Police agencies all over Europe had been investigating for a week, but so far had no clues as to the method used to initiate such mass destruction, or who had perpetrated such a heinous act.

“Heinous.” Starling whispered the word to himself. It was the worshipers of the Christian God who were heinous, and the Secret Order of Athéiste had been dedicated to wiping them from existence for the past two-hundred years.

It wasn’t just the Catholics, of course. In spite of what the news and entertainment media seemed to be pushing on the uninformed masses, Christianity wasn’t represented only by a bunch of child-molesting Priests, and American southern televangelists with big hair and greedy pocketbooks. They were everywhere.

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He’s Not Here Anymore

desert

© Jan Wayne Fields

“What did you hope to find after a year?”

The question was rhetorical or maybe self-indulgent. He was alone, unlike a year ago when they all gathered to scatter his Dad’s ashes over the land he loved so much. He thought about leaving another rose, but it would just wither and serve no one.

What then?

“Maybe this is all there is, Dad. Maybe it’s just you and me sitting together for a quiet hour, alone with each other.”

He listened to the wind and finally realized what it was telling him. His Dad wasn’t here anymore. He’d moved on.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction writing challenge for April 27th (although the URL says May 11th). 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.

My Dad died a year ago last week. The scene somewhat reminds me of Nevada where I grew up, and also of the area in Utah where my Dad liked to fish.

We actually put his ashes in a hole near his favorite high desert lake. Hardly a secluded spot, but then, it really wasn’t my choice. Thinking about going back produces an empty feeling. It’s just water, rock, sand, and sagebrush. Dad isn’t there anymore. His spirit has moved on.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Sacrifice

spider-man

The cover art for Spider-Man issue 33 (1963)

“You’re going to be fine. Just hang in there. We’ve got heavy equipment coming. We’ll have the two of you out of there in an hour.”

“What?”

Ben Howard was on his knees. How did he get here? Wait. The earthquake. The little girl was going to be killed. Somehow he managed to push her in a hollow space as tons of concrete and steel rained down around them. What was that about heavy equipment?

“Can you hear me?”

Ben opened his eyes, not realizing they’d been closed. There was an opening in the rubble just in front of him. A firefighter. That’s who was talking to him.

The girl! He looked down. She was unconscious but breathing, thank God. Oh no.

“She’s not going to make it. Damn it! I didn’t push her all the way clear. An artery got nicked. She’ll bleed out. You’ve got to do something.”

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The Pit Fiend Promise

lady in black

Lady in Black

The lady in the black satin dress walked into the bar because of the Pit Fiend Promise she had made. Except for the cocktail waitresses, she was the only woman in the place, and the men all turned to watch her walk in. Some obviously thought she had incredible assets both below the hemline and the neckline, but the vision of others was probably too blurry to make out the details.

“What’s your order, lady?” The barman was past middle-aged, weighed over 300 pounds, and looked like whatever dreams he may have once cherished had since sailed away from him over the horizon.

“Scotch, neat.”

He turned to get a clean glass and reached for a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

“Say, Baby. Can I buy you a drink?”

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Sparks Ascending

sparks

© Enisa

The plane crash! He was falling with flaming debris all around him!

Wait! It didn’t hurt and he wasn’t falling. More like he was going someplace important.

The debris was glowing but not on fire like he thought. In fact, it wasn’t pieces of the plane. What were all these sparks around him?

He caught a glimpse at himself and was shocked to see he was glowing too. Were the other sparks people-shaped?

Trying to call out to the others, he realized he didn’t have a mouth let alone a voice. He didn’t have hands or feet or limbs or any sort of body he was used to. He just was.

“Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.”

He heard a voice telling him something he already knew. There was a plane crash, he did die, but he wasn’t dead. He and all of the other sparks around him came from the Divine and were returning to the Divine.

“We’re finally going home.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of March 13, 2018. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to create a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 174.

The photo reminded me of a belief in Judaism that we are all “Divine sparks” issued from our Source to be born into the world and when our lives are done, the sparks seek to return to that Source.

Imagine at the point of death, you experience yourself as an incandescent spark flying upward with so many others seeking out your Source, being overwhelmed with the need to return to it.

I briefly remembered the opening to Philip Jose Farmer’s novel To Your Scattered Bodies Go which was the first of the “Riverworld” series (great series beginning but fizzled at the end). The image doesn’t really fit beyond the superficial, but imagine us all belonging to the Almighty, made in the Divine image. I think death will reveal that to us.

Oh, the Bible verse I quoted was from Luke 20:38 (New American Standard Bible).

By the way, on another one of my blogs, I wrote something like this, only it wasn’t a fiction piece and it was somewhat expanded: Searching for Sparks.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Accidental Traveler

snow

© Mara Eastern

He’d been surprised by the snow when he woke up this morning. It wasn’t in last night’s weather prediction, but as Marty McFly says every time someone watches “Back to the Future,” “Since when can weathermen predict the weather, let alone the future?” Then he chuckled to himself as he remembered why. Last night he’d fallen asleep on Friday, July 24, 1970. This morning when he woke up, it was Thursday, January 9, 1986.

Phil Morton was just a few days shy of his sixty-fourth birthday when he became unstuck in time and place. Fortunately, he was in good health both physically and mentally, so he was able to endure the shock and stress involved.

The first time it happened, he woke up at home less than a year in the past and for a whole day, he thought there was something wrong with his memory. How could he remember the first seven months of 2018 when it was only July 22, 2017? He had awakened in his own bed. His wife was with him. The grand kids were visiting. Everything was normal except he recalled living almost another full year that for everyone else, hadn’t happened yet.

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I Can Never Dream About Home

brain scans

Brain scan images found at PositiveMed.com

“I’m sorry but I don’t see much hope, Kathy.”

She turned from the neurologist to look down at her husband. He’d been in a coma for five weeks now following the car accident and still wasn’t showing any signs of brain activity. The machines and drugs kept his lungs breathing and his heart beating, but as much as she didn’t want to believe it, her husband of thirty-five years died when the garbage truck ran a stop sign and crushed the driver’s side of his car.

“I just need a minute alone with him, Doctor Schiavo.”

“Sure, I understand. I’ll be right outside.”

Kathy heard the door close behind her. Except for the usual medical monitor noises the room was silent. She was alone. It was a horrible decision to have to make. Their four children, spouses (three out of four had married and Lizzie had just gotten engaged) and eight grandchildren were right outside. How could she take their Daddy and Grandpa away from them?

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Not My Heaven

amusement park

© J Hardy Carroll

The ride slowed down and Jessie thought it was over. The man running it yelled, “Free ride” and it started again. He was dressed funny like the girl next to her.

“I’m Harriet. Isn’t this fun?” It was fun and scary. The sky was a different color and the children on the ride weren’t the same.

“Where are we?”

“Heaven, silly.”

“Am I dead?”

“We are but you can get off when it stops again.”

“Why am I here, Harriet?”

“So you know being loved by a Mommy and Daddy is better than anything else, even being in Heaven.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge for 19 January 2018. 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.

I pondered a number of different ideas for this one, from the sappy sentimental to murderous and dark. I decided to settle on “creepy carnival” but give it a happy ending. I thought about having Jessie actually die, but then figured I’d give her a break and a moral. Even being in paradise, I imagine the souls of all the children who died way before their time would still miss the Moms and Dads who loved them.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.