The Magical Backyard

dragonfly

In form and name, the blue dasher dragonfly illustrates the beauty and flying prowess of these insects. (Photo: Bonnie Taylor Barry/Shutterstock)

“What’s that, Grandpa?” The little three-year-old girl was out in the old man’s backyard exploring as usual, while her grandfather watched from a chair on the patio.

“It’s a dragonfly, Dani.”

“Dragonfly?” She looked in wonder as the insect alighted onto one of the potted tomato plants at the edge of the concrete.

“Yes, it’s a flying bug.”

“A bug?” She looked down and cried out excitedly. “Here are some more bugs.” She squatted and pointed her finger.

“Yes, those are ants.”

“Ants?” She acted like she’d never heard the word before.

“Look on the fence.”

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The Way Home

leaves

The leaves made a long-forgotten sound as she walked across the field. Danielle took a deep breath and let it out, watching the white mist sail out in front of her. She wasn’t used to the cold. She’d spent nearly a decade in the desert helping the dragons reclaim what was theirs. The war was finally over. The dragons won but Danielle had lost so much. Her brother died defending what was right. She came back home and discovered Mom and Dad died in a car accident.

Now she was going back to the only home she had left. Grandpa had grown old but he was still alive. Ten years ago, she sat on his lap and he read her the first story about the dragon’s quest, how the demons had taken their homes and put them into exile. She was only a girl when she found the stories were true. She was barely a teen when she stepped through the portal to help.

Now she was back. There. His cabin. Smoke rising from the chimney. She could almost smell his pancakes. She opened the door. He never locked it. “Grandpa, I’m home.”

“Darling. I’ve missed you,” he replied smiling.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge for September 24th 2017. The challenge is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is exactly 200.

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

The Old Neighborhood

St Louis

© Google – August 2012

I didn’t realize how long it had been since I’d last seen the old neighborhood, the one my Grandpa lived in when I was a little boy. I took my grandson not realizing that everyone living there now was African-American. Seth and I stood out quite a bit. No one seemed mad, but they all stared at us, like we didn’t belong.

“Jimmy! It’s been a long time.”

I turned to the house across the street. I couldn’t believe it.

“Ronnie!” I ran up to the old man, the child I played with over fifty years ago. We hugged.

“I can’t believe you still live in the old ‘hood.”

“It’s always been my home, Jimmy. When we were kids, I was the one who stuck out. Now things have changed.

He looked down at my grandson and smiled. “Who have you brought to visit us?”

Today’s piece of flash fiction was inspired by the photo prompt at What Pegman Saw. Authors are supposed to use the photo at the top to create a short work of no more than 150 words. Mine comes in at 145.

The photo is of a neighborhood in St. Louis, but it’s not all that different from the one my Grandpa lived in back in Omaha in the early 1960s when I was a child. I’ve heard it’s changed a lot, probably like this place in St. Louis has changed over the long decades. Still, some parts of the world will always be home.

To read other stories inspired by this prompt, go to InLinkz.com.