Sparks Ascending


© 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

The Light is Alive

55 Cancri e

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“You can’t be serious.” Marshall Arnold was the Surface Team Lead for the Tyche expedition and his Science Officer Bertha Rose had just told him something impossible.

“I would have missed it if I hadn’t compared my readings to Marco’s stellar observations.”

“But what made you take readings of dying Tiagos?”

“Blame Gracie. She has this weird intuition and made a connection between the Tiago religion and death rituals with their screwy biology.”

“So wait a minute, Bertha. Gracie…”

“Call her over and ask her, Marshall.”

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© Steve Withers – Google Maps

The block in downtown Christchurch was being demolished. The buildings around the public parking lot had been abandoned for a decade. Anyone who wanted, could indulge themselves with cans of spray paint. Some graffiti was elementary, other projects were expertly artistic. A shame the heavy equipment would destroy the good with the bad.

The indigenous Māori people thrived in New Zealand until the arrival of Europeans. To this day, they suffer the fate of indigenous populations all over the world.

It looked like a clown’s face, a fearsome one. Wairua or spirit was from the old Polynesian beliefs, and the art gave it a form with which to act. Wairua would turn the Māori away from Presbyterian, Mormon, and Islam faiths and back to the old ways. Wairua would teach them tapu, noa, and mana again, to preserve who they were, who they are, who they will be one day.

I wrote this in response to J. Hardy Carroll’s What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above, taken from Google Maps, as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

I’m playing fast and loose with the history of Christchurch and of the Māori people, so don’t look too closely for reality or historic accuracy.

I considered making the spirit vengeful, but as I recall, I already wrote a story about that. Instead, I decided to incite a revival among the Māori people, a return to their original spiritual beliefs, a reunification with who they were before the Europeans arrived. So many indigenous people all over the world have had their cultures, their languages, their spiritual beliefs destroyed by colonizers. I thought it was time some of them got all that back, at least in fiction.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to