Friday Fictioneers – Fulfilment

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Fulfilment 180613

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

Fulfilment

A peacock screeched.

Inside its pupa, a damselfly larva stirred.

Alice dabbled her hand in the pond, gazing through a haze of reflections at the coloured pebbles on the bottom.

“You look thoughtful. Not worrying about tomorrow, I hope?”

Alice smiled.

“Just nervous, Frances, that’s all.”

Frances hugged her sister.

“Silly girl! Everything will be fine.”

The damselfly’s pupa began to split.

Next day the church was full. Alice stood beside Matthew and wondered whether it was possible to feel any happier.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

Beside the pond the damselfly’s wings flashed. The peacock screeched exultantly.

65 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Fulfilment

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading, and for your kind comment. The picture of the woman seen through the blind made me think at first that she had a bridal train behind her, hence the ‘night before the wedding’ theme! – it also reminded me of a peacock’s tail…
      With very best wishes
      Penny
      BTW I appreciate more and more the efforts you put into FF. You’ve made it a place where one can experiment and receive feedback, and that’s just so valuable. Thank you!
      Penny

      Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Claire
      Thank you for reading and commenting with such insight. The implication that Alice is finding out who she is at the moment of marriage was definitely part of the story. And, yes, I think there’s every chance of a happy marriage – it’s starting well, anyway! However, as Neil mentions above, there is also a darker side to the story…
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bjorn
      Thank you for reading and commenting. As you rightly guess, the damselfly and the peacock cry are symbolic. My intention was that the damselfly – which has a very short lifespan as a flying insect – represents happiness and implies that human happiness is fleeting. The peacock cries are the voices of cynics who declare that human love and happiness are fleeting, and therefore don’t matter. And, of course, peacock cries have no actual effect on events in the world…
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  1. I love how you started and ended with the same phrase with a plus at the end! The metamorphosis of the damselfly with the feelings of the bride-to-be going hand in hand…
    Lovely imagery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Years ago, I wrote a haiku about a damsel fly. Perhaps that’s why I had a feeling of dread in your beautiful story:

    damsel fly dances
    skips along the water’s edge
    flirting with demise

    But your last line, with “flashed” and “exultantly” made me believe it’s a “happily-ever-after” story instead. Either way, you created a visually gorgeous story from the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comments. Thank you, too, for sharing your lovely haiku.
      As you rightly guess, the damselfly and the peacock cry are symbolic. My intention was that the damselfly – which has a very short lifespan as a flying insect – represents happiness and implies that human happiness is fleeting. The peacock cries are the voices of cynics who declare that human love and happiness are fleeting, and therefore don’t matter. And, of course, peacock cries have no actual effect on events in the world…
      The story was slightly experimental for me – I was trying for an emotional progression rather than an event progression – a beginning, middle and end emotionally rather than through things happening. I feel encouraged by the comments I’ve had – including yours, of course. Thank you!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Petru
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you liked my story. The ‘follow’ is my pleasure; I want to read more of what you write – that post of yours was so imaginative!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully told story of coming of age. Like the damselfly changes from larva to adult, the wedding seems to be this defining point in Alice’s life. I only hope her development doesn’t stop there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah Ann
      Thank you for reading, and for your thoughtful comments. Your use of the term ‘slow time’ is very apt. The damselfly’s emergence was indeed there to mark the stages of the emotional movement from tension to happiness. You’ve read my story very perceptively! Thank you!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful imagery, Penny. I sensed foreboding. As I mentioned above, the damselfly seemed like prey for the peacock. But, a subtle story such as yours allows for many interpretations, which is always good. 🙂

    Like

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