Friday Fictioneers – Come home safe

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 peoplesโ€™ stories and comment on them!

FF - Come home safe 180808

PHOTO PROMPT ยฉ Ronda Del Boccio

Come back safe

Tatsuya is away. Will he be back tomorrow, or next week?

I clap twice, fold my arms across my breast and bow to my household shrine, emptying my mind. A melody lures, light and shade slide slowly past each other and my fingers tingle. I push these distractions gently away, letting my mind fill with the nothingness that holds all things. The music stills and the colours fade.

When I open my eyes, I am dazzled by my rice plants glowing green with life. It is a good omen.

Kagutsuchi, please bring Tatsuya safe home from fighting the wildfires.

76 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Come home safe

    • Dear Neil
      Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I’m blushing!
      It was your reminder to me last week about the perils of an over-declamatory style that pushed me in this direction, so thank you a second time.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the description of a Shinto/Buddhist ritual with topicality. In Japan, a person’s religious practice is often very much part of daily life.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Gabi
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you felt the writing fitted the mood and theme. You’re right about the plants in the photoprompt; it was their shout of ‘Life’ that prompted me to write the story.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Andi
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re right – she’s very worried for her husband, but mindfulness/meditation enables her to continue living with tranquillity.
      I visited Japan last year, and I was struck by the way spiritual and aesthetic concerns matter to the average Japanese person. I wrote a little about it in my blog at the time – it’s in the archives for March/April 2017 if you’re interested.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re quite right about the difference in their surroundings. You’ve prompted me to wonder whether I could have consciously harnessed the power of that difference to make the story stronger.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
      If you really wanted to learn how to empty your mind like that, Buddhist groups sometimes run courses on how to meditate, and their techniques are effective.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Yvette
      Thank you for reading, and for your helpful comment. Several people have commented on the ‘glowing green’, which makes me think about the power of colour in provoking specific emotions. I’ve been kind of aware of it for many years, but now it’s sprung into the foreground of my thinking.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. I tried to describe what I have experienced in practising mindfulness, while tying it in with the Shinto ritual for summoning the kami of a place.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Fatima
      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I love learning about different cultures around the world – that’s one reason why I like your blog (the main reason, though, is that you’re an excellent writer!). I’m glad you like “the nothingness that holds all thingsโ€ – it has many layers on possible meaning, I felt, but here it was more or less explicitly referring to nirvana. As Wikipedia says “In Buddhism, liberation is achieved when all things and beings are understood to be with no Self.”
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I was picturing the nirvana-like state. Or more specifically, it reminded me of ego vs true self. Somewhere in the enlightenment realm. Well, I appreciate your enthusiasm for my blog – I will take note of that feedback for future posts!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This has such a soothing, peaceful feel with the mindfulness and prayer state coming across so well. To be dazzled by the rice is to know how deeply she, and the reader, has gone. The last line gives purpose and meaning to her prayers. Really strong changes of mood and feel in such a short space – well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah
      Thank you for reading so carefully and for your thoughtful comment. It’s a real boost when a reader understands exactly what the writer was attempting in a story. I’m really pleased that the dazzling made sense to you!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

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