Friday Fictioneers – One family

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!

An Apology!

I may not have commented on your Friday Fictioneers post last week. I have had trouble with my internet which has made it difficult to read stories, and next to impossible to comment on them.

If I have failed to read and comment on your post, I am sorry and I will try to do better this week! Many thanks to all those of you who read my story despite my lack of reciprocity.

FF - One family 180822

PHOTO PROMPT © Carla Bicomong

One family

I scoured market stalls selling lanterns decorated with images of dragons, of cash, of storks, until I found one bearing the image of a dove.

Under the trees at the lakeside, with a thousand other people, I waited until the last bird had finished her evening song and then I lit the candle in my lantern. I launched it and it drifted into the indigo twilight.

At first I could identify it, but after five minutes I was no longer sure, and after ten minutes mine was just one gleam of light among many.

I sighed, content and at peace.

71 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – One family

  1. Beautifully told, Penny. I’m not sure about the imagery, but as I interpret it, the narrator wished for peace, a beautiful wish that blends with the more selfish wishes for cash, power or children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You have understood the symbolism of the lanterns almost exactly; the only little detail is that the narrator wished to be a peace bringer rather than just wishing for peace.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Abhiray
      At its deepest level I intended that the scene represents the life choices of the assembled crowd. They seek good fortune, cash, progeny – and the narrator seeks to be a peace-bringer. We may have ideas about the relative merits of those requests, but when those lives are viewed from a distance we can be aware that the differences don’t matter. What matters is our common humanity – hence the title “One family”
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the fact your character’s lantern mixed in with the others and she was content with that. It give us a feeling of unity, of all of those people coming together in a unified act. A lovely, calm, beautiful scene Penny

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m delighted the piece conveyed a sense of calm and unity.
      BTW I read your story in today’s “People’s Friend”. I loved the ending; the mother’s solution to her daughter’s apprehension about going to boarding school moved me with its insight and love.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was a lovely story, Penny and your meaning came through very clearly in your writing. Thank you for making the effort to buy the magazine. A very ‘quiet’ story for me but I did enjoy writing it as I’ve enjoyed writing everything I’ve submitted to the Friend. It just opens up a different side of me, I think. Thank you again and very best wishes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the way your chacter carefully picked the symbol borne by her lamp. It had never occurred to me, that each one might bear a symbol of a specific request or intention. Much as hopes and dreams bubble up from each of us to make a grand human chorus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree that she chose wisely because peace-making was in her nature. Perhaps when we look from another perspective, though, wealth, good fortune and children may be equally wise choices in life. What do you think?
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Lish
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I love your comment, because it makes me think about the MC in a different way. I hadn’t really imagined her as a loner, but you’re right of course, that’s exactly what she is. She’s determined to fulfil her vision for the purpose of her life. And then, as you quite rightly point out, she becomes aware of her identity as part of the group and is content and at peace.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear James
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. I can see why you interpret the story in terms of frailty and courage. I’m always interested when someone reads my story in a way that I hadn’t imagined when I wrote it.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Varad
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you found the story contemplative. That’s how the prompt feels to me – an invitation to contemplation.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Fatima
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I found your comment absolutely fascinating. The idea that the narrator was liberating the spiritual dove had never occurred to me, but it’s an absolutely valid reading of what I’ve written. It’s also a very beautiful one. Thank you for sharing it by commenting.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Brenda
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Remembering those who have died, and letting go of grief are very important. I think it’s also important to be ready to let go of personal ambition and to fully embrace community. I’m glad you liked the way I told the story.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Magarisa
      Thank you for reading and for your perceptive comments. Why did she wait until the last bird had sung her evening song before lighting the candle? That is such a good question. The only honest answer I can give you is that I don’t know – it just felt right. It’s what I would have done. I love the evening chorus and it usually evokes a feeling of reverence in me. In the circumstances of the story’s ceremony, by the end of birdsong I would be in trance state and very receptive to spiritual healing.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So beautiful, Penny. And your words, “one gleam of light among many” may be the very reason we find peace in events like this–the feeling of community. And that is what is often lost as many of us spend that time snapping pictures with our phones. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan
      Thank you for reading and for your kind comments. When a group of people shares a spiritual experience it can have a profound effect on their happiness, can’t it? Such a shame to miss that by taking photographs! (Although when I have family round I’m the world’s worst for snapping away with my phone – or so my daughters tell me!)
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s