Friday Fictioneers – A good omen

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 - A good omen 190612

PHOTO PROMPT © Valerie J. Barrett

A good omen

Makshirani hardly noticed the rustling; it was the movement that caught her attention. Swaying, tongue flickering, hood puffed out large, the cobra sensed her. Makshirani froze.

“Stand absolutely still!”

The serpent’s eyes held her spell-bound; it could strike at any moment. Shouldn’t she run?

Slowly, slowly the snake lowered itself and slithered into the ditch. Makshirani’s father hurried over.

“That Nagaraja should raise his hood in blessing is an excellent omen, daughter.”

“Baba, I must sit for a moment.”

She stumbled to the bank under the jackfruit tree. Good omen it might be – she was just glad to be alive.

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I’m afraid my response to this week’s prompt is very obscure. The kettle in the picture seems to be spitting boiling water. Cobras spit venom. I’m in the depths of editing my novel set in India, hence this story!


64 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – A good omen

    • Dear Abhijit
      Thank you for reading and commenting. As you say, most snakes don’t bite unless they feel threatened. It would still be a frightening experience, though!
      With best wishes


    • Dear Sandra
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I was rather desperate for inspiration with this prompt. I could see lots of possibilities, but none strong enough to drag me out of my novel – so I precis-ed a scene!
      With very best wishes


    • That’s certainly not how I see it. It’s the world’s largest democracy. It has an enviable space programme. And yet it also has a high illiteracy level in some rural areas. It has appalling bride burnings. And, of course, it does have many deaths from snake bite!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jade
      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly. I’m glad you liked the tension in the story. Nagaraja is not so much benevolent as powerful and some people would interpret an encounter like this as a good omen.
      With very best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Michael
      Thank you for reading and commenting on my story, and for your encouragement with editing my novel. I’m glad you enjoyed my take on the spitting kettle!
      With very best wishes


  1. Hi Penny,
    I enjoyed this, particularly as an Australian. We have our snakes and our snake bite stories and realities.
    I can understand the difficulties of climbing out of your novel writing to get your head into a different space to write about something else. I was like that for a few months working on my book, but the research has become much more expensive and I’ve realized it’s going to be more of a marathon than a sprint and I somehow need to get back to more of my regular routine as the pace wasn’t sustainable.
    I think you might appreciate my take this week. There are a few interpretations about the wife and she was going to be disabled but I’m now leaning towards a different explanation.
    Good luck with your novel.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t want to meet a cobra either but I’m glad no one was killed in this story, neither snake nor humans. Snakes do their thing and if they feel threatened, they strike. Most are too small to want to eat us. I think it’s quite common to worship powerful and dangerous animals (spirits), I think it’s the wish to draw a bit of their ‘essence’ into oneself. Such a great story, I really look forward to your book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t noticed the spitting kettle, and hadn’t known that cobras spit venom. You expressed the tension in this scene very well. What a shock for Makshirani!
    By the way, my story this week also has an obscure connection to the picture prompt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely scene, painted vividly. It may be lucky to come in such close contact with a cobra, but you’d still be shaken! You’re clearly totally absorbed in Asia at the moment, Penny – you conjure the atmosphere well. Hope the write’s going okay


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