Fire&Ice: Sol 16/19

§ Foy says: Happy Sol 16! If you marked Thursday special as many of us did here in the United States, I hope you were able to spend it safely with family, whether virtually or in the flesh, sharing time and traditions on the savory, butter-laden, complicated-yet-cherished holiday that is Thanksgiving. To make up for the faces missed, we at the Ice Dragon lair let Christmas out early, and every surface is now draped in tinsel and wrapped in lights! 2020 is looking brighter. Thank you for sharing the closing days with us here at Fire&Ice. ❤

QUESTIONS? Tweet us at @FlashFridayFic, shoot us a note here, or tap any of the judges.


Fire&Ice Guidelines: 

Time: The Fire&Ice contest is open between exactly 12:01am to 11:59pm on Fridays, Washington DC time (check the current time here). Entries submitted outside of this window are welcome, but will be incinerated ineligible to win.

How to Play: Write and submit an original story 1) based on the photo prompt and 2) including EITHER the fire dragon or ice dragon‘s requirement. Pay attention to the 3) varying word count constraints! Story titles (optional) are not included in the word limit. At the end of your story, add your name or twitter handle, whether you chose the fire or ice dragon’s element, and word count. That’s it!

Be sure to review the contest rules here.


JUDGES: Today’s judges are Voima Oy and A.J. Walker. Check out their bios on the Fire&Ice Judges page.



Each Fire&Ice prompt includes 1) a photo, 2) a required element (choose between the fire dragon or ice dragon’s offering), and 3) a specific word count. Your story must include all three requirements to be eligible to win.

Photo for Sol 16/19

–Update: WordPress is glitching again; if you can’t see the details below the photo, here they are duplicated: Fire dragon challenge–include a progenitor/parent; Ice dragon challenge–include a gamer. Word count: Less than 200 (no minimum). 


Kids Sharing Love. photo by Aamir Mohd Khan.

Fire & Ice Prompt

Required elements:

Fire dragon option: Include a progenitor/parent


Ice dragon option: Include a gamer

Today’s word count:  Less than 200 (no minimum)

80 thoughts on “Fire&Ice: Sol 16/19

  1. The Three

    The first interpretation: Competition.
    Two girls compete for a boy’s attention. Here, take mine (not hers). My banana (love) is better (than hers).

    A compelling drama, but the moon has never smoldered with jealousy over the sun, and the earth plays no favorites. The three dance together through the vastness. Divisions begin with me, and then you, and then multifarious craving over our differences.

    The next interpretation: Generosity.

    Wealthy school girls (sisters) share lunch with a poor classmate. We have enough for you, so we will share.

    Relationships are how we define one another, how we connect and locate ourselves in the vastness. Everything else happened when we began to feel separate. Isolation gives birth to desire, which shatters creation into a million fragments.

    The truth: Is.

    There is no mine and yours, no haves and have-nots. Life’s a tapestry and we weave ourselves continuially through it. The food you eat satisfies me. The smiles we exchange increase joy.

    So, here. I offer a slice of sour mango, and you offer a garnet bracelet my grandmother gave me in another life. Here, our hands touch for an instant, we smile, and we start to put the pieces back together.

    199 words
    Fire Element: Progenitor

    Liked by 9 people

  2. Mumbai Idyll

    I look out of my window at them. Especially in the heat of the noon sun as it blazes through the kitchen. It gets trapped here, the heat, and so my sweet ones seek a little comfort on the street.
    This is my parent’s home. My home. And it was the home of my grandparents.
    My mother is still with us.
    Not so my father. He drowned in the great rains of 2005.
    I do not know whose home this was before my grandparents.

    They originally came from Madhya Pradesh.
    My people had always been farmers. The land which sustained them became infertile. “Bad earth”, my grandmother called it. “Bad earth.”

    And so, they abandoned their land, wandered.
    North, first, to Delhi.
    That jungle of a city did not suit them.
    My grandfather cried. Often, it has been said.
    “Perhaps,” he appealed to my grandmother, “we could live by the sea. I have never seen the ocean.”

    And so again, they wandered.
    This time, south.
    A long journey.
    To the sea.
    To Bombay, as it was once called.

    How times have changed.
    I look out my kitchen window.
    I see my sweet children.
    I almost never see the ocean.

    Firedragon Option: A progenitor/parent
    199 words

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Just like a movie

    In a mouthful, in a swallow, that’s all it took. All it ever takes for everything to change. We watched the skies burn, watched the flames rise. The colours run like wax crayons melting. Like a picture they’d once brought home. Like a postcard of an old B Movie framed above the fireplace. I’d already adjusted their sensors. Muted the sound. Altered the scene. They couldn’t smell the hot flesh, couldn’t hear their father scream. Couldn’t see the twisted metal, the rubble where the school used to be. They would sleep soon. Sleep like the babes they once were. Safe in each others arms. No need to know I had to go. I had to leave. A tear threatens, a heartbeat pounds. I take my step. Take my turn. Walk away. For them.

    134 words
    Firedragon: parent

    Liked by 9 people

  4. The city was a smudge in the distance as Jameela lifted her hand to block out the sun. The road ahead ran away from them like an asphalt ribbon disappearing into the afternoon haze.

    Iqbal ate his banana slowly despite their 24-hour long hunger. Shaheen had gobbled her’s and was looking at Jameela with her little eyes. Jameela broke off a piece from her banana and handed it to her. They sat on the roadside with hundreds of others, braving the summer heat. They had left the city for their village on foot. The lockdown had hit the migrant workers the hardest.

    At least if we die, we die at home, Jameela’s father had said to his wife.
    But it’s hundreds of kilometres, his wife had protested, and the heat…the virus–
    Mark my words, he’d cut in, it won’t be the virus that kills us.

    Jameela watched the lady from the van distribute fruit and water to outstretched hands. Two men with a camera were making their way through the crowd.

    Time to move again, Jameela’s father said.

    Jameela watched the van move away towards the city. They were alone again.
    Then she picked up her bag.

    Words: 197/ parents

    Liked by 8 people


    The shush-shush of my heart loops a soft lullaby into the pile of velvet darkness, and the roots of my blood mesh into a waiting cradle.

    But every moon brings emptiness, its puddle of light swallowed like a stone of grief.

    I cry red rivers, I tell the doctor.

    Uterus didelphys, he says, each consonant snipping away hope.


    Then, a flicker of life. A squirm. I become convex, and they all smile.

    When clots bloom like dropped roses at my feet, I say nothing.

    Still they smile, and I place a palm on my belly, and they nod, and I smile, though the red rivers have broken their banks.

    As yellow dusk tarnishes, the woman with eight children wails in her hut. Her husband is away, like mine, and her child is coming. By candlelight, I mop her brow, clean the slops, and wipe her tears as I whisper that the baby is still. Cold.

    Eight children…


    I hurry back with the twins. Place their tiny bodies on my chest, their hearts like hummingbirds.

    Two wombs. Nature’s plan for me is clear.


    She often tells me what lovely children they have become, just like her own.

    199 words
    Fire Dragon: Progenitor/Parent

    Liked by 10 people

  6. Player 1

    It took all of his strength and ingenuity to find a way through the portal. Bursting through into a blinding rainbow of light—he executed a series of expert somersaults before landing; firearms pulsating at the ready—dancing nimbly on his toes. His fighting stance.

    [cheat code] left, left, R1, square

    Player 2

    God! It was hot. The dust choking his throat as he navigated the parched land. Every nerve ending jangling; eyes swiping left and right for rogue fighters. Civilians? Where was he?

    [top left] mini map
    [top middle] timer
    [dropdown menu] inventory

    There wasn’t much time and his reserves were dangerously low. He needed fuel. He made for the nearest building. Deployed his crouching stance. Edging closer. He saw them.

    Player 1

    Sprinting now. Leaping buildings and shooting everything in sight. Dominating. Only seconds away.

    Player 2

    [access cutscene]

    Jeez. Just kids. Shoved his gun in the back of his jeans. They were holding something out to him. What is that?

    An explosion of sound ripped through the scorched landscape. Throwing himself over the kids. He ate dust. His back serrated. Bullets raining. Blackness descending.

    Player 1

    [game over]

    Player 2

    [level up]

    199 words

    Liked by 5 people

  7. ~ The Girl Who Wasn’t There ~

    Salim looked at Aisha and smiled, his crooked, broken teeth painting a picture of an innocent roguishness.

    “I got this off the man who delivers milk and bread and eggs to these buildings. A fresh loaf of bread. Want some?”

    Aisha, a lifetime of sadness embedded in her young dimples, smiled wearily and nodded, before squeaking softly,

    “Let’s give some to Zee too, no?”

    Salim, still smiling, suddenly pulled a long face.

    Not Zee again. Zee as in Zeenat. That little girl who lives in those abandoned pipes by the station. The little girl no one but Aisha sees. The little girl who’s a ghost.

    “ we have to, Aisha? Last time she spooked me! And I can’t even see her! Sometimes I wonder if she’s just in your head!”

    Aisha put her arm over Salim’s shoulder.

    “But you saw her eat the biscuits last time, didn’t you?”

    “Err..Yes.. But since when do ghosts eat bread and biscuits?!”

    “Zee does, Salim! Can we go now?”


    The two kids ran off into the streets, towards those abandoned pipes, to break bread with the ghost of the little girl, who just like them, had always been an orphan.


    199 Words (excluding title)
    Parent theme

    Liked by 8 people

  8. Street Gamers

    The smells of channa bathure cooking nearby mingled with the autorickshaw exhaust, the open sewers and his nervous sweat as I faced him down. Flashes of colour appeared behind him but I stayed focused, hearing all the calls of the street sellers as cheers me.

    As children we were professional carrom players, in the sense that it was what we did to survive. Each day was the same, searching the streets for people to play- listening for the wooden clack of the carrom men, seeking a certain look in the eye, the player down on his luck and happy to find a child to thrash, to get them back on track. Everyone thinks they can beat kids and ee traded off pride for a long time, hitting a different area each day.

    I stopped him from pocketing the queen and scored the winning points. The gunda tried to not pay me but there’s always someone who’ll make sure they do. I disappeared quickly and found the others.

    We shared the winnings, eating paratha together as we watched the street scenes after another victorious day. All we had back then was our love for each other and for carrom.

    198 Words
    Ice dragon option: Include a gamer

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Back when we were young, we used to wonder where we came from.

    We to’d and fro’d from street to street, finding pretty things that others missed. We were happy, for the most part. Sometimes, not so much. When Ara had the worst happen, at the hands of that horrid thing, we shared a little death.

    That’s when we needed them, the parents we didn’t have. Someone who’d done it before, to show the way to pass the fold.

    But time, for lack of healing, numbed. A carefree laugh stopped cheating the sanctity of our pain, of her pain, in the end.

    Of course, such things resurface. We found that waste, that wretch, that horrid thing, to have been Ara’s own father, whom she hadn’t known before or in any other way…

    That felt too much a cruelty. Too sad a story to be real. Such visceral, bodily anguish.

    One night, we crept, tween street and street, and found the hovel where he hid. We’d stolen petrol from the rickshaws, and doused him whilst he slept.

    The blaze, it was a pretty thing. The breeze that lifted our hearts was dark, but it didn’t feel wrong.

    He was not missed.

    Fire Dragon (Parent/progenitor)
    200 Words exactly

    Thankyou for reading 🙏

    Liked by 5 people

    • I apologise for not having been as engaged as I could have been. I fell out of writing for a while, and coming back to it I haven’t wanted to push it past the point of easy inspiration, as having it back is such a catharsis.

      Though this Sol, I was inspired, which I’m very grateful for indeed 💙

      Liked by 3 people

  10. During her enforced breaktime Kinza wandered the fields drawing her game in the mud. It wasn’t exactly the same but it would have to do. The length of time it was taking to draw the platforms would definitely keep her in the fresh air for the required time and she sighed while she sketched the character with leaves at what she perceived as an injustice as she would have passed another level by now.
    An excited yell made Kinza pause in a crouch stance before waving in recognition of her friends Hamid and Zabi. They had been watching her and now they reached for sticks themselves and helped Kinza draw her game. When they had finished they settled back to admire their handiwork and smiled before Zabi passed out some marshmallow sweets as they talked of their recent experiences and news.

    (Ice (hint of fire) 141 words. @lindorfan)

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Silent Partners

    Children do not have the words.

    Their gestures say so much – the sudden hug, the linked arm, the turned shoulder that icily tells you that you are no longer in the gang.

    They do not have the words for I’m sorry about your Mum.

    So Samir had sat in silence on the bus on this first day back. Sunil, who shared the double seat with him, had spent a lot of time pretending to root in his schoolbag while trying to convey support through regular heavy sighs.

    As he waited for class Samir sat alone in the yard, watching the chasing, and the football, and the world just going right on.

    Now Neha and Renuka sat down beside him. Renuka took a banana from her bag and gave half to Neha, then both turned to offer some to Samir. They ate together, wordlessly.

    Their gestures say so much.

    148 words
    Fire dragon element

    Liked by 4 people


    Aarav hummed to himself as he set down his blood-spattered bat. He hung his face shield, mask, and gloves on the coatrack alongside those of his father and brother. He strolled into the living room, the pounding on the front door and guttural moans fading behind him.

    “Oh my god!” Aarav froze. “Is that the new Afternoon Picnic?”

    Arin nodded without looking away from the screen, controller clutched in his hands. “Just downloaded it today. It’s so cool.”

    Aarav sunk, slack-jawed, onto the sofa next to his brother, riveted by the image of three small children sitting quietly. “The graphics are amazing.”

    Thunderous cracks sounded and green light flared through the living room’s boarded-up windows as the warships in orbit over Mumbai commenced their daily barrage.

    “What level are you on?” said Aarav.

    “I’m stuck on five. It’s super hard.”

    Pita sprinted past them into the kitchen, chased by two cyborg jackals. Mata followed, cursing in Hindi as she blasted away with her plasma rifle.

    “Ha! Got it!” Arin pumped his fist. “Both of them gave me a banana!”

    As the scent of scorched jackal fur wafted through the room, Aarav shook his head.

    “Best. Game. Ever,” he murmured.

    199 words
    Both prompts

    Liked by 5 people

    • The flipped reality of this piece is just perfect. A violent world needs peaceful games, no? Reminds me of how calming games like Journey can be, an escape to just float over the desert, while the rest of reality burns.


  13. Inbetween Days

    Cassette spools, Robert Smith mewling cat yearnings through my headphones as I walk through the park towards our hideout.

    They’re waiting, Nobs with his cherry docs and knowing smile, Tabitha expertly crafting a spliff.

    And Kat.

    Raven hair and scarlet lips, a gaze that halts my heart and mutes a tongue that habitually slays. She sees me arriving first, but its Nobs who reacts, bounding like a puppy, ruddy feet flailing. Embracing, he smells comfortingly of stale fags and cider.

    Robert in my ear, crooning this is just like heaven.

    Nobs retreats back to Tabitha as she sparks up, sending out the purest white cloud. Kat, slinks towards me in a skirt too short to ignore.

    Lifting a headphone away from my ear.

    Her breath honey warmth on my cheek.

    “Where hav3 you b33n #1d1ng?”

    I take her hand, wanting to tell her #@#%$^^*&)(



    She’s gone.

    They’re gone.



    Sister Margaret is unplugging the console, my headset in her hand.

    Where was I?

    “Sorry Mr Perkins, servers down, we’ll try tomorrow dear.”

    I nod, that seems the right response.

    Folding myself deeper into my armchair.

    Listening to the clock bounce sand off the walls.

    199 Words

    Liked by 4 people

  14. The Gelatin Game

    “Squishy, sticky, yummy treat. Marshmallow, marshmallow, who will I meet?”

    Giggles ignite around us after each chorus, and then you must pass the marshmallow to the one you want to meet in the future. Each time I take a tiny bite before passing it to you. I have only a nub left to share.

    Pass the marshmallow between sweaty hands. It’s sticky and smells like other people’s glands, but chew and swallow your sweet destiny.

    Fingers squish the surface of my mind. My nibbles dissolve like nimble lies. You’re the only fluffy dream for me.

    But the best gift of all is to be offered the last swallow. The final gulp of fruition.

    Today, it’s a draw.

    Two passed to you. Whose marshmallow will you consume?

    “Marshmallow, Marshmallow, soft and sweet. What girl are you destined to meet?”

    It’s then you grin. Pop our two cherished marshmallow ends in.

    You chubby bunny!

    Chewing and chewing, before swallowing a future that says, I will not be cornered by sugar, water, and air.

    171 words
    Ice: Gamester

    Liked by 4 people

    • I love the innocence here. I feel like I’m sitting in this circle, watching–smelling!–marshmallows passed around from child to child.


  15. The Cuckoo

    If I’d known how it would end, would I have taken you back that first day you met Meera ?

    My first born.

    Stitches ripped and scars left. A single day , picture perfect. A present passed , a life to be taken.

    Fruit of my labour, bruised but not yet tainted. That needed you adding to the mix.

    We fought for her to arrive ; she fought not to leave. But your influence had overtaken ours .

    When you first played together, did you know then that you could be cruel because you wouldn’t have to apologise for long ? Surely you couldn’t have planned it by then , even though you were clearly damaged.

    You were loved . We took you in when no one else would . We added you to make three but you soon subtracted to make one .

    An invited cuckoo in our nest.

    The photograph of that first day still stands proud , your backs to the camera . Would I have seen something in your gaze if I’d taken those extra steps? Would I have known it was an end and not a beginning?

    Fire dragon challenge
    191 words

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Title: The Parent Does the Steering

    I pushed them, gasping, from my waters onto land. They returned; I sent them back. For millennia we played this game until flippers became legs and they left the water behind, full of my lessons on how to survive and prosper. They learned their lessons well.

    I covered myself with abundance for their sustenance, but they had no control. Their excesses left gaping bald spots, like a dog with mange. Trash choked my waters and my children who dwelled their. I had to nip them in the bud.

    When natural predators weren’t enough, I made them prey on each other. Then, I sent plagues and pestilence; wars and natural disasters. They persisted. They were fruitful and multiplied. And multiplied. And multiplied…

    Still, a mother is proud of her children.

    And sometimes she hates their polluting, warmongering, power-hungry little guts.

    A good parent, however, determines and applies the proper punishment, and right now, I’m pretty close to an extinction level event unless they behave.

    They keep forgetting the first lesson.

    Don’t piss off Mother Nature.

    Fire dragon: progenitor/parent
    WC: 174

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Sweet Death

    The banana bits had ethylene glycol buried within its flesh. No, not by the little hands of the girls. They were too young for such chemistry know-how and malice, although they’d grow into one of those later.

    Azaan never noticed, and in fact, remarked upon how much sweeter the banana tasted than normal. By happenstance of their generosity to him, neither girl tasted the sweetness of the ethylene glycol.

    Tragedy bears fruit in the stupidest of gardens, one must admit. After all, an annoyed, but competitive banana merchant set out to sabotage his competition. Since he operated a food truck, it wasn’t abnormal to have a few containers of antifreeze sitting around, seductive, and sweet.

    The girls, with some of mother’s rupee coins, bought the first batch of the competitor’s laced bananas that early morning.

    And by the evening, Azaan feeling more lethargic than a kid should, would begin stumbling and slurring his words. His kidneys would slide into renal failure, like a peel off a ripe banana, if his parents didn’t take notice soon.

    As for the merchant, he would move to a new location in the city, selling his bananas, and with plenty of antifreeze still unused.

    Word Count: 199 words.
    Element: Fire.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. No Camera

    When I was a kid I could score infinite points playing Space Invaders on our fine Atari game system.

    The secret was precise choreography with the joystick. Clear the screen of aliens, let it fill again. And clear it again. My point total was limited only by stuff like hunger or having to pee.

    One night a local TV show had on a kid who’d scored big in Space Invaders, or so they said. They admired his paltry total.

    I scoffed, and dashed off a letter enumerating my far greater score and superior methods. The next week the hosts read the letter on-air, saying if I could do it again, they’d put me on the show.

    I had already done it again. And again.

    Never went on TV though. I had made my point. Victory achieved.

    Time passes, and my son’s battling a boss in Dark Souls. He’s gotta use a two-hand grip, jump on the dude four times. There’s shouting and swearing, but eventually the boss falls. Victory Achieved, the screen says.

    Last night the sunset glowed white-pink and turquoise. My son said, “No camera can capture that, but you and I can.” And so we did.


    198 words
    Parenting + gaming = I did both, again

    Liked by 5 people

    • The generational bonding gaming allows is priceless. Loved so much traveling across time and technology with Space Invaders to Dark Souls in this piece.


  19. Just Is (Title)

    All that is around is gray
    The sky, the ground, each other
    All is Gray all around us
    One, Two, Three
    Bread, Sidewalk, Mortar
    All of which is surrounding
    All that is

    One, Two, Three
    Hands together, Hands Apart
    From a Start to somewhere
    In between
    Then and Tomorrow
    Before it all
    Passes away

    The sky slowly spins above the three little ones
    There just sitting there, with all of tomorrow ahead of them
    With only now for entertainment
    Without a single word there is only the moment, spent
    Where it is all quiet for a little while
    Sometimes it comes to pass that the ones that are needed the most
    Are the ones that receive the least amount of love
    Of help in navigating a strange and dissonant world

    She hands it off to her who shares it with him
    Each one a small element of the chain
    From Life till Death
    As the Sun sets on what they feel is dinner
    They wait for the call to come home
    Before night falls

    Fire Dragon: Progenitor/Parent
    Word Count is 175

    Liked by 4 people

    • This reads like a lovely prose poem on the transient nature of life. Especially loved that last paragraph where we get to sit with the children and feel both their hunger and their compassion. ❤


  20. “The Prices We Pay”

    The bones rattled over the flagstones, bouncing and tumbling until they came to rest. Joli raced over to take a look and raised her arms in triumph. “Double kata! Yes!”

    Mok unfolded his limbs from where he sat on the stoop and strode slowly over to where she stood. Towering over her, he took in her face, the bones on the ground, and the clamoring onrush of spectators behind him without reaction. As he waited without speaking, the tumult around him shifted from excitement, to unease, to silence. When even the birds ceased their chirping, he spoke.

    “Joli, you have won our little game. Per our agreement, I shall release your child from my dungeons. Is there anything you wish to say before my compensation is collected?”


    “Of course. You did not think I would give up such a valuable asset because you rolled a particular combination on the bones without something in it for myself, did you?”


    “It matters not.” Mok placed a hand on her forehead and murmured words she did not understand.

    “What have you done?”

    “You will understand, one day. Take your daughter and go. Pray I do not see you again.”

    198 words
    A game played by a parent

    Liked by 4 people

    • I love the chilling atmosphere of this piece. The suddenly stillness after Mok approaches Joli lends so much weight and significance to Mok’s character, and I particularly love the panoramic feel of that paragraph, bringing our attention from Mok to the bones to the crowd in one sweeping motion. Well done.


  21. Pingback: #FireIceFriday, week 16/19 – Project Gemini

  22. The Experiment

    “I think the experiment is going very well; look at how they are happily sharing that piece of elongated tree spoor.”
    “Of course you would think that; it was your idea to seed this planet all those millennia ago.” Prutiz was tired of hearing Azriel bragging about how well his experiment was going. All because Azriel was the only scientist in their pod who had had any kind of success in planet seeding.
    Others had tried. They had each picked a planetary body and chosen the appropriate DNA strands based on the parameters for life on ‘their’ planet, then scattered the seeds and waited. They had watched in fascination as life grew on Azriel’s planet while their seedlings withered and died.
    Azriel was pleased with his success; he had found a way to visit the planet and encourage his plantings to flourish. They called him ‘angel’ and began to have ritual gatherings that praised him and others like him.
    Prutiz snorted, “If only they knew that those “angels” were just a cocky scientist splitting himself into many components and flittering around in the atmosphere.”
    Azriel suddenly groaned. “Prutiz? They’re fighting, again. Time to burn it and start over.”

    Fire Dragon: progenitor/parent
    Word Count: 198

    Liked by 5 people

    • Firstly, this is a brilliantly peripheral take on the prompt. Secondly, can we rename bananas “elongated tree spoor[s]”? And thirdly, this gave me “Good Omen” vibes and that is *never* a bad thing.


  23. Yashoda is mother, of course: she divides the banana into three, and keeps the smallest part for herself. Abram is father: he takes the largest piece. I am the bachcha, the baby of our schoolyard family. After I’ve eaten my little portion, I will sigh. Yashoda will smile and tell me I must learn to be happy.

    I will go home at four, to my real family. Mother divides our chores into three, and takes the largest part for herself. I sigh, because I am the aasha, the hope of our family. Pop wants only the smallest peace, but he will smile, help me with my homework, and tell me I must learn if I want to be happy.

    Word count: 116
    Fire dragon

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love the simplicity and symmetry of this story so very much. The slight yet cavernous difference between Pop’s advice and Yashoda’s makes those two final lines poignant.


  24. Sharing Gift
    Shahla played her game and never packed a lunch. Amal ate his food and but was still ravenous. His crow bright eyes watched every bite Malia took from her banana. Her friends hungry silence made Malia’s jaws stiff.

    Then she noticed the banana, which she thought had two bites left, emerging slowly from the peel, growing longer as she watched.

    Trembling, she broke off the bitten tip and quickly ate it.

    The banana continued growing, normal looking, yellow fruit.

    Her friend’s seemed unaware of the miracle. She divided the newly grown banana into three portions.

    “Want some?” She asked.
    Thin brown fingers blossomed on either side of her.

    She gave them the larger two pieces, popping the remaining chunk in her mouth.

    How would magic banana taste?

    It was sweet. Almost like honey. As she swallowed, sweetness seemed to grow inside her.

    The empty peel lingered in her fingers, strangely warm.

    She felt as full and happy as when she ate a holiday feast.

    “Thanks,” Shahla murmured, smiling.
    “Best banana ever!” Amal said. “Can you bring one tomorrow?”
    “I’m not sure,” said Malia. “Maybe?”

    Word Count: 192
    Dragon: Gamer

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Hands of Fate

    I loathed the Academy students who called us the Weird Sisters. Yes, my sister’s name was Wyrd, pronounced “weird”, and she could be a space cadet, but no one knew what she’d been through.

    And me? Moira was a normal name for the normal twin. I aced mathematics. The art teacher liked my penmanship. No one ever tagged me on the playground: I could outrun anyone.

    I particularly hated the Headmaster. He and the faculty talked about us, but never acted. Because it would be easy to act on a black eye, or bruises. Easy if our father were the village drunk.

    But our father was an Academy alumnus and donor, and words only scar on the inside.

    When we met beautiful Surya, my sister was drawn to him like a magnet. Tall, dark, and handsome: Surya was the trifecta, and his reputation preceded him.

    “You handle bullies?” my sister asked at lunch.

    Surya nodded. “For a price.”

    We each gave him a banana half. “It’s all we have,” I said. “It’s our father.”

    When Surya returned our banana, Wyrd teared up, until he embraced her.

    “This bully I’ll handle for free.”

    192 words, a parent

    Liked by 4 people

  26. They say every (honest) parent has a favorite child. But I can honestly say, I cherish each child, fully and equally. They’re a package, a complete set.

    Nadira is the Little Mom. My mini-me, but only the best parts. She’s brilliant, without being a know-it-all. Loving and caring, but no put-upon martyr. I want to be like her when I grow up.

    Nur is our fighter, in the best possible way. She had to fight for her first breath. And now that she is strong enough, she fights for everyone else. She protects all the little kids from the bullies, and some of the big kids, too.

    And little Aazim is the peacemaker. He finds the good in every heart and solution to every problem. Ever since he started stirring within me, he has been holding our family together. I don’t know if we would be a family without my Sweet Aazim.

    How could I possibly have a favorite? Do I need my heart more? Or my lungs? They are three strands of a braid. And each one holds my heart, completely.

    182 words
    A parent

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Thanks, y’all!!! This week’s contest is now closed. A privilege, as ever, reading your words; we’re honored that you’d take the time to share your worlds with us. We’ll see you Sunday for Flash!Future and Monday with contest results. Have a wonderful weekend. xo

    Liked by 2 people

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