‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Final Prompt for 2020. Week #29 Entry by Mark Bierman #IARTG #Writing
Hello everyone, today I’m featuring my contribution to Author Suzanne Burkes’ “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week she features an image and invites writers to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of their choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words. Please head over to Suzanne’s wonderful blog site and have a look around! Click on this link: https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/
Here is the photo prompt for today’s blog:
Mandy swished her bug net in the air as she raced down the board walk. The sound added to her excitement. First day of summer break from boring school and mean Mrs. Harris, the worst teacher, ever, and now this! A rainbow waited at the end of the boardwalk.
Her backpack was a snuggly fit and loaded with three mason jars, stolen from Mommy’s supply, air holes poked into the lids, of course. Her magnifying glass clinked against it. Strawberry yogurt tubes, pixie sticks from last Halloween, and granola bars were stuffed beside them. She should have brought grape juice, but that would have added weight. Boy, as she thirsty.
Her toe caught something, and she tumbled onto the planks, scraping her knees bloody. Mandy was no crybaby, but she winced as she wiped away sand and blood. She was wasting time, and the fairies would heal her. At least they’d better, or she’d never let them go.
Mandy suddenly felt bad. Last night, her family had watched a show about poachers who killed elephants for their tusks, and that had made her cry. Was trapping rainbow fairies the same? No! She wasn’t mean like them, or even like Mrs. Harris. The woman was probably in Africa right now, poaching elephants to make ivory pens to use when marking all the answers wrong on Mandy’s tests.
Angry, she launched herself up and ran cheetah speed towards the rainbow.
Mommy had started this. She’d looked out the dining room window and told Mandy and her rotten brother, Max, about the rainbow.
Max kept chomping his cereal like a cow, it was amazing that food stayed in his mouth. It wasn’t a video game, so he didn’t care.
Mandy loved movies about fairies and went to look.
“How do fairies create those beautiful colors?”
Mommy had smiled. She was about to answer, but Max spit out his breakfast and started to laugh like a hyena.
“You’re sooo dumb! Rainbows are caused by sunlight and water droplets.”
Mommy got mad and made him stop. She said that Mandy has a wonderful imagination. Max had to say sorry and clean up the mess.
He grumbled, and Mandy stuck out her tongue.
“She’s sticking out her tongue! Look!”
Her tongue was back in before Mommy could see.
Mommy rubbed her forehead and told Max to finish up. Neither of them should look at each other. She had to work, which meant going upstairs to her computer.
Mandy told her that she was going outside to play.
Mommy left and Max finished cleaning. As he left, he said that she was stupid.
Mandy had quickly gone to work getting the things she needed and now here she was. The rainbow was close.
A beautiful butterfly crossed her path. Its large wings were blue as Mommy’s eyes. Mandy had heard that fairies liked to ride butterflies when their own wings grew tired. If she caught them, a butterfly would cheer them up.
The butterfly had flown across the railing, to catch it, she would have to climb over. You weren’t supposed to do that, because it would interfere with the animals and plants that lived there. Mandy looked around and didn’t see anyone. She grabbed the railing and climbed over.
Her feet hit the ground and she ran after the butterfly. It turned out to be a very quick and smart insect. It would land on a piece of grass and wait for the net to come but at the last second, fly off. Mandy could almost hear its tiny laugh.
The chase lasted a long time, but she finally caught it, put it in the jar, and closed the lid.
She looked towards the rainbow, but it was gone! Oh no! They must have seen her catch the butterfly and got scared.
Inside the jar, the blue wings flapped like crazy as the butterfly tried to escape. Mandy suddenly felt ashamed. She was like those poachers, and meaner than Mrs. Harris, ivory pen or not. The fairies probably hated her, and she would never get another chance to catch them, not that she wanted to, anymore.
There was only one thing to do, and she hoped that if they saw it, they would at least not hate her so much. She opened the jar and let the butterfly out.
Mandy turned away, sad and guilty. The next time she saw a rainbow, she’d just appreciate the fairies for the beautiful creatures they were.