Pat Mills Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Pat Mills is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

flash fiction prompt rendezvous sunset colville 08032018 3L0A5851
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by Pat Mills 

December 1941

For weeks, Japanese Emperor Hirohito had been counting the sunsets until… ‘Operation Hawaii.’ “We are the country of the rising sun – not the U.S.!”


December 4th 1941

Rick and Cathy sat in the car watching a beautiful fuchsia colored sunset.

“I wish you could skip this weekend of National Guard duty.” Cathy pouted.

“One more year of college, then the Army Air Corps, pilot training,” he rattled off.  “Not long…”

“More school? I’ll be an old maid before we get married,”Cathy complained.

Rick smiled.  “At 22 you won’t be an old maid. Don’t worry, we’ll have fun, and travel.”

“My grandmother said you have to put up with some stormy clouds before you can see the most beautiful sunsets.”


December 7th, 1941

The storm clouds came in the shape of Japanese military planes.

Rick was immediately inducted into the regular army. Cathy was at the movies. She ran home, terrified of an invasion.

When the shock was over, the country rallied to fight. Some put their lives on hold, but not Rick and Cathy. They made wedding plans immediately.


Three months later: April 28th, 1942

Rick received his pilot’s wings in the morning, then flew to Maryland. In the afternoon, he converted to Cathy’s religion.


April 29th ,1942

As they exited the church, Cathy said, “Rick look…” She pointed to a glorious sunset. “Grandmother sent that as her gift on our wedding day.”

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4 thoughts on “Pat Mills Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

  1. I enjoyed reading your sweet story, Pat. Congratulations on another win!

  2. Thanks, Mary Kay!
    It was dedicated to my parents who were married on April 29th, 1942; on an air Base in Alabama. Like in the story, he received his wings in the morning, converted to catholism in the afternoon, and was married a few hours later with only my mother’s mother in attendance. My brother was born April 4th, 1943. My mother, was fortunate that my father survived the war. So many of his friends didn’t.
    They would be happy that you enjoyed the story.

  3. Pat, you are most welcome. That is truly moving! Your grandmother was in attendance – sole witness to your parents’ wedding! Wow, a wartime wedding. World War II, those were some serious days. No bridesmaids, no tossed bouquet.

    Your parents were fortunate, indeed, to have a life together after the war. Fortunate, and blessed. And your father, a war hero! A difficult burden to carry, but a wonderful legacy. It was one of the most righteous wars the U.S ever fought. May they rest in peace.

    1. Thank-you, again, Mary Kay; for your thoughts…They are greatly missed by our family.


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