Use the photograph above as the inspiration for your flash fiction story. Write whatever comes to mind (no sexual, political, or religious stories, jokes, or commentary, please) and after you PROOFREAD it, submit it as your entry in the comments section below.
Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture at left. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.
Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.
Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. No political or religious entries, please. Need help getting started? Read this article on how to write flash fiction.
On Wednesday, we will open voting to the public with an online poll so they may choose the winner. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday. On Saturday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.
Once a month, the admins will announce the Editors’ Choice winners. Those stories will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!
Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms. Please note the rule changes for 2018.
10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Crescent”
A Sliver of a Moon Mystery
I’d arrived on time. Just before midnight. The bench in Orchid Park under General Lucious Atwater. His statue, that is. Surprized to see it still standing. He’d been a miserable old campaigner. Rumours that he’d ordered the execution of ten civilians suspected of aiding the Union Army. Nothing proven yet. If and when it was, the General would be yanked unceremoniously down, become rubble.
He still had descendants I suppose.
They might feel his pain.
I surely wouldn’t.
Anyways, the caller, John Scrub, had said, ‘’meet ’neath Atwater.”
So here I was.
A sliver of moon was dangling in the sky like a fluorescent fish filleting knife.
No caller, though.
Business had been slow.
Slower than the blood that wasn’t flowing in the General’s cold stone heart.
Hence my willingness to take a flyer on a hinky midnight rendezvous with who knows who.
Scrub seemed a made-up name. Google told me there were a few,
Maybe Scrub was on the up and up.
I didn’t mind wasting my time. It was a warm May evening. Unseasonably warm. Hadn’t been sleeping well anyways. Money problems. And being an aging Dick in the tail end of a mostly uninspired career, divorced, bad knees, well, I probably belonged with old General Atwater.
Anyways. I waited until after 1:00 am.
A few homeless folks parked in the bushes.
So, I went home.
They’d cleaned me out.
My portable safe.
I’d been a sitting duck.
Still chuckling about the Twins’ latest nonsense of giving a burial to smelly boots, we all gathered at night.
Often Nature would kick you in the stomach but this was a quiet awakening to the glory and mysticism of creation. There hung a crescent moon no bigger than a tiny fingernail clipping from a baby’s pinkie. A fragment, delicate and trembling above the lake, which blurred into the horizon with lovely peaches, apricots, pinks and other ethereal colours bleeding from sundown. The tiniest crescent of a moon hung from gossamer thread as invisible as a spider’s. Minute but promising hope.
A work of art with black plants swaying in the foreground leading into an even blacker lake. You could imagine the stoic ebony island being some creature from the depths. A placid well behaved monster that had surfaced to both admire and pay his respects to the moon.
While we basked in the tranquillity of nature there was an ungodly howl and one of the Twins staggered werewolf-like into view.
The other, not far behind, was chiding him, “Rot! Werewolves emerge on full moons. They don’t practice during an insignificant crescent moon. Stop fooling around! Crescent moons symbolise the cyclical nature of living, death and rebirth. Maybe Egyptian mythology believed that a waxing crescent meant growth and fertility.”
We looked at each other in disbelief. It seemed that one Twin was an absolute idiot and the other one had won the intelligence in the gene pool.
‘Lonely within this unknown. Waiting for the storms to pass.
The half-moon keeps me company. The blues in the water faded…with the night.
The quiet vibed… is the peace within my sorrowful soul.
Breathing in and out from the anxiety that held me down. I won’t surrender in this dark space.
There’s hope at the end of this miserable tunnel.
As I stand on the tall rock in the middle of the ocean, the colors of the sky appeared that early morning.
The beauty of the earthy tones risen my soul in courage and strength.
Realizing that…I’m alive still.
The joy filled me like a pure cleansed of the ocean. No matter how many times the night comes, the darkness of the ocean, the colors fading.
I always rise within this repeat of disappointment.
The light within me will fill this dark space.
I’m alive still.
Title: Moon’s Tears
We had been here many times, but I was alone once again.
Our empty house had been driving me crazy, and I thought of our romantic connection.
We were strangers that day. I was alone, but you were with your friends.
I was there to remember the fun my family had on this lake. However, they never returned from their vacation in Europe. I was supposed to be with them, but at the last moment, my unit was called to active duty and deployed. My friends said I was lucky, but didn’t know my heart was broken.
You must have been an angel sent to save me. How you recognized I needed an intervention was beyond my comprehension. You left your friends and found a place to sit within earshot.
“The lake looks inviting, do you come here often?” You had no way to know that your soft voice just threw me a lifeline.
As fate would have it, we became friends and dated. Your friends said we were a perfect couple. We married and enjoyed our short time together. I wouldn’t trade our time together for all the money in the world. My family would have loved you too.
This is the place our paths crossed and became ‘Our Place’ because we knew we needed to be together.
Now I’m alone again.
Even the crescent moon reflects my once again broken heart, and I wouldn’t be surprised to feel its tears at any minute.
It was the moon that did it.
We were happy together, Anita and me. We spent most of each day: using time like it was ours to burn. We squandered our lives that summer – we blasted through decades of experiences in those few weeks.
Anita introduced me to Harry. Harry knew everybody: he was always there whenever anything was happening. He was instrumental in changing our relationship, introducing us to the esoteric and the occult. Only, we never realised it at the time. We just thought it was weird, a little strange, but harmless. It was pixies and fairies, children’s stories. Where was the harm in that? It was just make-believe, nothing real.
Harry knew how to divinate. He must have known what he was doing, what would happen to us. He was always meticulous when drawing out his wards, constructing the angles between his lines using first principles, knowing that the slightest inexactitude in their projections would make them inert. He foretold many things that happened in those weeks.
It seems impossible that he wouldn’t have known.
The moon was in its first quarter. It was the week after the solstice, the day still close to the longest of the year. We could feel the strangeness each night when the sun sank beneath the horizon. The membranes between the dimensions were at their thinnest, and the Others were strong. We were naïve enough to be directed, not knowing what would occur.
Anita was never seen again.
He had walked this stretch of beach with his wife for the last time a year ago. His therapist had suggested he make peace with her passing, so that’s what he was doing tonight. The final traces of a warm day were swept away by the winds of change, and it made him shiver. But he knew what he had to do. He had no other choice. Like his life in its twilight, he watched the sun go down alone, accepting everything that would come.
He walked in silence, a gritty blackness beneath him, to the water. Still warm he thought as he trudged ankle deep through the Atlantic. The breeze swept through him, and he closed his eyes, begrudgingly immersing himself, perhaps for the last time.
Straight ahead, in the fading light, where the vestiges of the sun met the navy-blue waters rose a rocky silhouette, prominent and enduring. It was said that mermaids lived there and would sit on the rock at dusk to witness the moon appear. His wife had believed the stories and sightings, but not him.
As he opened his eyes, however, something amid the rock shimmered.
Bewildered, his eyesight and brain disconnected in disbelief. Incredulously, his consciousness made out the form of a person whose scaly body glimmered a green blue. Their eyes met and the aquatic creature pointed toward the distance at the crescent moon.
The man’s gaze averted, he heard a splash, looked again, but it was gone.
The cold Oregon water lapped at the beach. The weather was getting colder. The crescent moon hung low in the sky. Taylor knew she would need to find a warmer place to be, to become a caged soul for a while.
A good actress, she learned well growing up in an abusive household how to read a room. A few attempts maybe, but she would find the right person to take her home, hopefully, until it was warm again.
At a nearby Shell station, Taylor washed up and changed into a short red dress. She flagged a cab and went to her favorite bar, The Ginger Room. The ladies’ room has perfume there, she didn’t. After a spritz, she moved to the bar and ordered a Chardonnay.
Aware of her beauty, the statuesque figure and blond hair were nectar, and the bees would soon come buzzing. With low expectations, she just wished that she might get lucky. But what did she really have to offer? Not much. Like the waxing and waning crescent moon, only a small sliver of her heart remained available to give.
“The lady is red!”, and so it starts Taylor thought. Seems to always be the first line. Kind of funny that way.
“Well, hello, handsome!” she dipped her head innocently to the side and smiled.
“Want to dance?” he asked as he offered a hand.
“Well sure, and if you’re lucky, you might even get to take me home!”
It rest on the mountain and
Beamed down on us.
The fingernail moon.
We sang our love and
The fingernail moon.
Our life was full and
Joyous and sweet
Under the fingernail moon.
We made children
Playing and joy
Under the fingernail moon.
Evil visited with age and
Ripped us to rags.
Under the fingernail moon.
Now I alone
Glare at the mount and
Curse the fingernail moon.
In the distance the river lapped against its bank, providing a soothing background noise. Basil still became hypervigilant at random sounds that differed from those of the redwood forests where he’d grown up – or even the crescent moon hanging over the river.
David leaned over. “Dude, what’s got to you?”
Basil stiffened, realizing he’d betrayed himself. How to explain without betraying weakness?
“It’s complicated.” He’d learned those words could buy him time to find an acceptable answer. His cousins did understand that he’d grown up in a very different environment from the open grasslands and rolling hills of Wild River Ranch.
David’s lips curled upward, a hint of a smile but not enough to seem condescending. “No worries. I’ve done my share of wishing I could go up there too. I think just about every kid does, until we realize that we’re not going to make the cut for working in the lunar settlements, and we’re sure as heck never going to be rich enough for the tourist companies.”
Basil hoped his relief wasn’t too obvious. The last thing he needed was to reveal that until this evening he’d known the crescent moon only from photographs in his science lessons. At Sparta Point the redwood forest hid all but a tiny circle of sky directly overhead – and only when the moon was near full could it be seen that high, and then only late at night. David would never let him live it down.