Vision of a Silver Moth

Flash fiction for today’s Friday Fictioneers.  Click on the link to see the photo prompt, and read other writers’ entries.  Since the prompts are always modern photos, I didn’t include it here, but it was still inspirational!

Xanthorhoe_anaspila brown moth wiki

After the last magruk attack on the temple, only one divine strong enough for the ritual survives.

Her eyes quiver, roll back.

The vision is short. Two moths upon a dark tree, one brown, one silver. A bird swoops in, plucking the silver moth away.

She wakes groggy, sweaty, weak.

Knocking off her ornate hat, she coughs her commands. “Burn the vestments. Hide the amulets. We cut our hair like peasants. We blend in. We scatter.”

Haughty protests counter, “But the traditions–!”

“–Die if we do.”

A brown moth flutters toward a magruk guard. He recognizes the danger too late.

You can read more about this particular war
against the magruks here: From the Table’s Eye.


19 thoughts on “Vision of a Silver Moth

    • Thanks! I’m new to flash fiction and finding it a challenge to get any action at all in such a short space — but an interesting challenge. Plus I “discovered” a whole movement called the Brown Moths, who will probably show up in some other story down the road…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks – I tend to write long short stories (two of which seem to be turning into novels, they’re so long), so it’s a good exercise to have to say something worthwhile in 100 or 150 words.


  2. I think flash fiction would be a good exercise for me. I tend not to read short stories, and therefore also tend to write (very) long novels, as I think you’ve discovered. But you capture the moment, the tale, in so few words. If I were a teacher I’d give you a gold star.


    • Thanks for the gold star, yay! As someone else who’s also partway through a long novel, I’d definitely recommend trying flash fiction in between chapters. I’ve been reading a lot of short stories and am blown away by how much these excellent authors can get across in just a few pages. I’d like to get closer to that in my own chapters. Trying to keep the word count down to a minimum and only get across a brief scene has been a great exercise for me. It forces me to think about every phrase, every word, what’s really necessary. Plus I get to explore issues and ideas that haven’t fit themselves into one of my other stories yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, to date, my every attempt to ‘cut it to essentials’ has resulted in an increased word count! Yea, I’m going to try it, though I can’t see me posting the results as yet.


      • I can relate to that! I’m lucky to have a good writers’ group that tells me — firmly but kindly — which parts of my stories or chapters are too long and boring. Helps me ahead of time too: I try reading it aloud to myself before I read it to them, and if even *I* am bored by listening to that paragraph, it’s time to cut!


      • Ah, I know that boredom mark. Nothing goes out without I read it, at least three times, aloud-plus while I’m writing. I do execute enormous passages, believe it or not. But then there’s that ‘But I must just explain this’. I was told not to do this. Then when I started posting on this blog, I found several readers just weren’t getting it. So, easier to explain it in the text than in the comments. And so I’ve returned to my (former) bad ways.


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