The Bridge and the Castoff Bag

FFfAW Aug25Here’s my entry for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers photo challenge.  Thanks to Priceless Joy for organizing the challenge, and to Dawn M. Miller for the photo prompt!  Click here for the rules and to see the other writers’ stories (click on the blue frog).



Hyla heard a thump ahead. Creeping around the corner, she saw something. Small, lumpy, questionable. Fallen from the temple sky-bridge, must be.

She slowly looked up through her fingers. Dangerous to stare into the brightness. The magic might seep inside through your eyes.

Shapes were struggling on the bridge. Yelling. She turned away. Heathens. Better to not see.

Hyla was stuck. Walking under the bridge was curse-calling as is. Now the bridge had thrown this… thing… blocking her path.

A sizzling crackle drew her gaze upwards, unbidden.

Flashes. Screams. The bridge wavered. It was fading! Hyla gasped, but already it had solidified, normal again. Well, normal for it.

Hyla harrumphed. Looming overhead like that was bad enough. Dropping things and crackling and threatening to disappear? That was just rude-on-rotten.

She pulled her cart around, grunting, and headed back. If the karna wanted these potatoes, he could come get them himself.



Note of confession — the other writers of the FFfAW correctly identified the object(s) on the path under the bridge.  With my poor screen resolution and poor eyesight, I couldn’t tell what it was and thought it looked mysterious.  And I’m sticking to that story because it makes better sense for, well, my story.

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26 thoughts on “The Bridge and the Castoff Bag

    • Thanks! I’ve been writing stories of people in this world respecting other religions and taking magic for granted, I wanted to get into the head of someone who’s superstitious and scared about the whole dang lot of it.

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  1. It was not until I read other stories that I realised that it was a pair of boots! I love the narration of it, made it a very interesting read 🙂 well done.

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  2. You and Angie certainly are not alone because I couldn’t make out what that was either. And, I saw the road as a creek. LOL Guess I have poor screen resolution sight too. I really liked your story and the narrator’s voice- very unique! Great story! I loved it. Thank you for participating in the FFfAW challenge!

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  3. Liked your story from Hyla’s point of view. but I took her for being one of those homeless ladies with a shopping cart and mentally ill with all her superstitions. Must be my mental health background. I took the object to be a small dog running so you are not alone in wondering what it was. 🙂

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    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who couldn’t figure out what it was! In the context of the Medieval-level technology world of Eneana, anyone with a shopping cart would be a fabulous sight indeed! Nope, just a standard peasant in this case. And just the average amount of mental illness. 😉

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  4. I actually thought it was a toy train and had already written a story surrounding a toy train before I figured 😀
    I love the character of Hyla, it leaves me wanting to know more like how did she get so “superstitious”, was there a reason behind it. Great story.

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    • Thanks — I’m glad others also were confused by the photo (but still inspired!) and I’m glad you liked the character. It’s been such a great exercise trying to get a glimpse of a character across in just 100 words when sometimes I have a hard time doing it in 5,000.

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    • Thanks Millie! Yeah, bridges are really not supposed to waver and almost disappear out from under you. I imagine the people who were on the bridge at the time might be feeling the same way toward magic as Hyla here after that!

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  5. I couldn’t tell they were boots either – I only found out when I started reading everyone else’s flashes! A great story, Joy. Hyla is a fascinating character and gives the piece a very interesting narrative voice. 🙂 Really well done.

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  6. I’m with the readers who want to know more about her superstitions. I think she’s had a lot of experience that tells her to be cautious. Maybe she is a younger sister of 9 brothers, and watched them get into countless jams, some of them dying painful deaths along the way from stupid carelessness, and she is just on edge. And she’s in a world where she’s had some good reason to be on edge. I also like her attitude about delivering the potatoes and that her life is more important than this one delivery on this dangerous day.

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    • Yes, she’s definitely in a world where it makes sense to be on edge about magic, because it’s obviously pretty powerful and dangerous. Think about what would have happened if that bridge had collapsed with all those people on it, much less the floating temple! And she doesn’t have any magic power and control over it, apparently. So that puts a very different spin on what we might consider to be “superstitious.”

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