Long Fall

Single frame of a falling spinning sycamore seed.Martyn Fletcher.flickr

Photo credit: Martyn Fletcher

He saw the seedpod break free, twirling lazily, no rush to drop.

Beside him, she continued her impossible, nonsensical explanation.  If he turned, he’d see those dark lips, much-kissed, now sour-twisted to form such words.  But he couldn’t lose the seedpod.  Not now.

It floated on unfelt breezes, left, then right.  He wondered if it knew its fate.  If it embraced its doom.

The log shifted as she stood.  Her footsteps crunched across the forest floor.

Out of options, the seedpod landed, immediately indistinguishable from the other dead things, that had grown and hoped and tried to soar, and failed.

Word count: 100.  Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers challenge.  Big thanks as always to our hostess Rochelle Wisoff-Fields!  This one was a bit more of a stretch from the original photo prompt (below) than usual, but in trying to think of an Eneana equivalent of the whirligig carnival rides, this image stuck in my head and demanded to be written about.  Click on the link to read the other stories written for this prompt, or to join in yourself.


Photo © J Hardy Carroll

43 thoughts on “Long Fall

    • Thank you Rochelle, I’m glad you liked it! It really is odd, where the prompt takes me sometimes. This one felt a lot farther afield than usual, but I suppose creative license gives me the chance to explore like that. It makes these photo challenges even more interesting and fun!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so funny what comes to me and what doesn’t. The FFfAW prompt this week had a rainbow in it. *Surely* I could come up with a story involving rainbows, which obviously exist in Eneana. Nope. And when I first saw the photo for FF, I thought, well that’s it, I can’t do anything with *that* prompt. Then this image popped into my head, of a man staring at a falling “whirlybird” (as we called them as children), transfixed while denying what what happening right next to him, and the story slowly pushed its way into existence. Anyway… whew, thanks for reading, Dale!

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  1. That’s a terrific story, Joy. To use the prolonged and beautifully described fall of a seedpod as a metaphor for the ending of their love affair would have been impressive in a longer story. But to do it so successfully in 100 words – I’m awestruck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you look at the whirlybird aspect of the photo, I think so. Everyone else seemed to go for the rusty death trap aspect, though, and seedpods are pretty far in another direction from that! Thanks for reading, glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • People do say that — that it’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. But I’ve always thought that’s a false dichotomy . When you’ve just been dumped, what most people are probably wondering is “what if” you had held off and loved someone else instead — someone who loved you back. Interesting to think about. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate it! I was struck by that odd emotional thing, where something dire is happening, so important and big that the only way to cope is to focus on something trivial. Like sitting in a hospital room and you can’t deal with who’s in the bed and what’s happening, and stare at the spider walking across the ceiling instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In Minnesota they are called whirlybirds. We would grab a handful and run upstairs and release them into the wind, great fun. – dark lips, much-kissed, now sour-twisted – I wonder how long they have been dating, or if married. Given a choice between – dark lips, much-kissed, now sour-twisted – I would have picked the whirlybird. MMMM second thought – Not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to hear from someone else who called them whirlybirds — I was beginning to wonder if I’d made that up! I’m from Michigan, so that’s not very far — as the snow breezes blow, at least.

      I didn’t decide how long they’d been together, although I hope by the “much kissed” to indicate that it was a real relationship, not just something in his imagination where she thought they were just friends. And definitely serious on his part, given how impossible he thinks it is that she’s ending it. Painful – and yes, if I were him, I’d rather be thinking about anything else for a few minutes and postpone having to deal with that truth.

      Liked by 1 person

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