Spring Hearted

Resolute NU Canada

Char Lake, Resolute, NU, Canada, via Google Maps street view

Ice covers the lake, snow dots the brown hills, and thick clouds hang heavy.  My grand-niece complains that it doesn’t even smell like spring yet, but I can’t hear her over my grinning.

It was a Springday just like this when we met.  The priests had called the fire bats, swirling and swooping over a different lake ringed in dirty slush.  I saw their orange flames reflected in your eyes, your face glowing with joy. Then you turned to me, your gaze more magical than the creatures overhead.

Your beard was flecked with gray then; now it is lighter than my fingers twined into it. Since the accident, I cannot dance as smoothly; you swing me slower, claiming not to notice.

Tonight the fire bats won’t come, but I still see them in your eyes.

I threw the bones that morning.  They said my life would change forever.

It did.

Word count: 150.  Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw photo challenge.  Thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting.  To everyone else, please join in — the water’s warm!  (Well, metaphorically, at least.) Pegman takes us to a different place on the globe every week, and inspires us to write a story about it in 150 words or less.  Click on the link to read the other stories.

Sorry, my friends, that I’ve been offline for a while.  My previous post explains a bit about it — I was at Worldcon (whee!) and before that at a long professional conference, and before that, desperately getting work done prior to both events.  I’m hoping to participate in more flash fiction challenges and read more blogs this week and next, but then I’ll be traveling again quite a bit in September and early October.  My apologies in advance if I don’t see and comment on all my regular blogs!


41 thoughts on “Spring Hearted

    • Thanks, Josh. Breaking with past habits, I’ve actually included something from one of the novels I’m working on — the fire bats. They weren’t involved in the Springday celebrations before, but they fit right in, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great to see you back Joy!

    Your world building is gorgeous as always–but my favorite part of this piece is the contrast of warmth and cold, the secret spring hiding in the old love. So many lovely & subtle delights!

    Thanks for the plug on Pegman–we’d love to see more faces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Karen! I do always try to squeeze a little world building in there along with the characters. I was drawn to the contrast between the weather and her emotions — like the opposite of that weird disjuncture when it’s sunny and bright at a funeral.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I deliberately prompt myself to do that — what’s the obvious take, and how can I switch it around? Sometimes it works better than other times.

      And already replied to it. Sorry for hijacking your comments thread with such a long comment! I didn’t realize how long it was until it was there on the page.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have no books out — yet! — so I’d say somewhere in between: more as an aspiring author, always looking for inspiration and advice about world building and writing. And what better inspiration than seeing how others do it so well?


    • Thank you so much, Penny, that’s how I felt too. I was trying to hint (with the gray in his beard) that they’d met later in life and yet still fell in love and shared a lifetime. I’d like to think there’s hope for all of us who are alone to find that special someone. 🙂


  2. I have broken my rule – because I am kinda stuck on my own story – and read another Pegman! So very glad I did. What a most beautiful love story you have crafted within this special world. Adore. Simply adore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to agree with others – a lovely love story. And that memory of the fire bats is so special – the descriptions of the snow over the landscape are concise but perfect. And this chimes with me. I hold a special place in my heart for hawthorn blossom because when I went on my honeymoon it was everywhere, sprinkling the fields, filling the air. Every year when it blooms I’m reminded of being young and in love! As always, a special slant from you, Joy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Lynn. “Concise but perfect” is exactly what I’m always going for, and only rarely feel I’ve achieved. What a sweet story about the hawthorn blossoms, how romantic! The fire bats are not very romantic on their own (they cause a lot of trouble in my novel), but I loved the idea of the flames reflected in someone’s eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. best wishes on your projects nd schedule – and I like the fire bats and the whole piece had a nice energy to it.
    The photo you chose was perfect and my vert favorite line was this:

    “but I can’t hear her over my grinning”

    you had me completely hooked at that point (and I have had those grins before)


  5. I like the contrast of the cheerful mood and the bleak scene, and the many details gave credence to you world. I especially like the “throwing the bones” which i assume is some kind of divination, though i expect in this world, they might be bat bones.

    Liked by 1 person

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