She remembers the day her daughter was born and died. One of those things, the doctors said. There’s nothing anyone could have done. They named her Ailana, light bearer. She was a brief beacon of hope. For her and her husband. For their country. For their planet.
She never had another baby. No one did.
But. . .there are moments caught between heart-beats, when she senses her, this ghost-baby, growing like a golden flower, glowing in the shadows. Waiting to bring the light to their dark world.
A wisp of flash fiction for Kim’s dVerse prosery prompt. She asks us to use the line
“There are moments caught between heart-beats.” From Louis MacNeice’s poem “Coda.”
A beautiful wisp, Merril, and a gorgeous image! I love the description of Allana as ‘a brief beacon of hope’ and a ‘ghost-baby, growing like a golden flower, glowing in the shadows.’
A real flash, or wisp, like passing people on the street, like watching people on the subway; a fine balance of dystopia (she never had another baby–no one did) and hope (waiting to bring light to their dark world).
Thank you very much, Glenn. I thought of making it more explicit, but I decided to leave it like this.
This says so very much in so few words. It’s just fantastic. Very skillful.
Thank you so much, Sarah. I was afraid it was too little–I think it wanted to be a poem–so I’m pleased you like it.
Love this Merril!
Thanks so much, Rene!
Very moving, Merril. Nicely done!
Thank you very much, Jill!
I like that she lives on in some form. Nicely done:)
Thank you, Pat. Yes, I do, too–though bittersweet.
Beautiful and bittersweet
Thank you very much, Beth!
Very nice! Frightening twists!
Thank you, Dwight!
You laid a nice framework for a bigger story here, Merril.
Thank you very much!
You’re welcome 🙂
Between the lines, there’s so much more to this bittersweet tale. A stunner, Merril! Ailana’s name is perfect, too. xo
Thank you very much, Rose! I’m so pleased you liked it.
Yes, of course! But I think as a story yours is better than mine, there is more to it, more ‘flesh’ to hold onto, and an ending that opens into something with far more possibilities than my attempt did.
Funny you said it wanted to be a poem. That was exactly how I felt too. I wonder if it isn’t partly because a line from a poem will always be a line of poetry and will feel just a little out of place in a straight prose piece?
That’s so funny–I thought yours was more of a story and maybe mine too open-ended. Hahaha.
Perhaps you’re right about the line. Though I really did like this one, and it wasn’t too difficult to put into a piece.
That’s reassuring. Must mean that they are both proper stories and neither of them is too open-ended 🙂
It’s a phrase that was relatively easy to use, maybe because the words are ‘ordinary’ words in a standard grammatical phrase. Poetry is often ‘original’ or ‘startling’ and doesn’t read like prose.
All true. 🙂
A stunning wisp, Merril
Thank you very much, Derrick.
So moving Merril, this speaks to an experience many have experienced and it puts that losing, grief, and hope into a way of accepting. Wonderful.
Thank you very much, Paul!
The perfect blend of sadness and hope Merril. Beautiful!
Thank you very much, Linda.
The glimmer of a hopeful tomorrow in waiting in the darkness. Well done .. Hi Merril.
Hi Frank! Thank you, and thanks for dropping by. 🙂
I really love the hint of a dystopian back-story here… a world without children… so dark that even the ghost memories become flashes of light in the twilight of humanity.
Thank you so much, Björn. I really like the way you expressed that!
This is breathtaking, Merril.
Thank you so much, Dale! I’m so pleased you think so.
a ghost baby growing like a golden flower…..this is just a beautiful prosery. So very poignant. And the lines that indicate she is the last baby….in the world. There will be no more. Oh how very very sad this would be.
Thank you very much for your lovely comment, Lillian!
That made me tingly. It was so moving. You never fail to rise to the occasion with such challenges. 🙂
Aww–thank you so much, Rachel!
You’re very welcome. 🙂
Fascinating. Don’t you wonder where this came from? The woman speaks to you through your writing fingers. In her pain and hope, she is (you are) giving us an interesting message.
Thank you very much, Pam.
I could tell you how the story developed from images/ideas in my head, but that wouldn’t be very interesting. 😉
I think it’s interesting! Those who aren’t writers/poets don’t understand how shadowy shapes within our mind take fruit as our words hit the page.
Thank you. 😉
A wisp in word count only. Your flash fiction is a perfect example of how a few words can read like a novel with all its depth and complexity. I do love the image of a ghost-baby, how much that image evokes the experience of any woman who has given birth only to see her baby die, or women who have suffered late-term miscarriages. In a way, sad as it is, it still feels comforting.
Thank you very much, Marie. That is such a lovely comment!
Such longing . . .
Yes. Thank you!