Or why I love Flash Fiction
Posting last week with one of my old Flash Fiction Month [FFM] stories prompted me to have a look back over some of my other pieces. This one combined the optional themes of Star Festival, in honor of the Japanese holiday. Legend has it that two stars separated by the Milky Way (Altair and Vega, for the astronomically inclined) are able to meet only once a year, and when they do, they grant any wishes made that day and ‘the stars are alive! And they *hate* us.’
Do let me know what you think!
When You Wish Upon A Star [You’d Better Be More Specific]
Benny’s 6th floor window looked out across the park: as the sky dimmed, the last rays of sun caught the broken shards of glass littered in the wood chips; beyond, the cockerel weather vane that lived on top of the Church spire shone golden.
“That’s where Mummy lives now,” said Benny, his pudgy little hands and button nose flat against the window as he repeated Daddy’s words to himself again. He didn’t quite understand why Mummy had decided to go and live at the Church with its never ending ceilings and drafty pews. Yawning, Benny tucked himself back into bed, eyelids fluttering as he settled.
“I wish Mummy were here,” he mumbled as he slipped to sleep.
As if one by one, the stars began twinkling, a canopy of tiny lights. Among them, Altair and Vega had been awoken from their year-long slumber.
“Altair!” Vega shot a comet at him. “Altair! Wake up! Did you hear that? We got our first wish in! Time to wreak some havoc!”
Beside her, Altair dodged the comet as he started resonating. “I’m awake! What was it?”
“I wish Mummy was here,” said Vega, attempting a whiny human child voice as they spoke via light signal.
If a star could roll it’s eyes, Altair’s would’ve been in danger of coming loose and colliding with the Earth. “So the kid wants his Mother back.” He released a particularly large flare, tinged red. “Done.”
Vega chuckled, sending a spray of tiny rocks from her surface. “That kid should’ve been more specific!”
Below, a raggedy figure covered in dirt hobbled through the park collecting dull glass in her bare feet. When she reached the tower block she didn’t stop, feeling blindly at the brickwork until she found finger holds before hauling herself upwards. The human child was close, she could smell it. She climbed a little further then stopped, touching the glass to her left. He was in there. Using what remained of her fingers, she tapped at the window with her bones.
“-eh,” her wasted tongue wouldn’t form the word she wanted. She continued tapping.
The arrhythmic clicking on his window woke Benny gently from his dream. Rubbing the half-formed sleep from his eyes, he made his way towards the window smiling. It must be one of the birds he’d been feeding waiting for food. The little robin, hopefully.
As he opened the curtains, Benny fell backwards and screamed. The figure clinging to the electricity wire was bloated and blind, with stumpy fingers and ripped clothes.
Whimpering, Benny dove under his duvet, cocooning himself away from the thing outside. Whatever that was, it certainly was not a bird.
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