A Butterfly Promise #flashfiction

A Butterfly Promise #flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the contrasting prompts butterfly and stones. The two can be used in any way in your story. Go where the prompt leads!

Charli is a collector of stones and I love butterflies. I don’t collect them, but I welcome them into my garden, and one of my favourite things of the year while teaching was having a butterfly house in the classroom.

We would acquire some butterfly eggs or just-hatched caterpillars, watch them grow and pupate, wait while they metamorphosed, and gaze in wonder as they emerged and prepared for flight.

The children and I enjoyed the experience so much, I gave my granddaughter a butterfly house for her birthday one year and re-filled it for her on successive years. It was enjoyed by all the family.

I have written about our classroom butterfly experience many times, both here and at readilearn where minibeasts (including butterflies) are star attractions. Some of those posts include:

I Spy Butterflies

Classroom Minibeasts

Who’s on the Move? (includes FF but not butterfly-related)

Bug Me, Please (includes FF but not butterfly-related)

Learning about minibeasts at home or at school

I have also written other butterfly-themed flash fiction in response to Charli’s previous prompts, including:

First Flight

Once upon a time … the power of story

Which brings me to this week’s story linking butterflies and stones. I hope you enjoy it.

A Butterfly Promise

Jack scrambled over the rocks to their favourite place for discussing the wonders of the universe and the meaning of life. And death. He took Grandma’s special stone from his pocket, turned it this way and that in the sunlight, and admired its iridescence. ‘Like butterfly wings. Like life.’ Grandma said she’d come back as a butterfly, if she could.

‘You shouldn’t have left me, Grandma!’ Jack didn’t try to stop his tears. He blinked when a beautiful butterfly alighted on the stone, tickled his nose and circled his head before fluttering away. ‘Grandma!’ called Jack. ‘You came back!’

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

35 thoughts on “A Butterfly Promise #flashfiction

  1. Pingback: Butterfly and Stones « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  2. Charli Mills

    I have enjoyed your posts about your butterfly experiences in the classroom, Norah. Your story took an unexpected direction. Death can be a difficult subject for any of us, let alone for a child. The touchstone and connection his grandmother left for him was thoughtful. Great way to pair the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Kate

    I love the creative ways in which you invoke curiosity and learning in children. A butterfly house is a very unique addition to any classroom. We don’t get a lot of butterflies where I live, primarily because there aren’t a lot of flowers that the deer don’t eat. Our gardens tend to be filled with ornamental grasses, herbs and deer-proof bushes and trees instead. Still lovely, just different. Your flash was very sweet and moving. I liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Kate. I’ve love to visit a garden that deer love to visit too. Deer aren’t native to Australia, though a few imported escapees live near me and roam the area from time to time. I’ve occasionally spotted them crossing the road at night.

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  4. Hugh W. Roberts

    I love the theme in your flash fiction about how people come back as certain objects, Norah. On the day my father passed away, I noticed a robin looking at me through our sitting room window. It was perched on a garden chair by the window, and I could not help but say ‘hello dad, I’m fine’ to it. It chirped back and stayed looking at me for a good few minutes before flying off.
    Robins were my father’s favourite garden bird. And he used to tell me such wonderful stories about them when I was a child. Now, whenever I see one, I always say ‘hello, dad,’ to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      That’s a lovely story, Hugh. It is comforting to feel that connection. I think Sherri speaks similarly of a robin. I’ve heard many others talk about feathers as well. There are many things we don’t understand – yet.

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  5. Darlene

    What a lovely story. A friend of mine lost a daughter to cancer and soon after a butterfly came into her garden and landed on her hand. She felt it was her daughter’s presence. Butterflies are amazing creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    This flash reminded me of a friend’s story of missing a friend of hers who had passed too young and unexpectedly. While thinking of him a butterfly appeared and lingered and didn’t fly off until she acknowledged that it was him.
    You wrote a fine flash and prove once again that you are The Butterfly Lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Anne. I’m sorry your first comment went to spam. Unfortunately, I get so much spam these days that I can’t/don’t check them all – it would take too long. It’s disappointing that some good ones get lost though. I don’t know why yours should.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. calmkate

    oh super delightful prose Norah! Really enjoyed this

    Often butterflies are used as a symbol of palliative care, it’s a state of transformation from our physical state to the next adventure …

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. Annika Perry

    I love this, Norah and brought back vivid memory over ten years ago when my grandfather passed away. My son, who was very close to him, was wandering the land in Sweden a few hours after the funeral when a butterfly landed on his hand. And wouldn’t leave! It stayed there for over twenty minutes … a powerful emotion of his spirit returning to tell us he was still with us, not to worry.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for sharing that lovely story of your son and your grandfather, Annika. what a special moment. I think it’s real stories like yours that influenced my fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

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