Flash Fiction

The picture on his exercise pad did not make much sense. He had heard the stories, of course. Many times. Of Home. They said Home but home was here. That blue – what was it, a sky? – looked deeply disturbing. Unlike the cool, faintly pinkish glow he knew, the sunshine sky – he turned in his seat to glance out of the portal to reassure himself of this fact, that everything was okay with the world. It was. He grinned.

“Michael!” The stern voice of his humanities tutor. He turned back to his exercise pad, slowly by degrees, acting begrudgingly.

What the hell could these black and white lines mean? Some sort of chaos in the landscape. Everything ought to be ordered, systematic. They vaguely brought to his mind trees but not the trees he saw in the fields, their perfect uniformity of shape: a Y upon a Y upon a third Y, sleek shapes, fixed equidistant in arrays of ten by ten, a space for a road, then repeated, another ten by ten, a road, and then more again. Proper grid engineering, his science tutor had said.

He supposed the white stuff was pollution, sticking horribly to those mutated tree things. It’s why they left. Not him, he’d been born right here, but his Mother, and her family, while she was a baby. She always called it Home but when he asks her anything about it, she can’t remember. The class is lining up now, the tutor is asking each student to peer into the electroscope, to find the pale blue dot again. They do so obediently but show little interest, a cursory peek and a quick turn away. They’ve already seen it, a thousand times, the dead world, sometimes glimpsed over the southern horizon.

(295 words)

Thanks to Rachel Poli.com for this writing picture prompt, Time To Write: Picture Prompt 15.

I found Rachel’s blog on my continuing wanderings through planet WordPress, listed at


I think this is a really good idea as WP don’t seem to offer a directory of bloggers. You might like to check out the link.

I couldn’t see any rules to this prompt. I’m calling it Flash Fiction, the same as the other prompt.

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