The Dreamer (Flash Fiction)

Every week over at Fiction Writer’s Group, we share a photo prompt for a flash fiction piece. The word limit is 300, which ninety-five percent of the time is no problem for me. This prompt, however, proved difficult. Trying to extract a 300 word story was almost impossible! I had grand fantasy plots running around my head, stories of a shaman travelling the spirit realm to save her dying mother from cancer, and more. What I ended up with is a kind of mingling of all those ideas into one, and a decision to work those ideas into a short story/novella for my upcoming collection. For now, I hope you enjoy this short but sweet story, ‘The Dreamer.’

Free flash fiction cover photo. A photo prompt of a girl and a lion sitting on a tree branch, both with peacock feathers accentuating their hair.
Photo prompt for flash fiction: Source Unknown.

Poppy Pringle lives in an ordinary semi-detached home in Western London. Her ordinary father, Peter Pringle (prefers Mr Pringle), cuts his front and back lawns at an ordinary height at ordinary times throughout the week, and her ordinary mother, Priscilla Pringle, has ordinary hair and ordinary makeup, and all around dresses as one ordinarily would for the ordinary office job that takes up her painfully ordinary nine-to-five.

To the outside world, Poppy lives the most ordinary, uneventful, and dare I say unremarkable life a young girl in Western London could live. Her neighbours would watch her skip up and down the road picking bunches of flowers for her mother, and they’d say, “There’s that cute little Poppy from down the road,” while silently, in the deepest, darkest regions of their psyche, curse her for ripping up their marigolds and petunias as if it hadn’t taken time and money to create their own gardens. Her teachers would look upon her delicate frame and impressive test-results and say, “A good’en, that Poppy Pringle- if only she were less vacant and could make some friends.”

Princess Parthinia of the Outer Realm was anything but ordinary. Her chocolate brown skin and rosey cheeks resonated perfectly with the golden back drop of the ever-setting sun. Silver fireflies would dart around her wherever she walked, and her beautiful strands of hair, comparable only to the feathers of a peacock, would accentuate her beauty in this magical world.

Stories of her and her great companion, Patch, the lioness with a peacock mane, were told the world over.

Poppy Pringle was Princess Parthinia, and Princess Parthinia was Poppy Pringle, separated only by her great-grandmother’s feather necklace.

What she didn’t know yet, was that each of her worlds depended on her.

* * * * *

So, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed it. Honestly, it was so hard to tie that off in such a short amount of words. You can trust that Poppy Pringle and Princess Parthinia will return soon. Let me know what kind of stories this image inspires in you in the comments below!

Enjoy flash fiction pieces like this one? You can choose from an ever growing collection between 300 and 1000 words right here!

More Flash Fiction

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Author: Gary Holdaway

A multi genre author of short stories and novels, writing a curious mix of quick online reads and lifestyle posts.

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