2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 24

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to create a new myth.
Publish date:

As I’m sure some of us have already explored this month, flash fiction doesn’t always mean realistic fiction! For today, let’s dive into the unreal: Create a new myth.

Flash Fiction Challenge

Remember: These prompts are just starting points; you have the freedom to go wherever your flash of inspiration takes you.

(Note: If you happen to run into any issues posting, please just send me an e-mail at mrichard@aimmedia.com with the subject line: Flash Fiction Challenge Commenting Issue.)

Here’s my attempt at myth:

The Ghost Mother

When the God of Death came for her, she would not go.

“I cannot leave my family,” she told him, “and you cannot make me go.”

This was not true, but for once, the God of Death did not argue with the dead. They watched the way this new soul clung to Mary, her youngest child, who was sobbing alone in her bed.

The God of Death offered her a compromise.

“You will remain here in the world of the living,” they said, “but your body will not be seen, your words will not be heard, and your touch will not be felt by the living. You will neither rest nor feel rested. You will be their watcher only.”

“Even one day without seeing my children’s faces is intolerable,” she said.

She took the deal.

Before they left, the God of Death granted her a new name: Eerie.

At first, Eerie did not mind her existence. She watched her husband remarry, her children grow. She rejoiced in their joy, though they could not share it with her. But soon, her family grew old. When the God of Death came for them, they went quietly, one by one. Not one stayed behind, as she had. She followed her children’s children and even their children, but she did not feel the deep sense of love and connection she had with her babies.

She stayed in the home she shared with them until it was abandoned and fell to ruin around her. Then she wandered, seeking out places filled with the living until they became too painful to be around. Then she sought the solitude of the wilderness. Animals were too afraid of her to let her get close to them; they sensed her in a way that people could not. Time grew slow until it might as well have stopped; she finally understood the scope of eternity. She cried out in agony, but no one heard her but the God of Death.

“You chose this,” they reminded her on one of their few visitations.

Eerie wept at their feet. She thought of her family, the memory of her children a weight in her arms. “This is torture.”

“Be patient and wait,” the God of Death told her. “Nothing is purposeless, even this.”

So, she wandered. She waited. She watched.

Eventually, she stumbled across a child. They were knelt in the dirt by a ruined house, gutted by fire and still smoking. When the child turned wide eyes on her, she realized with a jolt that he could see her.

“Child,” she whispered, “what plagues you?”

He wiped at his cheeks, his words hiccuped from his throat: “I didn’t want to go in case they made it out. But they didn’t.”

“Neither did you,” she said gently.

When he reached out to touch the house, his little hand passed through the rubble. He began to cry again in earnest. Eerie gathered him into her arms. His body was almost too hot to touch.

Eerie held him to her chest and she walked. The farther they went, the more children she found. They were lost, afraid, grieving. She comforted each one, took them to herself and made them a part of her family. Sometimes they traveled together, and sometimes the braver souls broke off from the group and found places to stay without Eerie’s constant gaze.

“Why children?” Eerie asked the God of Death.

They hummed, ignoring the way a little girl was pulling at the drapes of their cloak. “Maybe the better question is, “Why you?’”

Eerie gave them a small smile and scooped the girl into her arms. “Nothing is purposeless, eh?”

As they vanished back to the realm of the dead, Eerie swore she could hear them chuckle.


I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

In this post, we look at what creative nonfiction (also known as the narrative nonfiction) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing and more.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Four WDU Courses, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce four WDU courses, a Competition deadline reminder, and more!

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask is a humorous and handy column by literary agent Barbara Poelle. In this edition, she discusses the next big fiction trend, and whether or not all books are the same.

From Script

A Change in Entertainment Business Currency and Disrupting Storytelling with Historical Significance (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, learn about how crypto currency is making a wave in the entertainment business, what percentages really mean in film financing, the pros and cons of writing partnerships, an exclusive interview with three-time NAACP Image Awards nominee, co-creator and former showrunner of CBS’ 'S.W.A.T.' Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and more!