"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

11/28/08

Friday Fiction: "Flitter's Foggy Day"



Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Fridays, hosted this week at Pod Tales and Ponderings. Be sure to stop by there and read more great fiction!
I wrote this almost a year and a half ago for the Faithwriters Writing Challenge - we were to write something suitable for children. It did VERY well in the challenge, and was actually the one that "boosted me" to the Masters level there (for those of you unfamiliar, that means it was my third top ten entry). This story is very dear to my heart, and I have fallen in love with my characters. I'm convinced there's another "Flitter story" inside me, and I have vowed at some point (we still on for February, Peejers? hmmmmm??) to polish this up real nice (have started, but this is the "original" version) and attempt to get it published. I also thought it was appropriate for this time of year. Hope you enjoy it!

Flitter's Foggy Day

There once was a butterfly named Flitter, with light, wispy wings and long, thin antennae. Her wings were blue, orange, and purple with little silver specks that sparkled in the sunlight.

Flitter lived in a forest full of birds and bugs and monkeys and plants of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. It was a beautiful place, and Flitter would often smile as she fluttered about gathering nectar.

Sometimes, when the sunrise or sunset was especially pretty, or when the light reflected off the morning dew drops in a special way, Flitter would stop and say a little prayer. Her prayer went something like this:

Heavenly Father, I thank you today
for blessing me in this special way.
Thanks for the beauty of all I see,
And thank you, Lord, for loving me.

Flitter was quite happy in the forest with all her plant and animal friends. She loved to play hopscotch among the forest flowers, and tag with the insects. She and her best friend, Maggie the monkey, would often play hide and seek among the trees. She had everything she needed in her beautiful home in the woods.

One morning, however, Flitter bumped into a tree and bruised a wing. Her hurt wing made it harder than usual to flutter about. It was a very foggy day, too, so she couldn't see the sunrise. The entire forest was covered with a gray haze.

Flitter didn't feel as cheerful as she usually did. In fact, she was just plain grumpy. The beautiful colors of the flowers seemed a little less bright, and even Flitter's silver specks stopped sparkling. Flitter was as dreary and gray as the forest fog.

Flitter was tired of fluttering about, so she sat on a low tree branch in the middle of the forest. She didn't feel like flying, and playing hopscotch or tag seemed like too much trouble. Even when she spotted Maggie the monkey coming toward her in the distance, all Flitter wanted to do was sit. As Maggie came closer, Flitter prayed. Her prayer went something like this.

Heavenly Father, please tell me why
you put those dreary gray clouds in the sky.
And why did you make my wing so sore?
It's hurting my flying more and more.

Right as she finished her prayer, Maggie climbed the tree and sat right next to Flitter on the branch.

"Hi Flitter! Wanna play hide and seek?" Maggie asked with a smile.

"Not really," Flitter said crossly.

"What's wrong?" Maggie asked. "It's a beautiful day to play in the forest."

"I think the fog makes it ugly!" Flitter frowned, turning away from her friend. "And besides, my wing hurts."

Maggie stuck her arm out right in front of Flitter, then tilted her head to the side.

"Come here, Flitter."

Flitter shook her head.

"Aw, come on. I won't bite!"

Flitter giggled, then hopped onto Maggie's long furry arm.

Maggie raised her arm up in front of her face and pointed toward a bed of yellow flowers growing on the forest floor below them.

"Look at how the flower petals shine in the mist. They look just like the silvery specks on your wings. And the clouds make the treetops look like a castle in the sky." Maggie paused, looked into Flitter's eyes, and smiled. "I'll bet that's what heaven looks like."

Flitter grinned. Maggie was right! The forest was beautiful, and so was Maggie, for seeing it and sharing it with her friend. Flitter looked straight into Maggie's eyes and said a prayer.

Heavenly Father, I thank you today
for my dear friend Maggie, who showed me the way
to know all the beauty Your world has to see,
and thank you too, Lord, for her love for me.

Maggie blushed. "You're welcome, Flitter."

Taking flight, Flitter hovered above Maggie's head. She was so happy, she didn't even notice the soreness in her wing. She could have flown in this beautiful forest forever.

"So, are you ready to play hide and seek?" Flitter asked. "I'll be it."

"Definitely," Maggie said happily. "Count to twenty, and no peeking!"

As Maggie swung across the forest from treetop to treetop, Flitter closed her eyes. Before she started counting, Flitter thought about how blessed she was to be in this beautiful forest, with a wonderful friend and an amazing God.

Heavenly Father, I thank you today
for blessing me in this special way.
Thanks for the beauty of all I see,
And thank you, Lord, for loving me.


Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by here for more great fiction, or to contribute your own!

6 comments:

  1. How very sweet and fitting for Thanksgiving.

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  2. Thank you, for this,JO... I needed this today. I love you!

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  3. Ah yes, we all need that kind of perspective on our foggy days. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. This is darling. I'll be reading it to my kids later!

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  5. Very cute. Maybe someday I'll have grandkids to read stories like this to.

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  6. I was SO happy when I saw Flitter pop up in my inbox last Friday morning!! I absolutely adore Flitter--as you well know. LoL

    Love you, sweetie tater!

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