In a flash #carrotranch #flashfiction

August 10, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something or someone that is transient. It can be a fleeting moment, a rogue vagabond, or ephemeral like trending hashtags. What is passing by and how can you capture the passing in a flash?

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I’ve been focused on insects this week. They loom large in my youth, those ephemeral flappers that captivated my father and created a bond between him, my brother and I as we wandered far and wide after an elusive fritillary or secretive skipper.

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The fallow periods of walking through grass and heather, hoping to disturb some slumbering butterfly, the cry as a flit of gold of flash of blue caught our eye, the vigorous mad risky-reckless chase wherever it headed and, with luck they dexterous swish of a net to capture the delicate thin-structured wonder.

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Back then we collected specimens we hadn’t had before. Or kept them to breed from.

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These days it’s just looking, loving, enjoying.

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So much so we invested in a moth trap, a circular device with an ultra violent light into which moths fly. In the morning they are sitting on egg boxes deep within the trap to be checked, photoed and released.

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Partly this was prompted by finding a super hawk moth caterpillar feeding on willow in Crystal Palace park.

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To me these small beasties are the ultimate in transient, never lasting long but always bringing a smile to my face. I begrudge their loss.

Anyway, here’s the latest installment of Mary’s story.

Plus ca change

Paul swore.

‘What is it?’ Mary glanced at the door hoping Penny didn’t hear her father.

‘An old school friend’s died. Jerry Slade. 49 years aold’ Paul laughed shortly. ‘When we were ten we agreed to become train drivers together. To Mary he looked wistful. ‘I guess I thought we’d be friends forever.’

‘What happened?’

‘His parents split and he went off the rails a bit. I last saw him at a reunion about fifteen years ago.’

‘Didn’t you want to renew the contact?’

‘He’d changed. We both had. Nothing lasts, does it?’

Mary kissed her husband. ‘We do.’

If you want to catch up with Mary and her family, click here

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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36 Responses to In a flash #carrotranch #flashfiction

  1. Erika Kind says:

    Awh, sweet story, Geoffle! I love the idea of​ the moth trap. I have always been intrigued too by them but never caught them… only watching. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Miriam says:

    What a wonderful short story and journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a history you have with those insects ! Sweet short story. Some do last. 💕


  4. M. L. Kappa says:

    I see you’re still not blogging, Goeff…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ritu says:

    Great Installment Geoffles! I love your moth attractor… but couldn’t have one myself.. moths creep me out!


  6. willowdot21 says:

    I think things are looking up for Mary and co! Your right about nothing lasting … can’t think too deeply about that one right now as it hurts.
    Loved your tales of younger days too and the how much joy the insects bring you ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jan says:

    Nice Geoff! Coincidentally (or not) I woke up with a cricket next to me (on the pillow).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. susanzutautas says:

    Great flash, I really enjoyed the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. noelleg44 says:

    Very nice,Geoff, and a pretty universal experience, I’d say. We have luna moths around here. I see one or two each summer, more when we used to have an outside light.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Charli Mills says:

    Cool moth trap. I saw a flash of monarch orange while walking the dogs along a bank of cedar trees. Then it disappeared, and emerged again. I followed it to its landing and it was a moth, not a butterfly we had disturbed. It’s wings blended perfectly with the cedar bark except when it opened up for flight to reveal dark orange colors. I don’t know what it was! Tender moment between Paul and Mary. A comfort to know some things remain.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Transience « Carrot Ranch Communications

  12. lucciagray says:

    Love the flash, Geoff! So true, sometimes we see people once every few years and it’s like picking up where we left off, as if our lives are still linked, and other times you think, ‘Did I ever really know/like this person?’ Btw, Mary’s story must be some kind of a record!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Norah says:

    Of course I enjoyed your butterfly and moth pictures. I learned a new word too: fritillary. I thought it must be a butterfly; but no, a plant – beautiful at that.
    This is a lovely scene between Mary and Paul. I’m pleased she is feeling a little more permanence in her life. You’ve captured a truth about friendship in your flash. People come into and out of our lives at different times and places for different reasons. Sometimes the friendship just doesn’t survive the transfer to another situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Rowena says:

    I remember trying to catch things with my bug catcher as a kid. Didn’t have a lot of success. Good thing times have changed and we let these critters go these days.
    I’ve been reading Roald Dahl’s bio and he used to collect all these things and bird’s eggs.
    Still watching that 50 km walk watching the night disappearing but have to see the end with the Aussie now in second place. Want him to get that gold.
    xx Ro

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a delightful post, Geoff. I was enchanted by the narrative and photos. (I’ve never heard of a moth trap.) Then, unexpectedly, there was also a story episode. Have a wonder-filled weekend. Mega hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sweet. 🙂

    Perfect choice for transient. I had never heard of a moth “trap” before. Very cool. I’m not partial to moths especially since we got attacked by them this summer like a Hitchcock movie but, still, I can see the draw. Some are very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reblogged this on Journal Edge and commented:
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