For this weeks Flash!Friday there was an important announcement that the site won’t continue to run the weekly Flash fiction competition after Dec 11th. I just wanted to take this moment to say a huge thank you to Rebekah P, who has ran the site for 3 years now. I can’t even imagine the amount of work that goes into keeping things moving! Flash!Friday is the reason that I write a short story at least once a week, after many failed attempts in the past to do something similar. Since I started writing on FF three years ago I have only missed a handful of weeks, one because of the birth of my daughter and a few more while I was on holiday. It has been Rebekah and the fantastic community over at FF that gave me the motivation to keep writing week after week. I saw what amazing stories they all created and I was inspired to follow in their footsteps. I have met some fabulously talented writers on the site. I learned to critique and improve my own writing by being a judge. I was even published in two anthologies as a result of my involvement. It has been a truly wonderful experience. 

Despite years of practice, I simply can’t find the words to express my gratitude to Rebekah for creating such a wonderful online sanctuary and occasional therapy group. Sincerely, thank you. 

Ok, enough of that. For this weeks prompt our themes were based on One hundred years of solitude. I chose to write about a son returning from sailing around the world, and a village cut off from the outside world. Here is this weeks photo prompt:

Tayrona National Park, Colombia. CC2.0 photo by McKay Savage.

Stuck in the past

I see the familiar huts come into view on the horizon. I thought I’d be excited, but instead my chest tightens. My Father was buried next to the hut where he was born. I vowed never to return, but I must tell them what I’ve seen.

The boat runs ashore and the children run out to greet me. They are so much bigger than I remember. Their eyes are wide with excitement, “What is out there?”

I gather them in a circle, “I saw men climb into big metal cylinders and fly through the air like the birds.”
“Impossible! They must have powerful magic.”
“They do. It is called science.”
“What else?”

I think hard. I want to tell them about TV, selfies, fast food and wifi, but they have no frame of reference to understand. They are stuck in the past.

I want them to know how simple they are, how shallow, but then I notice something else. They are all smiling. Their world is small but complete. They aren’t chasing smartphones or pay raises, they have everything they need. They are content.

I had to go around the world to understand how lucky I am to have nothing.