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U is for Under

This was my entry for Microcosms Fiction flash fiction competition on the 3rd of February.  The prompt was: song title: If only I had a match/ genre: romance. The prompt had something to do with a singer/songwriter.

For those new to my blog: Twisted Tale Tuesday is where I share flash fiction pieces I’ve written for various competitions and online platforms. Here I not only share the story, but also the thoughts behind it. Enjoy.

Under an Immortal Moon

By Ronel Janse van Vuuren


Light glinted off the broken glass littering the veld. In the distance a pair of plovers were screeching at passers-by.

It was the perfect setting for a romantic picnic.

Joan sat down on the checkered blanket and sighed contentedly. She couldn’t wait for Mark to arrive. In a long line of blind-dates, he’s the only one who had agreed to a moonlight picnic.

Hopefully her long search was over. Hopefully Mark was her match.

‘Chilly, isn’t it?’

Joan smiled as Mark sat down.

‘I’m glad you made it.’

‘I almost didn’t. Between the plovers attacking from above, the dry grass tangling in my laces and the glass making everything slippery, things nearly got ugly.’

‘You’re here now, that’s all that matters.’

‘Yeah. Tell me again why we couldn’t have had this picnic in a more traditional setting – like the botanical gardens, for example?’

‘That’s so pedestrian. No. Here we have the music of the night…’ she smiled dreamily.

‘You know, Joan, that I love you, but –’

Her head snapped up. ‘What?’

‘I love how you like to pretend that we haven’t known each other for the last millennium, it keeps things interesting. But between the drought, people being more aware of our kind and that weird smell in the air, I just can’t play along tonight.’

‘Seriously! You promised! Oh, everything’s up in flames…’

‘If I had a match, I’d show you flames,’ Mark muttered as Joan cried.

I had thought to change the title to “up in flames” but I thought “under an immortal moon” is more romantic. I listened to Madonna’s American Pie because of something in the theme about the day that music died – I used the veld, the broken glass, the attack by birds as my own reference to the song’s lyrics.

In South Africa we have different types of plovers, some crazy enough to think they can live side-by-side with Rottweilers… and they always protect their land. Oh, we also call the grassland veld. Not sure what the rest of you would call it…

Judge’s favourite line: ‘If I had a match, I’d show you flames,’ Mark muttered as Joan cried.

What do you think? Did you like the twist? Anything you’d change about the story? I always appreciate feedback, so leave your thoughts in the comments.