Today we have a lovely flash fiction by Fiona Campbell who took part in our March Flash Challenge. Enjoy!
As Declan wandered into ‘Sycamore Hollow,’ the trees formed a canopy above him in a dazzling display of autumn hues. The ground was covered with scattered acorns and pinecones left by scampering squirrels. The hollow was a haven of tranquility, where he could be alone with his thoughts. The sound of the stream gentle rippling mingled with the whispering wind. In the heart of the forest lay the old well bearing the message, ‘a penny for your thoughts.’ Declan tossed a silver coin into the well with a silent prayer. We all want to believe in something: luck, fate, or destiny. For Declan, it was his faith in God. His wife, Rowena, on the other hand, was a firm believer in all things magical and mythical.
Photo by Dmitriy Granin, Pexels
Declan was resting against a tree trunk, enjoying melodic birdsong and a glimmer of sun, when suddenly an odd-looking man popped out of the well. Dressed in green, he had a thick, red beard and was only two feet tall.
‘Yes, but how do you know my name and who are you?’
‘I make it my business to know everyone who enters my forest. I’m Arthur and I believe you’re needing a wish granted.’
‘If only it were that simple, my friend. Only God can grant my dearest wish.’
‘Nothing is impossible for a leprechaun.’
Declan shares his dearest wish, ‘a baby’s all we need to make our life complete. We would be a perfect mammy and daddy.’
‘I’m sure you will, but I won’t lie to you, it’s not going to be an easy task.’
‘I’ll do whatever it takes.’
‘You’ll need some clover, a dandelion clock, the hair from a black cat, a feather from a snowy owl and the wing of a butterfly. Once you have completed your quest, come and see me at the end of the next rainbow.’
‘Did you make a wish, darling?’ Rowena asked, admiring the picture of the well.
‘That I did,’ he replies, squeezing her hand. ‘Ro, do you still believe in magic?’
She giggled. ‘Have you been seeing fairies in the forest?’
‘Not exactly. You’ll think I’m crazy, but I think I saw a leprechaun,’ he said.
He’d never given her any reason not to trust him, so after hearing his story, she wrapped her arms around him and whispered in his ear ‘I believe you.’
They made it their mission to collect everything on Arthur’s list, then they waited, hoping, and praying that the sun and rain would collide and the elusive rainbow would appear. When the vibrant colours lit up the sky, Declan couldn’t wait to take Rowena to the hollow. It was misty with the fresh smell of petrichor.
‘Wow. It really is ethereal, isn’t it?’ said Rowena, soaking up the magical atmosphere.
Sure enough, Arthur was waiting for them at the well.
‘You’ve done a grand job,’ said Arthur. ‘You’ve succeeded in your quest and I think you’ll find that your beautiful wife is carrying your child.’
Fiona Campbell lives in Aberdeen, Scotland with her three wonderful children. Since passing her MA in creative writing with merit, she has had poetry, short stories and flash fiction published in anthologies. Her debut novel 'Trust your instincts' is on submission and she is working on a second novel, 'MSunderstood.'
You can find her on her website, https://fimariecampbell.wordpress.com, or on twitter at @FionaMCampbell1