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Jack & Sally – #FlashFiction

The September 5, 2019, prompt from Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that shows true grit. You can use the phrase or embody the theme. Who or what has true grit? Go where the prompt leads you!

Respond by September 10, 2019.

Image captured by my daughter, Amy

After the hurricane, Jack, the monarch, fought the constraints of the chrysalis. He struggled, but his foot remained lodged within his birth home. Wings as delicate as tissue paper flashed in the afternoon sun, drying at an odd angle. Jack would never fly.

Sally, the monarch, emerged from the chrysalis drunk with victory. Weak, she staggered and fell to the ground where a fight ensued. She had to break free from the fluid she’d pumped out so her wings would dry. Now, deformed, Sally would never fly.

Despite their handicaps, the pair remain triumphantly alive – vibrant inside the lanai.

Image captured by my daughter, Amy

My daughter, Amy, is a butterfly farmer. At least that’s what I call her. She lives on Satellite Beach on the eastern coast of Florida. An avid gardener, she enjoys growing the plants that attract butterflies.

Jack and Sally must have sensed Hurricane Dorian’s approach. Amy said they went into chrysalis in a hurry before the storm hit. She was shocked to find the pair emerging after the hurricane passed.

Amy believes no life is more valuable than another. So, she cares for this pair as best she can. After she places them on the tender buds, they feed from the flowers. They even drink from a bowl filled with wet cotton balls.

If that’s not true grit, displaying the will to survive, I don’t know what is!

The lesson is… no matter what, spread your wings and fly even if you can’t get up from the ground!

About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Faery Writer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community on November 2017, and in 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. Learn more about Colleen on colleenchesebro.com.
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  1. Pingback: Seven Links 9/14/19 Traci Kenworth – Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author & Book Blogger

  2. I enjoyed your story, Colleen. It’s interesting that the caterpillars pupated when the storm was coming and emerged after. I wonder if the storm disrupted their development in the chrysalis. It is good to see that Amy is caring for them and that they can still ‘enjoy’ (since I’m keen to anthropomorphise butterflies) life. That is grit.

  3. A beautiful flash to expand your daughter’s amazing story.

  4. Pingback: True Grit « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  5. oh wow, sis, this is amazing. <3

  6. This is beautiful Colleen I love it 💜💜

  7. What a lovely story Colleen and definitely Jack and Sally showing true grit… ♥

  8. What a beautiful story Colleen. Your daughter has such a lovely career. x

  9. That’s amazing they knew to do that to survive a storm. I’m so happy your daughter is caring for them since they can’t fly.

  10. Love the last sentence particularly, Wonderful!

  11. Strength is not about the body and neither is true grit. A lovely story and a beautiful reminder. Thanks, Colleen!

  12. How beautiful with a lesson to all entwined in the words 💕💕

  13. Very inspiring story, Colleen. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad Amy captured the images of the butterflies. <3

  14. Wonderful story. (K)

  15. Reblogged this on Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author & Book Blogger and commented:
    Colleen with a pic to inspire flash fiction!

  16. Oh, this gave me goosebumps! A sad, yet beautiful story. They are lucky to have Amy. <3

  17. Wonderful take, Sis 💜

  18. Beautiful! Thank you so much for reminding us that it is not about what happens to us, but how we deal with it

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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