This wee poignant tale is the second Flash Fiction entry penned by Jacquie Pearce. Jacquie writes fiction for children and teens, as well as very short poetry and prose for adults. She can often be found wandering Vancouver, collecting photos and story ideas. You can find out about all the cool books she has written HERE, and you can follow her on twitter @jacquieink.
The Small Green Snake
Once there was a garden with a magic fountain at its centre. A father carried his daughter to the garden, hoping the fountain would heal her withered legs. The girl drank from the fountain, then lay down beside it to sleep.
“You must wait here by the garden gate,” the garden caretaker told the father. “Whatever you do, do not interrupt the girl’s sleep.”
While the girl slept, a tiny green snake emerged from the grass and slithered close to her face. It lifted its head, and its tiny tongue gently flicked the girl’s ear. The girl smiled in her sleep, tilting her head as if listening to the snake’s whisper.
At the garden gate, the father saw the small green snake by his daughter’s face. He forgot the caretaker’s words and rushed into the garden. Fearing the snake would bite, he picked up a stick and killed it. The girl woke up with a start and smiled at her father.
“I dreamed my legs were strong,” she said. “I dreamed that I could run.”
It was then that the father noticed his daughter’s legs. No longer withered and twisted, they were now thick and straight. Joyful, he lifted the girl to her feet. She stood on her own and walked out of the garden beside her father, limping a little, as if the healing had not quite completed.
It was not long afterward that the fountain seemed to lose its magic. No one noticed the dead body of a small green snake.
For the month of December, my goal is to post a piece of festive flash fiction here to the blog every day. Twenty-five stories, each 250 words or fewer — a little fictional festivity to brighten the darkest month of the year. For readers, I offer these stories as a moment of peace within a hectic month of busy. And once in a while, as with today’s entry, you’ll get a flash of fiction from one of my writer friends!