Coloured lights

A 99 word flash fiction for Charli Mill’s writing challenge.

Photo©Dominicus Johannes Bergsma




The puddle in the path reflected like a mirror the tracery of the trees and the sky beyond. I stood on the edge captivated by the still beauty. The sun came from behind a cloud and struck the water, covering the surface with rainbow lights. Diesel, a film of leaked fuel turned the timeless pastoral scene into a surreal nightmare. I raised my head, looked beyond the clouds to the scritch-scratched vapour trails across the blue, smelled the traffic on the road ahead and felt the tree roots curling and straining to find the lifeblood of the dying earth.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

12 thoughts on “Coloured lights”

  1. The image of the trees straining their roots feels so tragic. No place is wild any more. I felt that sadness when I found I couldn’t escape the “scritch-scratched vapour trails across the blue” knowing there was an app to tell me where that plane was headed even though I came to find quiet contemplation in the wilderness. Sigh. Great flash!

    1. You’re so right, unfortunately, Charli. When you see the whales suffoocating on plastic bags, seabird chicks in the middle of the Pacific choking on plastic bottle tops, find pesticides in ants in the Amazonian jungle, you know we are doing things dangerously wrong. Whatever criminal cretins in powerful positions tell us.

      1. And to think the new administration in the US is out to dismantle the EPA, which protects the environment, is mind boggling. I’m so proud of our government scientists, advocates and park rangers who’ve gone rogue in response. Look up @altnatparks and @rogueNASA on Twitter. We have to make it better, not worse.

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