Golden-hued Days of Autumn – FFfAW

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It asks that we write a piece of fiction from the given photo prompt in around 100-150 words – give or take 25 words. If you’d like to join in with this challenge, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Tuesday to Tuesday every week.

Here is this week’s prompt, kindly provided by Phylor.


And this is my story:

Golden-hued Days of Autumn

The shed at the bottom of the garden was Marigold’s very favourite place, her retreat when others got her down. They simply didn’t understand her and her brother, Perkin, was forever on her case.

‘Why can’t you be like the rest of us and enjoy being who we are?’ he’d yelled, the last time they’d disagreed. ‘You always have to be different!’

Their intolerance upset Marigold because she really didn’t know why she was different. It wasn’t because she revered the beautiful Earth – all her people did that. So it must be because she’d enjoyed the company of mortals over the years.

The mellowing of summer’s radiance into the golden-hued days of autumn always left Marigold in pensive mood. It was hard to watch her human friends gradually age and die, whilst she and her kind enjoyed lives of eternal summertime.

She flapped her faery wings, hoping she’d meet them again one day. But until that time, she’d flutter round the garden and help the next generation of humans appreciate the glorious world around them.  

Word Count: 175


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29 thoughts on “Golden-hued Days of Autumn – FFfAW

  1. I quite enjoyed the story. Very well told. I feel sad for Marigold because she’s not accepted by her family and her friends kept aging. At first, I thought Marigold was some immortal but the last sentence made me wonder, is she some kind of bird? Like a phoenix?

    1. Thanks, Yinglan. I was thinking of something much more simple, like a wood nymph or a sylph. I think of them as being immortal, although I haven’t checked on that one! I The word ‘flutter’ might have made you think of a bird. I wondered whether people might think that – or that she was a butterfly.

  2. Beautiful description Millie – “The mellowing of summer’s radiance…”. Loved your take! Just wanted to know – Is Marigold other worldly creature?

    1. Thank you, Shivangi. yes, Marigold is intended to be immortal, which is why she watches the human friends she makes age and die. I’d thought she might be a sylph or wood nymph, or some kind of ‘fairy’ being.

    1. You’re right, Ali. Screwing up the Earth is something we mortals are very good at and it would be nice to think there were ‘others’ out there who could help us to see reason.

  3. Millie, this is wonderful! I loved discovering, at the end, that Marigold is a fairy! I also loved how you compared autumn with mortals growing old and dying and fairies as having “eternal summertime.” Wonderful story!!

    1. Thank you, Joy. The prompt is so lovely, it made me think of the beautiful Earth and looking after it. I wasn’t sure whether a faery/fairy would work, but I wanted some kind of immortal being, so I went for that.

  4. Such a lovely and sad story. I’ve always been drawn to that theme, of how it would feel to be immortal (or even very long-lived, like Tolkien’s elves) and know that you will watch your mortal friends wither and die, over and over.

    1. Thanks Joy. The idea of immortality seems to fascinates so many of us. I loved the ‘Highlander’ film and TV series about Connor and Duncan MacLoed (respectively). I agree, it would be very hard to watch people you’ve come to love age and die while you carry on. In my story, I imagine the faery folk are long-lived like elves rather than completely immortal. I’ll have to look that up!

    1. Thanks Chioma – and sorry for this late reply. I hadn’t realised I’d left any comments unanswered. I’ve found several, on different posts, and need a slap on the wrist for that! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Ellespeth. My grandchildren aren’t exactly little any more, but I know some little ones of friends. I love tales of the fae/faery or fairy folk myself, even a my age.(Btw, I’m secretly hoping it’s a sign I’ve started to go backwards – like Benjamin Button.) 🙂

  5. Firstly, congratulations Millie 🙂 today as I was on Goodreads I accidentally got to know that your book on Flash Fiction is out. And secondly it’s always good to read your FF. I never thought that humans could be helped by fairies like this but now I too get the idea. 🙂

    1. Hi Norma 🙂 It’s a while since we’ve chatted. Between us, we’ve been more ‘off’ WordPress than ‘on’ this year. I hope life is treating you well, and your aspirations to write haven’t left you. I’m just plodding along in my own sweet way. Yes, I published my flash fiction book a few weeks’ ago, and am happy that I can now get on with Book 3 of my trilogy.
      I love fairy stories – I don’t think I ever really grew up! 🙂 Somehow, they really capture my imagination. Britain and many parts of Europe have many stories of the ‘fae’ or faery folk. In parts of Scandinavia, belief in the elves continued until fairly recent times – and may still do, in some areas. It’s all lovely and mystical.
      Lovely to hear from you, Norma. Thank you! 🙂

      1. Hi Millie, it’s always so good to talk to you. 🙂 I’ll agree with you that this year was not for us on WP or even if we had the time – we just hovered like hummingbird to get some nectar…and then off we were. Or we didn’t struck together. lol!
        I was so delighted to see the new book. 😀 Sometimes you just have to hear the calling and attend to it…whether it be writing stories or novel. I guess sometimes breaking from the process proves more helpful than focusing at something but only for a while.
        I love those fairy tales. I don’t know if one would have actually seen those ever but I guess the majestic beauty really would stir the human imagination in those parts of the world. Scandinavian stories are also full of fantasy and different creatures. As a child, my cousins and I, we would loved listening to ghost stories than a story of a princess. In my opinion meeting a princess was less likely than meeting a ghost. I loved fairies too. 😉
        Take care dear friend. 🙂 Until we meet…keep writing…

  6. It’s true that most people love fairy tales, and they aren’t only for children. It’s nice to be taken to a magical land for a while and meet a few beautiful princesses or a dragon or two.
    Btw I popped over to Goodreads earlier. I’m not very good with the site, and know I should use it a lot more than I do. I’ve put odd book reviews up and joined a couple of groups – which I haven’t contributed to for months. How bad is that! What I want to say, is thank you so much for rating my book! At least, I think it was from you or else another Norma read ‘Shadow’. 🙂 Needless to say, I’m delighted with it and hope you coped OK with the many Anglo Saxon names.
    Take care, too, and let’s hope it will be possible to meet one day. 🙂

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