Catch the Moon – Flash Fiction Challenge

My friend Ken over at Fictional Campfire issued a Sunday Snap challenge to write a flash fiction piece from the most stunning picture entitled Catch the Moon. I struggled a bit at first because I wanted to write a story that would do the picture justice. I hope I have been successful in doing that. I am entering this in Friday Flash as well. Below is the picture and my story.

Catch the Moon

by Billie Jo Woods

Elliot walked along the path that led home. He smelled the salt in the air, felt the sand between his toes and heard the waves crashing against the rocks. Everything seemed so picture perfect yet somehow unreal. He had felt disconnected all day.

Joy grabbed his hand as she lost her balance, she was very tired and it was nearly her bedtime. They had just witnessed another sensational sunset together but his heart felt so heavy. It was their first one without Selene.

“Daddy, where does the moon go during the day?” He loved how Joy’s little nose wrinkled when she asked questions.

“She goes somewhere else so other people can enjoy her for a while.” She must have been satisfied with his answer because she grew quiet again.

He lifted her on to the decking and brushed the sand off her feet. As she went to go pick out the pyjamas she wanted to wear that night he looked up at the darkening sky and shed a few more tears.

Selene always said that bedtime was her favourite ritual of the day. She made him promise to keep it up even when she was gone. In nice weather the three of them would walk down to the beach and watch the sunset. Then it would be time for Joy’s bedtime story, before wishing on a star time and then tucking in kisses. They did these things as a trio. Now there were two.

Tonight’s ritual included a very special gift. Selene made Elliot practice for tonight, prompting him on what to say and how to say it. He was grateful for that now. As he looked at Joy, he could see Selene. Then he began the story.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful moon princess who was gifted to the earth but only for a short time. She was so special that she was needed back up in the night’s sky because it was very dark without her. The only problem was that people on earth would miss her. The god of the skies not wanting to be unfair promised a part of her would remain on earth but only if someone could catch the moon.

Elliot handed Joy a net, “Should we try?”

As Joy leaned over the dock staring up at the full moon with her net, Elliot planted the gift. Joy feeling the weight in the net change, reached in it and scooped out a small box.

“Daddy, I’ve got something!”

“That’s great honey, open it,” he tried to hide the tears of happiness and sorrow.

Joy opened the box revealing a large natural pearl which shimmered in the moonlight.

“Daddy, I caught part of the moon. Now I have a part of the moon princess,” he smiled at her excitement.

“No sweetie, you are part of the moon princess, this is a gift to remember her by.”

Joy looked up in the sky and pointed to the moon, “Look daddy, mommy is shining at us.”


About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
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33 Responses to Catch the Moon – Flash Fiction Challenge

  1. Lovely simple story, Billie Jo. I loved it. You wrote it as if it were part of you, your own family. You have such an easy flowing style. Way to go. I think you did the picture justice. 🙂

  2. knot2share says:


  3. Selena wolff says:

    Billie, you did a perfect job of evoking the emotions embodied in the picture. Beautifully crafted.

  4. KenBroad says:

    Shame on you! Making a man (albiet one in touch with feminine side, having been raised in a house full of girls) tear up in public. Stunning, truly stunning!

  5. Pingback: Catch the Moon « Story Told By…

  6. Mike says:

    Wow! This is a great piece of writing Billie Jo.
    I thought your interpretation of the picture was very good and imaginative.
    At the end I could feel the little girls excitement at catching part of the moon and his mixed emotions of missing Selene but at the same time watching his child captivated by the story and magic Selene had left for him to enact.

  7. Oh my! I love it! I totally teared up. Really beautiful, Billie Jo!

  8. Pingback: The Machine (a story in 500 words or less) | Sonia G Medeiros

  9. Love it! Beautifully written and wonderfully sentimental too. 🙂

  10. Aidan Fritz says:

    Beautiful picture, and you’ve created a poignant story to go with it. Selene was quite a treasure. I love the way they created a myth out of her passing that they could share.

  11. johnwiswell says:

    Dad’s mythical thinking made the story for me. It has a delightful spirit.

  12. Pingback: Sunday Snap « Fictional Campfire

  13. Trevor says:

    I’ve now read all the admissions to this prompt, I’m so glad I don’t have to pick a favourite as all are excellent!
    I really enjoyed reading this.

  14. Chuck Allen says:

    Wow! I love this story. Beautifully written and tugs at the heart just perfectly.

  15. This is beautiful, tender and doesn’t get lost in the sentiment. It stays true to the emotion and is all the more powerful I think for that. The pearl is a lovely touch as is the daughter’s response. Super.

  16. Bayley Trew says:

    Wonderful. You gave so much depth to the image and more importantly, the characters. As others have mentioned, very sincere, tender, sweet and lovely.

  17. I love both the picture and the story you wrote to go with it. The picture is full of whimsy, the story of heart ache, and they combine into quite a poignant and compelling piece. Welcome to #FridayFlash. Hope to see more from you in the future.

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