05 April, 2019

Extinct - Flash Fiction ( #AtoZChallenge )

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


by Jessica Marcarelli

The winds of the future blow through the scattered remains of yesteryear.

Gray wastelands cough up the bones of dead cities beneath a sky no longer blue. Trees bend stark black branches where birds sang beneath the blossoms of spring. Where once were golden fields pregnant with the sweetness of a ripe harvest, now there are only swirls of putrid ashes. The parched earth cries out for water that will never fall.

What fauna remains is twisted, vicious, and always ravenous. The hovels of the survivors huddle in the shadow of dark caves and ruined canyons. Bands of the insane feast on their own humanity.

Our desolate present is the direct result of our own hubris. Our meddling in the facts of life we thought we knew brought us to our knees. Not as a society, not as nation, but as a world. A race.

We destroyed ourselves, man versus man.

The next generation does not yet know this. A sparse handful of young faces, found amidst the hovels, hidden away in the recesses of ancient fortresses, protected against the cruel whims of this broken world.

But we will teach them.We will show them what came before. In these young minds lies our world’s only hope of salvation. We are no more but they…they may yet live.


This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, one post (and letter) for each day in April. I hope to see you tomorrow for the letter F!

04 April, 2019

Dinosaurs ( #AtoZChallenge )

(Artist Gray Morrow, December 1964 issue of If)

Science fiction is big on dinosaurs. Have you ever noticed that? We don't go back in time to imagine how they lived and breathed; no, we hoist them into the future, reworking universes to observe our fascination of these intriguing giants of yesteryear.

Jurassic Park is the most well-known today but they also feature prominently in The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, in works by Jules Verne and Ray Bradbury, and on. The stories vary from dinosaurs who have survived in the depths of untamed lands to alien creatures who share similarities. The science fiction magazine featured above made them into robots! (See the man working on the triceratops?)

This post was, obviously, inspired by my two-year-old who, like all young children, is obsessed with these colossal creatures and fills the house with his "T-wex" roars.

Classic question time: which dinosaur is your favorite (bonus points for your favorite dinosaur story)?


This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, one post (and letter) for each day in April. I hope to see you tomorrow for the letter E!

03 April, 2019

Craft of Writing ( #AtoZChallenge )

"I write to discover what I know." - Flannery O'Connor

Never has the above quote been so true in my own life. I'm a writer, an enthusiast since I was in grade school and a professional for about fifteen years. In all that time, as I have learned and honed the craft of writing and stretched those creative muscles, the reasons for doing so have changed. For it's own sake, for wealth and fame, for literary excellence, for my faith, for my own ego - all have been my purpose at one time or another.

Then my life took several unexpected turns. I got sick. I lost several pregnancies. My faith strengthened to a complete conversion to Catholicism. I finally got to hold my firstborn at the end of a draining but successful pregnancy. Writing took a backseat to life. With a second bundle of joy last year and a body crumbling under multiple chronic illnesses, I thought writing was a thing of the past in my life.

And then. It came back. Time opened up, as well as the ability to form thoughts and ideas again. My expertise in the craft is now a bit rusty but I am truly enjoying myself again. I am content to see how this new phase of writing develops. Because, now, like Flannery O'Connor, I write to see what I know, to examine ideas close to my heart, and to share the best - and maybe even the bad - with those who may need it.

Are you a writer? How do you find the writing craft has changed for you?


This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, one post (and letter) for each day in April. I hope to see you tomorrow for the letter D!

02 April, 2019

Babouscka ( #AtoZChallenge )

Fantasy has long been a love of mine. Starting with fairy tales as a child, leading into folklore and legends, and finally culminating in the discovery of J.R.R. Tolkien, it has always held sway over my fancy. Reading the old tales only invigorates my own imagination.

Though I have no blood ties to the country, Russian fairy tales have always held an extra level of mystique and fascination for me, same as Russian romantic composers and ballets have always absorbed my attention. My favorite of these I found one day when I was about 8, browsing through a stack of children's books in the library: Babouscka. I have no idea who wrote that particular version. I don't even have a clear memory of the illustrations. But the story has always been close to my tragic-leaning heart.

Babouscka receives from the Magi passing by her humble home an invitation to join them in their quest for the Christ-child. She refuses, whether through fear or busyness or disbelief, but almost instantly regrets it. Her sorrow builds as much time passes before she, too, must seek the Child. The wise men are long gone and she, a little old ignorant woman, has no idea where He should be sought but she is determined. She wanders into nurseries far and wide, carrying toys and treats so as not to scare the children, and peeking into cradles to see the great King she seeks. When she does not find Him, she sorrowfully continues on. You can find the entire tale, beautifully told, here.

What fairy tales or folklore inflame your imagination?



This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, one post (and letter) for each day in April. I hope to see you tomorrow for the letter C!
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