The 2019 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash

June 09, 2019

Happy Sunday!

So this week, we’re doing something a little different over here on the blog.

A while back, Rosalie announced her annual Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, where participants write a piece of fiction under 1000 rules using a prompt. And since I’m bad at flash fiction since I need practice at writing flash fiction, I decided to give it a go.

Now, I know you’re asking, “But Nicole, this flash fiction was due on FRIDAY. Today’s SUNDAY. Have you gone off the tracks?”

Yes, it’s true, I’m late. BUT! I have a legitimate excuse.

See, I never got Rosalie’s email with the prompt. So I thought that my Google Form hadn’t gone through, and kind of shrugged it off. (I even commented on Julian’s flash fiction post saying just that. You should totally check hers out.) But then I got her reminder email.

So, long story short, I emailed her, asking for the prompt, I got it, wrote as fast as time would allow, yadda yadda yadda, you just want me to get to the story. Fine. Okay. Here we go.

So my theme was Superheroes, and this was my prompt:

And yes, Rosalie, I did have unfettered fun writing this piece, which I call The Inferno. I think I’m right at 997 words, too. As per usual, I’m pushing the boundaries of flash fiction word counts. *facepalm*



The fire burns red-hot two feet in front of me, but I feel nothing. Fire is safe. Fire is home.

Fire is me.

But Savannah doesn’t feel the same way. She is air. And fire burns air.

She gasps and stumbles back from the red shoots of flame. “Ashley . . .” she stammers, “what have we done?”

“What we had to,” I say, ignoring my hurting heart. “It was the only way.”

A tear drips down her cheek. “No - no, there had to have been a better way.”


“I dunno - something that didn’t involve burning all those people to death!”

I look away and stare at the house, now a raging inferno of flame and smoke. Sirens wail far away.

“We had to trap them inside somehow,” I argue, for once not worried about hurting my best friend’s feelings.

“No,” she insists. “I don’t care how evil they were. This wasn’t worth it.”
Stepping towards her, I take her hand - delicate and cold and shaking. “Sometimes, we gotta do what we gotta do. This was one of those times.”

It was something we’d repeated every night, as we donned our aliases as the Phoenix and the Fairy. We’d saved countless people over the past few months, doing what we had to do.

To be fair, though, that had never involved killing supervillains.

“Savannah, we have to go. The police are coming soon.”

“What?” she repeats, and she backs away from me. “So - so we’re fleeing the scene - like a bad guy?”

“No. We’re not. It’s just . . . they might think we did something bad if we stay here.”

“We did do something bad.” She wraps her arms around herself. “We killed people.”

“Who woulda killed a lot more people if we’d done nothing!” It hurts to be the tough one now, but if I don’t, Savannah will lose herself. She’s Fairy - fragile, light, and powerful. And I’m Phoenix - fiery, strong, and determined.

The Phoenix and the Fairy.

Fire and Air.

Fairy gives life to Phoenix. And Phoenix protects Fairy.

That’s how it’s always been, and how it always will be.

“Just - leave me alone, Ashley, okay?” Savannah’s foot, inside the dainty ballet shoe she received when we got our powers, kicks against the concrete, giving her enough momentum to levitate. She flies off.

“Shoot,” I mutter, taking one last look at the burning house and hearing the sirens draw close. I call fire from the inferno and let it explode in my hands. The burst launches me in the air, a phoenix from its own ashes.

After a quick scan of the Chicago suburbs skyline, I see Savannah’s pink dress touching down on top of a tall apartment building.

What is she doing?

Grunting, I call more fire to me and blow it up again, bringing me closer and closer. Unfortunately, the blasts are also homing beacons, showing her exactly where I am.

Savannah turns. “Ashley, please stop!” I hear her call.

“Just let me explain -”

A wave of air races toward me and cuts through me like a sword. I gasp, the breath knocked out of my body, and I begin to fall.

This is it.

This is the end.

I swore to protect this city at all costs. But it seems I can’t even protect myself from my friend.

I close my eyes, preparing to be splattered on the ground like pigeon poop.

But it never happens. Instead I feel the rush of wind under my body, caressing and carrying me somewhere.

The minute I feel solid ground beneath me, I open my eyes and jump up. “Please, don’t!” Savannah says, backing away from me.

“I’m not going to - Savannah, I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t think this through very good, did I?”

“No. You didn’t.” Savannah looks away from me, yellow bob gleaming in the dim starlight. “Ashley, I don’t think I can be Fairy anymore.”

“What? You have to! We have to!” Our powers had been given to us with the express reason of protecting Chicago. We couldn’t just give up.

“If it involves killing more people, I won’t do it.”

“It won’t, I promise. That was my mistake. We -”

Savannah steps towards me for the first time tonight. I spot another tear falling down her cheek. “Ashley, you and I both know that you can’t promise that. What if one of us is gonna die, and the only way to stop it is to kill someone?”

“It would be saving your life!”

She hesitates. “One part of me knows that. The other can’t tell the difference. I’m sorry, Ashley. I just . . . don’t think I can lead this double life anymore. It’s too stressful.”

“But -” My breath sounds ragged. “We’re a team. I can’t do it without you. Literally. That’s not how our powers work.” I tuck my brown hair behind my ear.

“Oh, right. I forgot about that.” We both fall silent.

Our powers complement each other. If one is weakened, the other is too. And if one quits - well, so does the other.

This is my best friend. I should know what to say.

But all knowledge of words falls from my mind.

I love having powers. I love the freedom, the responsibility, the bonding time that comes with staying up with Savannah all night.

Am I willing to give that all up . . . for her?

“Okay,” I whisper. “If that’s what you need to do . . . then we’ll do it.”

Savannah looks me right in the eye. “Seriously?” Her voice wavers.

I nod.

An awkward pause.

“So, what do we do now?” I ask.

“I guess . . . take them off?”

I look down at my leather jacket, what I was given when I took on Phoenix. For Savannah, it’s her ballet shoes.

A hard sacrifice to make. But a necessary one.


I leave the jacket and shoes on a hanger in the shed we found them in.

I look back as we leave.

The Phoenix has burned away.

But one day, it will rise again.


Well, I hope you guys liked that little piece! It was another nice foray into the world of flash fiction.

Hope you guys have a great day, and talk to you in the comments!

-Nicole <3

If you could have any one superpower, what would it be? Are you participating in the Flash Fiction Dash? Let’s talk!

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  1. Girl, this is SO GOOD!!!! What a creative take on the prompt! 👏👏👏


    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much, Lila!

      Yay, I’m glad you liked them!

  2. AHHH I love this, such a cool flash fiction! That was an awesome way to put the leather jacket, ballet shoes, and superpowers together!

  3. That ending was awesome! I always loved the idea of Phoenixes. So cool.

    And I loved Savannah's character. Her standing up for what's right is super inspiring!

    Great job with this story (especially considering you barely had any time to get it up)!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! And I agree, phoenixes are so so cool!

      Yay, I’m glad you liked her! (Honestly, I need to find someone like her. . . . XD)

      Aw, thanks!

  4. This was STUNNING, Nicole, you did so good!!! I LOVE this story! <333 (and now I really want a sequel XD)

    1. Oh my goodness, THANK YOU SO MUCH, Savannah! <3333 (bwahahaha, we’ll see. XD)

  5. I really enjoyed reading this! Your writing has a very satisfying spice to it. :) If I could have any superpower I wanted, I would opt for teleportation. Then I could save some money on world travel. ;)

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Rosie! <3

      Oh, yes, teleportation would be AMAZING!!


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