There are moments caught between heartbeats, between light and shadow, time and space, in the swing of the pendulum, tick and tock, that leave us breathless. Lightning strikes during those moments, illuminating the darkness of a city street, an ocean, a field or, in my case, the garden in the middle of the night.

A tympanic roll of thunder woke me. Still swimming in a muddy dream, I pushed back the duvet and stood by the window, holding apart two slats of the blind with my fingers. There was no rain. The thunder growled in the distance, its tail between its legs. All was dark.

And then, for a moment, I was blinded by a white-hot sheet of lightning that lit up the sky like a photographer’s flash and, in its light, caught an owl mid-flight, a mouse or shrew dangling from its beak.

Kim M. Russell, 17th February 2020

Image result for free images Owl flying with a mouse in its beak
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My piece of flash fiction for dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Between Heartbeats

I’m hosting this month’s Prosery over at the dVerse Poets pub, where we are writing flash fiction that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, and a limit of 144 words – or 144 exactly.

The special thing about Prosery is that we are given a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in the flash fiction, within the 144-word limit. My choice is a line from a poem by Louis MacNeice, entitled ‘Coda’: ‘There are moments caught between heart-beats’.

40 thoughts on “Moments

  1. You had me at the growling thunder with its tail tucked between its legs. By leading off with the prompt line, it was masterful how many moments presented themselves. You are excellent with flash fiction. The owl flashing in flight is burned into my memory now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thunder can make my heart stop, Kim I thnk you just captured a moment between my heartbeats reading your gorgeous prosery, I was even there at the tip of your fingers opening the slats.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. Just because you don’t see the owl in the dark doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Having seen a family of deer by the pond on every evening walk for ages we stopped seeing them a couple of weeks ago and assumed they’d been tidied up by some civic-minded individual. Went out a couple of hours earlier yesterday and met them just outside the door.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I do like that interplay of dark and light, the interplay of so much in our lives as we wrestle with our inner selves, and the shock of revelation, the owl suddenly. So many owls if one waits and looks.

    Liked by 1 person

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