"Chasing Fireflies" by Gwinevere Hall - Winner - Phoenix Photo&Fiction
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Published April 30, 2018
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Chasing Fireflies

by Gwinevere Hall

Fireflies wink in and out, their light illuminating individual blades of grass, a
nearby leaf, the rough texture of the willow tree. Their glow, like stars on
earth, lifts the void of twilight. A summer breeze teases the canopy of trees,
carrying the few birds still awake to their nests. The neighborhood children
squeal, their giggles lifting the oppressive weight of oncoming night. They
chase each other and the tiny bugs with mason jars in their small hands.

Memories, long forgotten, resurface. A smile plastered on your face. A jar
in your own small hands, as you ran after the kids you grew up with, always
a few steps behind the group. The hollow feeling of loneliness held you back
from running alongside them. The fear that they’ll push you away, laugh at
you instead of with you, created an invisible barrier between yourself and
them—an insurmountable wall that followed you through the years.

Nowadays that same fear still holds you back. The other adults relax on the
rough-hewn wooden benches at the park’s edge while you stand, leaning
against a sturdy oak. You look back at the squealing children and you see it
again, that same wall surrounds one child. Your young doppelganger stays
behind the pack, smiling slightly harder than the others, laughing a little
louder, trying to fit in as a triangle amongst circles. With sorrow squeezing
your throat, you look up at the sky, exchanging one starry twilight for
another. You wonder with a heavy heart how such a wall became an

Gwinevere Hall works the graveyard shift while chasing her dreams of
someday publishing her own book. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, USA
with her fiancee and army of bunnies.

Winner: The Monthly Flash Fiction Contest #5

Chasing Fireflies

by Gwinevere Hall
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)
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