ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Butterfly Breezes: Fantasy Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on December 17, 2016
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.


Butterfly Breezes

“This is going to be an awesome bonfire party,” said Jen. She and her boyfriend, Michael, walked into the Butterfly Breezes supermarket beneath the multicolored wings that formed a giant arch over the entrance.

“No kidding,” said Michael. “Sippin’ whiskey from a bottle, not thinkin’ bout tomorrow.”

“Got your fake ID?” Jen grabbed two grocery baskets and handed one to Michael.

“I never leave home without it.

Michael and Jen had it made as teenage children of upper class, suburban parents. They had everything they needed, pretty much everything they wanted and were careful not to associate with anyone who didn't enjoy the same standard of living.



They set off down an aisle, cutting off a young mother with a toddler in tow. Jen looked back over her shoulder.

“Some people,” she said. “Losers.”

“I hope the rednecks don’t show up tonight,” said Michael, referring to teens from farms outside the city. “They smell like pig crap.”

“Watch out." Jen, swatted at the air around her face.

“What was that?”

"A butterfly, I think. It was huge." Jen ran ahead. "Come on. It flew around the end of this aisle."

"What's it doing in the store?"

"I have no idea. You can ask it if we find it." Jen led them around the end cap and up the toy aisle.

“There it is.” Jen pointed at the toys piled into bins. The butterfly was perched on a something flat, square and red. It raised and lowered its wings as if beckoning them. Michael and Jen darted forward.

“Where’d it go?” said Michael.

“It just disappeared.” Jen picked up the object it had landed on. “I had one of these when I was a kid. It’s an Etch-A-Sketch, and look what's written on it.” Jen handed Michael the pad, and he read aloud.

It’s time the two of you learned a lesson.

He flipped the toy over and shook it, then flipped it back. The words were gone, but only for a few seconds. The Etch-A-Sketch rewrote the first message and added another.

It's time the two of you learned a lesson.

School is now in session.


Michael dropped the pad, but just before it hit the floor, the butterfly flew out of the screen and shot down the aisle.

“Do you think this is a prank some of our friends are playing on us?” said Jen.

“I don’t see how anybody could come up with that butterfly. Let’s get out of here and go to another store.”

Two things occurred simultaneously. The entire store contorted as if it were the reflection in an enormous, twisted, carnival mirror. The accompanying odor was something neither Jen nor Michael had ever experienced, and it was overwhelming.

They doubled over, gasping for air and gagging on what they took in. When they recovered they were no longer in the supermarket. Instead of customers, produce and shelves of goods, they were surrounded by grunting, squealing pigs, rooting and wallowing in the mud.

“Michael, what’s….”

“Hi there,” said a voice from behind them. Michael and Jen spun around to see a teenage boy climbing the fence.

“Who are you?” said Michael. The farm boy laughed.

“Looks like you got pig crap all over your nice shoes, city boy.”

“What’s going on? said Michael. “Why are we here?”

“I get to teach you a lesson,” said the farm boy.

“Who’s doing this,” said Jen.

Farm boy ignored the question, and the butterfly landed on his John Deere hat.

“You don’t like us, do you? We aren’t welcome to your party tonight because, according to you, we’re rednecks, and we walk around with pig crap on our shoes. Well, city boy, it’s time for you to join the farm club.”

The boy whooped, and the pigs ran circles around Michael and Jen. Two pigs hit them from behind, knocking them down into the mix of mud and manure.

“Have a nice day,” said farm boy. He walked away with the butterfly still perched on his hat.

The scene contorted. Jen and Michael were back in the supermarket.


“Let’s go,” said Michael. He grabbed Jen’s hand and headed for the exit.

"I can still smell the pig crap," said Jen.

Their escape was blocked by a crowd of shoppers with wide, unblinking eyes. They parted, allowing the woman with the child to shuffle forward while the butterfly flitted around her head.

Some people, huh?” The young mother looked at Jen. “That’s what you called us. We’re just useless people that get in your way.”

“No,” said Jen. “I really don’ t think that.”

“Yes you do. My child and I are worthless as far as you are concerned. I used to be just like you.”

“What? You were like me?” Jen checked out the drab attire, the messy hair, the stained baby blanket, and smiled. "I'm pretty sure that's not true."

“Yes, I had nice clothes, a handsome boyfriend and an attitude that sucked. Don’t you recognize me, Jen? I was your sister’s best friend.”

“Sara? No, that’s impossible, you’re…."

“I’m what, Jen? A loser?” The butterfly landed on Sara’s shoulder. “I got pregnant, and everything changed. My parents, my friends, including you and your sister, turned their backs on me. Now I’m just some people. Are you pregnant, Jen?”

“No, of course not."

“Are you sure?” said Sara.

Jen’s hand went to her belly, and she screamed. The scene contorted again, and they were engulfed in smoke and heat.


It was dark outside. A bonfire roared behind them. Teenagers laughed and danced to loud music. A girl screamed.

“Oh my god, who are they? Go away, you’re filthy….and she’s pregnant.” It was a party just like the one Michael and Jen would be going to that night, except they didn't know any of these people.

“Stupid rednecks,” yelled a boy. “You’ve got pig crap all over you. Get lost.” A hot dog hit Michael in the face. Someone sprayed Jen with ketchup.

The fire and sky twisted, the butterfly rode the smoke aloft and the party crowd chanted, “Losers, Losers, Losers.”

In the supermarket, Michael held the Etch-A-Sketch. The butterfly landed on the red trim and words formed on the screen.

Class dismissed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      This story appeared on my response to Ann Carr's challenge. I'm glad it did. It is innovative and teaches a good lesson. I'm a senior citizen now, but I've seen some of these little snobs get their comeuppance in my lifetime. Very well done.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      mactavers, Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Prior to the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge, I thought I'd better experiment with some of the genres I could possibly be assigned. Fantasy is one I haven't written much in, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

    • mactavers profile image


      5 years ago

      Loved the humor and sudden twists and turns of the plot.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks peachpurplek I appreciate the short, sweet, to the point comment.

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Awesome storyline

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks Genna. When I do these prompt writings, which consist of genre, location and object, I have to keep the majority of the story in the location indicated. A friend gave me supermarket, fantasy, butterfly. Whoever heard of a fantasy taking place in a supermarket? But it does force the creativity, I have to say. Thanks for reading and commenting. I really do appreciate it.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wow...a terrific imagination at work, here, Chris. This story packs a creative punch that is inescapable. Well done. :-)

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Deb, Very true. Our world would be a much more peaceful place if everyone learned what life was like for the next guy. People endure some horrible things at the hands of others. Thanks for your interesting comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I really like how this played out, not that I really wish anyone ill. True story: someone that I know ended up with eye problems as a result of a head and back injury. Now she knows just how her ex feels. The ex had bad eyesight and a poor memory due to a closed head injury. Karma can do some funny things to make people understand.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks for reading, Blossom. I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      What great way to highlight an important message!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Martie, Thanks for reading the story. After I first published it, and people began commenting, I had to take a look at the story again. Yes, there is a bit of a social message which I didn't have consciously in mind. I believe a number of my other stories may have the same thing going on. Maybe I've got a slight blend of literary/genre fiction going. I appreciate your insights into the story.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      How wonderful will it be if all people could learn this kind of lesson! We are always so quick to judge, while we often have little power over the course of events that determine our circumstances.

      Thought-provoking flash fiction!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ann, this is the beauty of prompts. In the competition, the story must occur predominantly in the location given in the prompt. So in this story, I had to keep them mostly in the super market, which is not what comes to mind when you think of fantasy. Prompts can force you to write more creatively. Thanks for reading and for the compliment. Have a great day.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Hi Bill, Remember the old Scared Straight program used for steering young people away from drugs and crime. Maybe I had that in the back of my mind as I wrote this one. Thanks for reading. You are never too late here. Always welcome.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      Amazing, Chris! This one grabbed me, took me in and spat me out. Great way to put across a simple message. I know it was fantasy but it was real enough to make an impact. Choosing the beautiful, harmless butterfly to deliver the message was a clever move.

      Not many people can write good fantasy; you can.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm a little late getting here. Sorry about that. My goodness this was a great flash fiction. Nothing like a little horror and a moral lesson combined.....great job, Chris!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Becky, Thanks for picking up on the humor in this story. It's been fun writing so much the last week. I think I'll write one more and then wait for Friday night to come. I'll get my prompts for the competition at midnight.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Larry, I appreciate you taking time to read and comment today. I'm glad you found the story to be interesting.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ruby, I've published five FF stories in the last ten days in preparation for the challenge. It has been helpful to intensly utilize those mental tools and processes that go into writing fiction. Thanks for following these stories as I have put them out so quickly. I don't take your participation for granted.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Christine, thanks for your insights into this story. It was fun to write.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I know people that need this lesson. Good story, and quite humorous.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sometimes I wish the universe would teach certain folks a lesson like this.

      Very engaging story.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Wow! This really grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. This is another winner. Your imagination is amazing. There is so much inequality among the haves and have nots, this is a good lesson......

    • profile image


      5 years ago


      If you could take the time; I would read an extended comment. Tell me in your own words the painted picture and "loud and clear" message that you see,hear.

      Thank you,


    • profile image


      5 years ago


      If you've got the time-I would read an extended comment: Tell in your own words that "packed message for youth."

      Thank you,


    • profile image


      5 years ago


      I agree with Jonah's comment about getting prompts from another: it's helping you, and me, and perhaps others becoming positively aware of your upcoming challenge and/or FF and writing styles in general on Hubpages.

      I just might start asking a friend to give me word leads for my abstract art, wordsmith miscellany and new "in the works": Backpack Fiction.


      I would like Jonah, (even your intents, if any) anyone else commenting to tell in words what "messages" they are got from FF Butterfly Breeze.( i,e, to help youth, painted pictures or otherwise)

      Additionally and Conclusively,

      The course of your FF Hub moved casually as aluminum powder held to glass. The three hub knobs (i,e, prompts) from your friend, certainly did give wings*to a one-of -kind twist too!; bringing back, of course, memories of a well-liked toy designed by a Frenchman.

      I like that you've listed the prompts before the body of the story. This aspect you've been doing with your FF as you prepare for the challenge is noteworthy:

      Not only do the prompts kick start the story idea, but the burden of thinking and writing is shared as one tries (as you've stated ) to put out a lot of practice writing in a short amount of time.

      May the challenge twist in your favor!


    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks Shauna. This was a fun story to write.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      I love this, Chris. Not only do your words paint a picture, but send a message loud and clear. I can see this story in longer form shown on the big screen.

      Great use of the prompts!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks John. It has been very helpful to work with these prompts. I should be relatively comfortable with the process going into the weekend. I appreciate you reading all these stories lately. Friday is coming fast.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Oh, I love this one Chris, and it packs a great message for young people. It was a great idea to get Michelle to come up with prompts for your stories in preparation for the NYC Midnight Lash Fiction Challenge. Well done.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)