Immortality: Microfiction Challenge


Vincent van Gogh. “Wheatfield With Crows,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Long before the time of now, our ancestors came from the sky. Our legends say, we are made in their image. We have lost the technology of these forebears, the knowledge that let them travel from the stars. Why? No one knows. We argue about the details, calling to one another in debate, but it is clear we are like no others on this planet.

We sing the songs of our ancestors, and we’ve created new ones in their trilling, gurgling language. Our voices brighten the dawn and soften the evening darkness. We sing for love. We sing in warning.

There are beings who envy us. They use hot air and machines to emulate us. Clumsy things. But we do not need such devices. We are born with wings and feathers. Born to fly. Over time, we’ve developed into a varied species. Our feathers come in many shades like the colors of this planet, black, brown, white, grey, blue, red, green, yellow. We are the descendants of gods, strong and graceful.

We are sharp-eyed and observant, too, and so when I notice something below that breaks my reverie, I caw to my mate, “Do you see that human? He’s painting us. Perhaps we’ll be immortalized.” She caws back to me in laughter. We are through foraging here. We soar over the golden wheat fields of Arles, heading home.


This story is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge.   One prompt was the Van Gogh painting above.

This story may or may not be related to my earlier story, “Shapes in the Mist.”

And this poem, “The Raven Flies.”


17 thoughts on “Immortality: Microfiction Challenge

  1. I liked this use of imagining one being a bird, descendants of the original bird species. Yes, we do seem to try and imitate birds in flight. 🙂 Merril, I think all the glorious colors of feathers featured, as well as the light hearted humor between two bird partners made this a fascinating post.

      • We just came from seeing the new movie! (We always see the Star Trek movies with another couple, our friends since college.) I like the shows though, too, especially Next Generation. We’re slowly re-watching Voyager now on Netflix.

      • It was good–more action movie than the others, I think, which isn’t really my thing, but still good. There was the bond between the characters–especially Kirk, Spock, and McCoy–that goes back to the original show. I liked that there were strong women characters. There was a tribute to Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in the movie, and dedication at the end. It also says “For Anton” at the end. 😦

      • Good to hear about the movie! I’ll be seeing it soon. Sweet about the tribute to Leonard Nimoy but sad for such a young talent like Anton to have perished. Way too young. 😦 Thanks!

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