flash friday · General · science fiction · Writing

Friday Flash: Fourth Birthday Parade

This fridayflash is for the fourth anniversary bloghop at the friday flash website. The idea is to write a story 400 words long about the 4th anniversary/birthday of something. After several false starts, I finally managed. I was inspired by this picture:

A few excerpts from the Annals of Dead or Lost Colonies:

Dear Julie,

The colony has just gotten the order for the hyperspace module. It’s taken a year, but we finally have it. This will be the first of many letters until you can come here.

I have a house. It’s small, but it has a garden. It’s ours, free and clear.

The hypo gardens are not doing well. Except for the lantern cherries. I don’t understand it. There is a group studying the problem.

Yours always,



Dear Julie,

I miss you. Will you come soon? I’ve added two bedrooms to the house for the children. There is plenty of space. Hyperspace travel is very safe, don’t worry.

The colony celebrated our third birthday with a grand parade. I was in the lead float, as the directory of horticulture. It was quite wonderful.

The lantern cherry have become our biggest – our only! – export. They are in demand and tasty. I suppose it’s good they grow bigger here than anywhere else. They look more like giant melons than cherries. But I don’t quite understand why nothing else growing.

Yours always,



Dear Julie,

I’ve been promoted, dear. I am now president of the horticulture department. The last president died quite unexpectedly in the Greenhouse A. Poor Jerry. At least he died at work. Greenhouse A is where we first started the lantern cherries. We have ten, now.

The colony’s fourth birthday is in a month and we are providing cherries for the decoration. The last of the flowers died months ago and we haven’t been successful in growing any others. Not even marigolds. It’s baffling.

I do wish you would come. I know the ships scare you, but hyperspace travel is so fast these days. You wouldn’t have to spend months on a ship in normal space. I dearly want to see the children, dear.

Love yours,



Dear Julie,

Don’t come! Stay away! God, I am glad you never came.

The cherries destroyed the parade. It was mad. They exploded and attacked and will take over the planet shortly.

This will be the last message I send.

I am going to blow up the greenhouses and take as many of the cherries as I can.

This is why nothing else grew. They’ve been devouring them, the murderous, subtle lantern cherries.

I bet they killed poor Jerry.

Yours forever,


21 thoughts on “Friday Flash: Fourth Birthday Parade

  1. Why did you have to pick on cherries? It is almost cherry season.
    I’m wondering if lantern cherries were exported to the city where Julie lives.

  2. I knew those cherries were suspicious little… er, BIG buggers! Brilliant response to the prompt and the photo!

  3. That’s a great photo! I don’t think it’d inspire the same to my muse, but I sure love your flash 🙂 Maybe Julie never wrote back because the exported cherries grew faster where she was?

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