FFfAW: To Follow the Sun

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt is from Sonya. Thank you, Sonya! The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt: © Sonya Only 100 Words

To Follow the Sun

Sometimes Meredith wondered whether the face staring back from the mirror could really be her own. The sagging skin and deeply etched wrinkles, the faded hair: all looked as though they belonged to someone else. Anyone else. Surely there was no way they could belong to her.

What had happened to the bright eyed girl who’d captivated the hearts of a generation?

The truth was hard to accept. The party going beloved of the gossip rags was gone. Only photographs remained of a passionate life. Her vivacity had leached away, unnoticed, until all that remained was a dried out husk.

Meredith sighed, turning away from the depressing sight. Weariness dragged at her bones as she hobbled back to her armchair.

The urge to dance, to laugh and sing, to love with wild abandon, had dwindled now. She’d followed the bright lights for as long as she was able – like a sunflower following the path of the sun, unwilling to accept the inevitability of advancing age.

But even the brightest bloom withered eventually.

Word Count: 172

This story is inspired by the William Blake poem ‘Ah! Sunflower’ that I studied in my A Level English. The words of this poem come into my head as soon as I see a sunflower.

Ah! Sunflower


Ah! Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done.
Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire,
Where my Sunflower wishes to go.

To read the other entries, click the little blue frog!



33 Comments on “FFfAW: To Follow the Sun

  1. What a beautifully sad story. Not expected at all. I love how the sunflower was only the inspiration, not the centerpiece of your story! Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Emilio. This story came into my head as soon as I saw the prompt! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂


  2. Aw, Meredith didn’t realise when time slipped by. I hope she does learn to love the new face in the mirror. I love how you told the story with detailed description.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely story – reminds me of me sometimes – when I look in the mirror I feel the same way sometimes – who is that woman in the mirror? Great work!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful story Louise! I love that you had such vivid images throughout the story. I felt as though I was watching her aging. And I loved the reference to the sunflower at the end. So excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, PJ. 🙂 I love to write descriptively. Most weeks they’re the bits that I delete to keep down the word count! This story let me use a lot more than usual. It’s a great prompt. 🙂


  5. Lovely insert of the poem there. Great job writing on this prompt. You could feel how tired and weary Meredith was. I think there’s apart in her that wants to be young again but she knows that won’t happen. As you say more eloquently, she follows the path of the sunflower and I think when Winter comes it will be Meredith’s winter too. Wonderful metaphor.


  6. Sad to watch oneself slowly wither away, especially if you were famous and there are thousands of photographs of you in your heyday.


  7. I love all the sunflower references you wove into your story – husk, turning away, following the bright light. Brilliant job :). Thanks for the pingback, as well!


  8. Really beautifully told, love the images! The sun must set for everyone.


  9. Even the old and wrinkled are capable of dancing, laughter, and joy. All does not diminish with age maybe just other people’s expectations do. 🙂


  10. Vanity won’t sustain us.
    I agree with PJ, your descriptive passages work well in this story.


  11. I think this is one of my favorite pieces I’ve read this week–thank you for sharing! There’s a great sense of time passing and of how we often get caught up in little things here. It’s easy to forget that the outside matters little.


  12. Like PJ said, the thing I love most about your stories are your descriptions! Very well done here and it’s interesting how you used the prompt. I surely got a lot to learn from you! Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Uday. I’m very glad you enjoyed it. I love writing the descriptive passages so it’s great to know people like them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Aletta. You’re lovely to say so. I love writing so it’s great to know that people enjoy reading them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wonderful descriptive story…certainly gives the reader a sense of knowing the character and her inner feelings. Accepting such a change in appearance and strength is not easy. Some people accept it easier than others and are able to adjust to the change , but others try to fight it. I really like the last line in your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jessie. 🙂 Ageing is an inevitable part of life but it’s definitely not always easy to accept.


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Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.

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