Rainbow Colours of Light – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Flash Fiction for for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It asks us to write a piece of fiction from the photo prompt provided in around 100-150 words – give or take 25 words. It encourages us to comment, constructively, on other entries, so supporting each other’s writing. If you’d like to join in with this challenge, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Wednesday to Wednesday every week.

Here is this week’s prompt, a beautiful picture, kindly provided by Etol Bagam:

wpid-photo-20150724122215416

. . . and this is my story:

Lost in his memories, Richard stood on the bridge that spanned the river as the tour guide delivered his spiel about the awesome falls. He’d been saving for this trip for two long years, and now their wedding anniversary had arrived.

Claire had always loved waterfalls. ‘There’s something magical about them,’ she’d said, so many times. ‘Imagine standing so close, small and insignificant in the drenching spray, whilst rainbow colours of light dance over the swirling plunge pool.’

Thirty years of married life had passed by in a haze of hard work and raising children. Now the four had flown the nest, leaving Richard and Claire alone.  So happy together …

The illness had taken her from him, just six months before their anniversary. Towards the end, Claire had made him promise not to cancel their holiday.

‘Just look at that rainbow, Richard!’ Claire’s joyful voice sounded inside his head.

Richard focused on the vibrant colours, blinking back the teardrops that threatened to flow like the cascading waters of the falls.

Word Count: 171

Rainbowbywaterfall. Licenced under Public Domain.

Rainbowbywaterfall. Licenced under Public Domain. This rainbow is in Iceland, but they are common in the water vapour /spray around many waterfalls.

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If you’d like to view other entries, click the little blue frog below:

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Today’s prompt brought to mind a waterfall that I’ve looked at in geography lessons with Year 8 on several occasions. I don’t know whether the picture is of the Angel Falls or not, but there’s a definite similarity. I’ve never seen a photo showing a bridge, however, so it could well be somewhere else.

For anyone interested, here’s a little bit of information about the Angel Falls,  mostly from Wikimedia, but other snippets from various sites.

View of Angel Falls in National Park, Canaima, Venezuela. Author: Paulo Capiotti, uploaded by Slick-o-bot. Commons

View of Angel Falls in National Park, Canaima, Venezuela. Author: Paulo Capiotti, uploaded by Slick-o-bot. Commons

Angel Falls is situated in the Canaima National Park in Venezuela (South America) and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is on the Guaja River (sometimes called the Kerep River or Kerepacupai). It is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, dropping almost a kilometer (979 meters/3212 feet) from a cleft near the summit of table top mountain, Auyán-tepu, into Devil’s Canyon below. It is five times higher than the  Niagara Falls and three times as high as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

During the rainy season, the waterfall splits into two:

1024px-Angel_Falls_in_Venezuela

Angel Falls, Venezuela, in the rainy season. Author: Luis Carillo. Commons

In the dry season (December -April) it looks like this:

Salto Angel in the dry season. Author: Tomaszp.  Commons

Salto Angel in the dry season. Author: Tomaszp.
Commons

 Angel Fall was named after the American airborne gold prospector, Jimmie Angel. In 1933, he flew over the falls in his Flamingo monoplane in search of a valuable ore bed. In 1937 he returned with his second wife, Marie, on board, along with acquaintances Gustavo Henry and Miguel Delgado. Although landing successfully at the summit of the falls, the plane’s wheels became stuck in the mud and they had to walk 12 miles through the jungle, which took 12 days. News of their adventure spread and the waterfall was named Angel Falls in his honour. The common Spanish name for the waterfall, ‘Salto Angel’, was first published on a Venezuelan government map in December 1939.

The plane remained marooned at the top of the mountain until 1970, when it was taken down by a helicopter. It  can usually be seen at the Aeronautics Museum of Maracay.

1024px-JimmieAngelPlane

Jimmie Angel’s aircraft, exhibited in front of Bolivar airport. Photo uploaded by Yosemite. Commons

Angel Falls is one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions, though a trip out to it is a quite a complicated one, as the falls are located in isolated jungle. It requires a flight out to Canaima camp, followed by a boat or jeep ride to the falls. Tourists have only been permitted to visit since 1990. The first visitors stayed at Boulton Camp (now known as Campamento Canaima).

These Falls also inspired the setting of the Disney film Up in 2009, although it was called Paraduse Falls. It was also seen briefly inthe Disney film Dinosaur, as well as the 1990 film Arachnaphobia.

800px-Angel_falls_panoramic_20080314

Panoramic, partly clouded, view of Angel Falls. Author Jlazovskis. Commons

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About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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72 Responses to Rainbow Colours of Light – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

  1. What a wonderful touching story! Beautiful story Millie. It really stirred my emotions! I enjoyed reading about Angel Falls. It is a beautiful waterfall!

  2. AlexF says:

    Great story & a nice collection of water fall photos!

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks, Alex. I thought you were on holiday somewhere nice and hot! I hope you had a wonderful time, wherever it was. I’ll hop over and check what I’ve missed on your blog as soon as I can. 🙂

      • AlexF says:

        I was away in Punta Cana and it was gloriously nice and hot. I’ll be posting about it soon!

      • milliethom says:

        Oh how gorgeous. We went to the Dom. Rep. nine years ago and loved it. We had a really hot two weeks and did lots of great things, including a day horse-riding through the rainforest. I’m away all this week, so time for getting onto my blog is limited. I’ll try to do some catching up when I get home. Glad you had a great holiday! I’ll look forward to your post.

  3. Etol Bagam says:

    That’s nice. I really liked the story, as well as the information about Angel Falls. But the waterfall in the picture is actually Multnomah Falls, in Oregon state, USA. It’s tall, but not even close to a kilometer long… (I guess it’s about short of 200 meters ;o)

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you so much, Etol. I had a feeling it wasn’t Angel Falls when I couldn’t find a single picture showing a bridge like that, But the single column of water was so similar, it jerked a few happy memories for me – not of having been to Angel Falls of course, just looking at it in geography books! I was hoping you, or someone else who wrote a story, would let me know where the prompt photo actually was. It’s lovely, especially the way you’ve edited it, 🙂

  4. ane says:

    Beautiful waterfall, milliethom. Thanks.

  5. A beautiful story, indeed!

  6. exiledprospero says:

    Cascading tears. Well done, Millie.

  7. Bekki Hill says:

    Fantastic! Love a good ghost story and that definitely was a excellent ghost story. thank you 🙂

  8. A heart wrenching story beautifully told.

  9. Dave says:

    Don’t worry Richard, there’s other fish in the…river? Never mind, nice one Millie.

  10. justmaria says:

    It always saddens my heart hearing a beautiful love story coming to an end, especially an earthly end. This reminds me of a certain kind of ‘forever’. A forever not shared but sustained. I hope Richard lives happily and goes on with life. 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Maria for such a lovely comment. I imagine it would be hard for Richard to carry on without Claire at first, but Time, as they say, is a great healer. I love your phrase ‘A forever not shared but sustained. It fits perfectly. 🙂

  11. Sorry that Claire could not be with Richard to enjoy the falls. Did he bring her ashes with him?
    Sad story but I loved it!

  12. Wish Claire was still there celebrating anniversary with Richard and look at the rainbow over the waterfalls together! Is it romantic? But well the story you created was beautifully written and always made us want to read more. Very well done Millie! 🙂

  13. draliman says:

    So sad. Great last line!

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you so much, Ali. 🙂 Perhaps I’ll write something more cheerful next week. Sad stories depress me. Nah… I don’t get depressed for long. 🙂

  14. Diana says:

    The story is achingly beautiful! It broke my heart a little bit, but I am also happy as it shows just how much true love can do to people.

    On a side note, I love the pictures, and the added information. Thank you so much for sharing, Millie!

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Diana. It’s funny how some prompts lead us to write sad things, whereas others promote happy thoughts. I adore waterfalls. They’re just so magical… (Perhaps I should be writing a fantasy novel!) 😀

      • Diana says:

        Yes, they are! I absolutely love waterfalls, as well. We only have few ones here, and most of them are not that high. I still think they’re majestic though. Does Angel Falls happen to be your most favorite one?

      • milliethom says:

        I have a lot of favourite waterfalls. One is the Victoria falls on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe (Africa). It’s a mighty waterfall, so wide and totally awesome. The Iguazu Falls in Brazil are also one of my favourites- and of course, there’s also Niagara. Angel Falls is stunning because of its great height, but in the dry season the flow is limited. I love its setting, out there in the jungle.
        In the UK we have nothing spectacular like some of those, but there are some very pretty ones dotted around our highland regions. I’ve seen many of the British ones but, as yet, none of the others except for in books and videos. I seriously need to win the lottery! Fat chance of that! lol. 🙂

  15. Ameena k.g says:

    And he did it for his wife, Awww, that act in itself shows how much he loved her. A beautiful story.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Ameena. Yes, they were a very happy (fictional) couple. I think the moral of the story (which I’ve only just thought of) is to enjoy life while you can. Illness can strike at any time. (Now I’m getting morbid, so I’ll stop that line of thought! lol.) Thank you for the lovely comment, Ameena. 🙂

  16. Enjoyable all around. Loved the story, and the geography lesson.

  17. Another beautiful but sad little story 🙂 But that’s life, isn’t it!

  18. Norma says:

    Never expected that ending. 😉 A sad and emotional story.:)
    Also loved the info and beautiful photos of the Angel Falls. Oh! that animation from the movie Up was really great.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Norma. 🙂 I’ve only seen excerpts of ‘Up’ but it looks to be a great film. My love affair with waterfalls will last forever… As for my story, it was a sad one this week, But, being left alone after years of ‘togetherness’ is an all too common occurrence. A happy story next time – depending on the quote, of course. 🙂

      • Norma says:

        It is one of my favourite movies after Ratatouille. Up is little sad and too emotional (for me) compared to the other one.
        😀 Will wait for the next one. 🙂
        Take care Millie.

  19. inesephoto says:

    Thank you for this sad but beautiful story. It is always one who has to live with their loneliness. The waterfall is unspeakably beautiful. We are blessed living in this world.

  20. Susan Langer says:

    Very touching story. Loved the info on Angel Falls too. Very interesting history. 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Susan. Waterfalls are so inspirational, for writers, poets and artists. Some of the world’s finest are just mind-blowingly beautiful, and even smaller ones can bring a lump to my throat. Thankk for likeing the story, too. 🙂

  21. Great fiction, Millie. Some coincidences that came to mind as I read your story. It is my 30th anniversary this year, so I felt empathy for the protagonist, and I once planned to go to Venezuela to see Angel Falls – but circumstances meant I never got there…

    • milliethom says:

      How strange that I picked those two things – thirty years and Angle Falls. It must have given you a bit of a jar when you read it. I hope you enjoyed however you celebrated your anniverary, anyway. I’d love to see Angel Falls, but we have an ever-lengthening list of places to visit. Glad you liked the story! 🙂

  22. smilecalm says:

    colorfully flows
    from out there
    to in here 🙂

  23. Oliana says:

    What a beautiful story and the photos you added are just stunning!! I love waterfalls, not just to look at but the sound is so grounding.

  24. Ohh, so sad. 😦 Beautifully told as always. Did you take the Geography shots? They are so beautiful. I remember my Yr11 and 12 geography classes. We spent most of them in the hills and looking back into the valley where the school was. Your water-falls are fabulous! Isn’t it special? How nature gives us rainbows over waterfalls…Well-done Millie.

  25. milliethom says:

    Thank you so much for that lovely comment, Joycelin. I’ve studied waterfalls a lot and taught about them for years. I find them magnificent things – even those we have in Britain, which are tiny compared to many around the world. I’ve never been to Angel Falls, but would love to. 🙂

  26. Galit Balli says:

    Beautiful story Millie… The feels… ❤

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