Friday, November 12, 2010

Flash Friday #1

For your #flashfriday pleasure:

"Before the Birds"
by Michelle Ristuccia

Before the birds, a multitude of butterflies covered the red planet like a mass of ions swarming a copper electrode. Trying to track the path of any one butterfly would have been as impossible as violating the uncertainty principle, yet their collective effects were easily quantified. It was they who brought the first seeds through the near-perfect vacuum of space. It was they who excavated, buried, and hydrated, for there was no other complex organic life present to accomplish the task. No other creatures competed with them or preyed upon them, and so they terraformed efficiently. Their reward was the vibrant, verdant forest of blossoms that was shelter, sustenance, and recreation.

Eventually, the blooms released spores which were carried into the uppermost atmosphere by the fluttering wings of the mating season. There, gravity lost it's hold on the spores and this left a broad spectrum message for the birds. That's how they always find their prey.

Now, the birds feast.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment, positive or negative.

This piece is upcoming at the Pendragon Variety podcast. Visit for this and other pieces by me.


  1. I like the imagery. The end was a little confusing. The birds at the spore blossoms, right?

  2. Thanks for the feedback!
    Birds eat butterflies. I'll see if I can make that more clear.

  3. I like the idea of butterflies leading the terraforming and the action of the terraforming is what brings the birds.

  4. There is a nice rhythm and flow to this that really appeals to me. Welcome to #FridayFlash.

  5. Thank you very much for the nice comments!