My writing group gave a flash fiction prompt which was to write a story of 300 words or fewer, using the words fly, mind, and card.
This is my story.
The Owl With A Fear Of Flying
Spectre sat on the highest branch of the tree, holding onto the bark with all his might.
“I can’t do it, Mama,” he said as tears fell onto his downy, white feathers. “I don’t want to fly.”
“Spectre, darling, you have to try. You’re an owl. You were born to do this. It’s simply a case of mind over matter. Now, come on, launch yourself.” His mother’s voice sounded harsher than usual.
A prickling of fear spread over the young owl’s body. He screwed up his eyes and spread his wings. Edging closer to the drop that lay before him, he took a deep breath.
“Do it, Spectre, don’t be a baby!” his younger sister, Snowdrop, shouted, breaking his concentration.
Pressing himself back against the trunk, he panted and repeated, “I can’t I can’t I can’t.”
“Snowdrop, it’s time for your bed. Off you go now, dear,” his mother said. Turning to Spectre, her eyes softened. “All right, I think I know what might help.”
“What, Mama?” A worm of unease wriggled inside him.
“Dr Meadows. I hear he’s the best hypnotherapist in the forest. He helped little Belle Bluebird to fly when she was scared. I have his business card in the barn. I had a feeling we might need it some day.”
The first session did nothing to help Spectre overcome his fear. “It’s no use, I’ll always be afraid,” he bemoaned to his mother.
After his third session, something strange happened. He wanted to climb the tree. He wanted to try to fly. Touching his toes to the edge of the branch, he tipped himself forward and began to plummet. Panic gripped his heart, and then he remembered: flap and breathe, flap and breathe. Gazing up to where his mother sat, he cried, “Look, Mama, I’m flying!”