No Rain, No Rainbows

18 May

Here is my 100 word story for Madison Woods’ FridayFictioneers. Leave a link to your story here and comment and/or criticize if the muse moves you. I live and die by both so dive in, please.

To those of you who read mine; Mahalo nui loa.

Some of you who’ve visited the islands will recognize the title. I moved here so that I could remember Gramps more often. Enjoy. Aloha, D.

When I was seven my grandfather gave me a prism from an old tank periscope. He set it upright on the windowsill and adjusted it until the morning sun cast a rainbow, intense and pure, on my bedroom wall. Bent by the glass, all the colors that compose visible light were revealed.

“Son,” Gramps told me, “If life is sunlight, let patience be your prism.”

“What’s that mean?” I asked. He just smiled.

Now when it rains in my life I look until I find beauty, no matter how long it takes.

And I see Gramps, spectral in every rainbow.

79 Responses to “No Rain, No Rainbows”

  1. Carol Deminski May 18, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Aloha my favorite Hawaiian writer…

    Does your Friday flash always have to be 100 words? For example, could you make it two stories of 50 words each… or perhaps 100 words is the minimum and you could write 250?

    Just curious!

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 12:43 am #

      Dear Carol,

      FridayFictioneers is generally 100 words but no one, least of all myself, objects if they run long. I’ve seen some approaching 200 words. I usually stick to a 100 words for the exercise but have been known to run long when the tale requires it.

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting. How goes the sleep saga?



      • Carol Deminski May 18, 2012 at 12:45 am #

        Sleep is, as ever, elusive. I’m gearing myself up to write a blog post shortly about writing flash… I’m sure you’ll let me know what you think and contribute.

        Have fun star gazing… 🙂

  2. TheOthers1 May 18, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Oh gosh. This was beautiful. Great lesson too! Wonderful story. I’ve only been to the islands once and it’s been five years ago. I’d love to go back.

    Here’s my attempt:

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 12:44 am #

      Hi there!

      Just got done with yours. Still lingering in the glade with your lovers. Nicely done.



  3. theforgottenwife May 18, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Beautifully done and what a great way to remember your grandfather. He sounded like a wise man!

    Here’s mine:

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 12:59 am #


      He’s a fictional grandfather, but I try to live the lesson (and write it.)



  4. Joy May 18, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Aw, I loved this Doug! Always trying to find my calm in the storm. Great one 🙂

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 1:14 am #

      Dear Joy,

      What a treat to have a reader outside the FridayFictionners circle check out No Rain, No Rainbows. Thank you so much for commenting.



  5. Amanda Gray May 18, 2012 at 1:41 am #

    I actually was reminded of my grandfather teaching me about prisms and rainbows I miss him.
    here’s mine

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 1:55 am #

      Dear Amanda,

      He’s still there with you and in the clouds. Thanks for stopping by to read. Headed your way now.



  6. flyoverhere May 18, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    Wow, beautiful! Brought back a childhood memory of my grandmother showing me a prism for the first time….

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 2:28 am #

      Thanks for stopping by and telling me that. Good memories are priceless.



  7. rich May 18, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    with age, wisdom. were those really his words or thoughts? if not, they easily could have been.

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 3:05 am #

      Dear Rich,

      Fictional Gramps. Practicing to be a writer so I made him up.



      • rich May 18, 2012 at 3:25 am #

        not practicing to be a writer. you’re writing.

  8. teschoenborn May 18, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Prisms are great life lesson materials. Wonderful tale, fiction or real.

    Here’s mine:

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      Thank you, my dear.

      I adored your story this week. A wild ride packed into a dimensional portal’s exit/entrance. You are a genius.



  9. Sandra May 18, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I could just imagine that rainbow on the wall. There are rainbows everywhere, (even in petrol stains on the road, the feathers of an ibis or a starling). You’ve just got to focus on them. Gramps was right. Nice one Doug. As ever.

    Mine’s at:

    I struggled with this prompt as it invites reflections that don’t sit easily with me. 🙂

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Dear Sandra,

      I thought your story this week was one of the most insightful of a talented crew. Your struggles were not in vain.



  10. Linda May 18, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Brilliant and so true – I think your’s is the only one so far to look at the rainbow as a prism and the fact that it picks up the thread of ‘living in gratitude’ makes it doubly lovely 🙂

    thanks for your comments on mine and here it is for others to see:

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Dear Linda,

      Living in gratitude is something that I try to do every waking second, if for no other reason than to make up for the time lost when I didn’t. Thank you for dropping in and commenting. I appreciate it.



  11. mysocalledDutchlife May 18, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Made me think of my own, late Grandpa. He spoke rarely of the war, but he brought back invisible pieces from it and used them to teach us positive lessons too. Another enjoyable, believable read.

    Thanks for stopping by me already:

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      The echoes of that war still reverberate, don’t they? Thanks for your kind comments here.



  12. unspywriter May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Very nice. I’ve always been nostalgic for grandfathers–all mine died before I was born. Yours sounds like an insightful guy. I loved this insight into him.

    Mine’s lighthearted this week–for a change. 😉

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      Dear Maggie,

      Made him up this week, but he lives in my head so I guess that’s good. I’m sorry you missed out on the wisdom of your elders. If i could go back I’d ask a lot more questions of mine.



  13. Craig Towsley May 18, 2012 at 10:50 am #


    Taking the prism from the tank periscope made the advice all the more, uhm, valuable? That’s not quite what I mean, but close. Great as always, sir.

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      Dear Craig,

      That tank prism is the only part of that story I did not conjure up out of whole cloth. Was given one as a child. Still can see the vivid colors on the wall. Glad you liked the story.



  14. Reading Pleasure May 18, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Ow this is sentimental and beautiful. Mine is here:

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I meant it about your MC starting his own school. Your story really hooked me. Good job.



  15. rochellewisoff May 18, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    I’m fast becoming a fan. Really nice story. Uplifting.
    I was forced into the positive realm myself this week.

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      I’m glad you’re on the fan wagon! I don’t take that comment lightly and I appreciate your support very much.



  16. joannalazuliportals May 18, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    This is fabulous, Doug!
    “Intense and pure” got me, and then Gramps’ sage wisdom on life – an attitude I try to live by! As for “spectral in every rainbow”…..I WISH I HAD WRITTEN THAT! 😉

    Many thanks for your kind comment on our Cordello Memory

    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Dear Joanna,

      “Wish I’d written that” is high praise and I thank you for it and for stopping in to visit. You’ve made my day.



      • joannalazuliportals May 18, 2012 at 11:52 am #

        Aw, bless you! You’re more than welcome.

  17. Carlos Repuesto de la Tabla May 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Gee, Doug, I wish I had a grandfather or father like that, but maybe you do too. Uniquely positive story from your expert pen.

  18. elmowrites May 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Crikey Doug, 36 comments before I’ve even got up. And aren’t you *behind me* timezone wise?! They all say much what I would – beautiful story of a great relationship. Grandfathers are valuable things.
    I’m over here;

  19. Gary May 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Very nice, full of wonderful sentimentality. I like the different use of the prompt.

    Mine’s this-a-way:

  20. rgayer55 May 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    You waxed sentimental on us this week, Doug. It was an extremely well crafted tale with a positive message. Something we all need to hear.

    mine’s here

  21. erinleary May 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    LOVE this one. The words that shape us live on and keep us company throughout our lives. What a lovely gift he gave you. (assuming, of course, this is drawn from real life….it is fiction, after all!)

    Mine is here:

  22. Judee May 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Doug, this is lovely and so true. Your grandpa was quite a man, and I see you are following in his footsteps. Really nicely told.

  23. jeninesilos May 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    I like what the old man said: “Son,” Gramps told me, “If life is sunlight, let patience be your prism.”

    Here’s mine:

  24. Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel) May 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    …absolutely beautiful. I have no other words but those…this was a beautiful piece.

    I couldn’t help myself this week…had to write about Hawaii. The end is a little rough…but still.

    Susan (

    • Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel) May 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      I *should* have said…I wasn’t going to play this week but felt inspired when I read your post. So, thank you!


    • dmmacilroy May 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Dear Susan,

      Good thing you wrote something. I’d have tracked you down!

      Thanks for the sweet comments. You are truly da kine!

      Aloha back, girl.

      I’ll be waiting at the airport, leis in hand for when you do show up.


      • Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel) May 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

        Deal! (I was looking at properties again last night – I do love to torture myself so)

  25. littlewonder2 May 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    The title you mentioned isn’t familiar to me. Although, having been to Hawaii briefly (a mere three days), I at least recognise the word Mahalo. They seem to use it everywhere in Hawaii.

    The story was very sweet. And the title to the actual post does seem to give away how the character would find the beauty in the rain, although I personally don’t need much pushing to appreciate it; whether sad, or wild, or bright, rain still has a beauty that feels obvious to me.

  26. oni1138 May 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    wow, very beautiful!! Using that word a lot with this one!!!

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      Thank you for using it on mine!



  27. bridgesareforburning May 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    What a great sense of wistfulness you create and it has the ring of authenticity. Sounds like you had a very wise grandpa. This stirred up a lot of feelings from the past. Great remembrance. Thanks for reading and commenting on my story. With the number of stories being posted, I may not be able to read and comment on all of them, but I will always read yours When I’m not off on another alien abduction.

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      Dear Ron,

      Knowing that you’re out there checking in on my stories is a great compliment in and of itself. Though my story was fiction except for the tank prism, I’m glad it hit the right notes for you. Thanks for telling me so.



  28. EmmaMc May 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    So, so beautiful. It geniunely brought a tear to my eye and reminded me of my own grandad. It stirred up so many of my own feelings, wonderful.

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 8:18 am #

      I think my fictional ‘Gramps’ would have loved to dance at your MC’s wedding. Thanks for visiting and commenting. See you soon.



  29. Lindaura Glamoura May 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Doug, you may have invented Gramps, but we all have those magical memories, I think, of childhood science experiences – like magnets and iron filings, mica!, Kaleidoscopes, and prisms! Lead on, Mr Wizard!
    Yours as ever,

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      Ah! Mr. Wizard. Nw there was the ideal ‘Gramps’ to have had, eh?

      Thanks for commenting so kindly, Lindaura.



  30. writingbothsides May 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Wonderfully written. Your insightful words make us richer. Thank you for commenting on mine:

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 8:06 am #

      You are sweet to comment so. Makes my day (and now my night.)

      Mahalo and…



  31. JKBradley May 19, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Just a lovely sentiment, Doug.

    Here’s mine:

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Dear JK,

      Thanks for commenting and for the link to Icarus’ launch site.



  32. Michael Fishman May 19, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    There’s a beautiful message in this story that I appreciate very much. I also appreciate the respectful way you handled the grandfather/grandson relationship. Reading this made me feel my grandfather for a few seconds.

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      Dear Michael,

      Thanks for telling me my story made you think of your ‘Gramps’. That’s one of the best compliments ever.



  33. Lora Mitchell May 19, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    Aloha Doug: A sweet, sentimental grandfather story with a lovely message. You say he is not real? You’re pulling our legs, of course. Your stories never fail to please and I look forward to them every week. Here’s mine:

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 7:56 am #

      Dear Lora,

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. I thought your story was delightful. (Sad, true, but very special nonetheless.)



  34. Sonia Lal May 19, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    sweet story! very sweet!

  35. Madison Woods May 19, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    I liked that your fictional grandpa didn’t explain away the meaning of his sage advice until the kid tuned him out (which is what kind of thing I tend to so when I want to impart wisdom to my kids, haha). Great story, Doug. I didn’t see anything to crit, just enjoyed it like it was.

    • dmmacilroy May 19, 2012 at 7:48 am #

      Dear Madison,

      Thanks for commenting on No Rain, No Rainbows. No Friday is complete without your input and I appreciate it.

      I’ve always found it better to say something about twice, then pretend I only said it once provided everything worked out okay. If it didn’t work out okay I just deny ever being in the vicinity.

      See you next Friday. Oh, by the way, where should I send my pictures for consideration as prompt candidates? Inquiring minds want to know.



      • Madison Woods May 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

        LOL. You can email pictures to me madison.woods at

  36. Julia Stevenson May 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    I love the lesson here – it reminds me of my grandmother! You’re a fantastic writer – my hat’s off to you. 🙂

    • dmmacilroy May 23, 2012 at 2:43 am #

      Dear Julia,

      Thank you for your kind compliments. I’m off to search for your story now.



  37. shadowchaser75 May 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    A very beautiful and, dare I say it, spiritual piece – I like this a lot 😉

    I’m over here:

  38. Scott Hays May 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    After hundreds of folks have already said everything that I wanted to say, there’s not much I can add. Patience is a great virtue, and finding beauty when the world sends you rain (which is beautiful, in and of itself I might add) is a powerful way to express that patience. Everyone that we love touches us like your fictional grandfather, and leaves spectral reminders … that’s how we pass stuff along. But thanks for expressing it all so clearly in about a hundred words. I know you’re busy, but I could use some constructive criticism at Thanks

    • Scott Hays May 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      Just wanted to thank you for your kind words about my story cuz I’m not sure you’ll go back there to see them. The head is still on straight (I think), though I am right now a very happy camper.

  39. Parul May 20, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    Beautiful Doug. I have no words… This is very touching!


  40. sacha1nch1 May 20, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    it’s amazing the first time one sees a prism in action…..and the second……and the……

  41. Kaitlin May 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    This is so lovely and full of memory. Great take on it.

  42. Kathy McClure May 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Still trying to let patience be my prism, darn it! So warm and engaging.


  43. sphrbn May 21, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Such a strong moral from such a wise figure.

  44. tollykit May 22, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    A beautiful story 🙂

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