Dream of the Dragonfly

26 Feb

A hundred words for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the photo prompt below.


(Copyright Dawn Landau)

The air above the railbed was still and warm, redolent with creosote and the scent of honeysuckle that grew in wild abandon along the embankments.

Behind him, where his past still lived, burnished steel rails vanished below a thunderhead through which lightning forged erratic pathways, sudden and silent. Ahead of him the rails stretched toward the future and merged with a quicksilver horizon beneath the wide blue sky.

Does the Universe want us happy, he wondered?

A rainbow-hued dragonfly hovered on filigreed wings beside him, then whispered down the tracks in answer, away from the storm and into the light.

(to edit)blue dragonfly

63 Responses to “Dream of the Dragonfly”

  1. rochellewisoff February 26, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Dear Doug,

    Your words are exquisite and leave me at a loss for mine. I’ve a lump in my throat as I comment. I hope he finds what he’s looking for as he follows his dragonfly. Into Light Yes.



    • dmmacilroy February 26, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      What an uplifting comment. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Infinite Light Years.



  2. Suzanne Joshi February 26, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    That moved with a rhythm lighter and quicker than the dragonfly, There was a great deal of hope in it, Doug. Well done as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    • dmmacilroy February 26, 2015 at 11:35 am #

      Dear Suzanne,

      Thank you for stopping in to read and comment. I appreciate you taking the time to walk along the tracks with me.



  3. gahlearner February 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    I loved the detail, I could almost smell the honeysuckle. And such a hopeful tale.

    • dmmacilroy February 28, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      Dear Gahlearner,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. i appreciate you taking the time.



  4. draliman February 26, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    Beautiful descriptions! By the end of the first paragraph I was there myself, as your words brought memories back.

    • dmmacilroy February 28, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      Dear Draliman,

      Memories of a sojourn or three down some nearby railroad tracks. I am curious. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  5. erinleary February 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Lovely, Doug. I think you used all the senses to evoke a true feeling of the place. Beautiful!

    • dmmacilroy February 28, 2015 at 9:07 am #

      Dear Erin,

      That was one of my goals. Thanks for letting me know I came close to the mark. And thanks for dropping by to read and comment.



  6. Helena Hann-Basquiat February 26, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    I love the random “response” to the musing of whether the Universe wants us to be happy or not. I strive to accept the randomness of the Universe, both as beautiful and terrible.

    • dmmacilroy February 28, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      Dear Helena,

      I’m glad you found the dragonfly’s response heartening. I am a great believer in the Universe and believe it answers all the time those with eyes to see. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. It’s always nice to see you here.



  7. Honie Briggs February 26, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    Sometimes I hear the Universe say, “Be happy. Or not. It’s up to you.” Then, enter the dragonfly. Your story resonates with me.

    • dmmacilroy February 28, 2015 at 9:13 am #

      Dear Honie,

      Thank you for letting me know that Dream of the Dragonfly struck a chord with you. The Universe does want us to be happy. No doubt about it.



  8. Sandra February 26, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    Beautiful prose that captured the moment perfectly. I could have been there.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      Dear Sandra,

      When I write I often imagine you reading and so, in a very real sense, you were there. Thank you for that and for such a wonderful comment.



  9. Jan Brown February 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    Beautiful, Doug. Absolutely beautiful.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      Dear jan,

      Thank you very much.



  10. sustainabilitea February 26, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    Lyrical words expressing deep thoughts and eternal truths, Doug. Your first paragraph, redolent with smells, pulled me in and your story ever let me go.


    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 11:59 am #

      Dear Janet,

      Thanks for walking a while with me. I appreciate the company.



  11. storydivamg February 26, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    You truly are a genius, Doug. I usually find flashes with such descriptive language incomplete. While this doesn’t have as clear of a storyline as your usual tales, it holds its own as a complete vignette. Good work.


    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

      Dear Marie,

      I made sure there was a soft and subtle storyline in there, but yes, focused a lot of attention on telling the story with sensations. Thanks for letting the whole thing sink into your subconsciousness before writing it off. I appreciate your time and thoughts.



  12. plaridel February 26, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    i was expecting a punch line, something funny to knock my socks off, but instead i was rewarded by the beauty of your prose. well done.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

      Dear Plaridel,

      Thank you, sir. A punch line would have been kind of sacrilegious in the midst of what my character was experiencing, but I do know what you mean. Thanks for taking a look at my story.



  13. wildbilbo February 27, 2015 at 2:55 am #

    Very poetic – 100 words almost wholly dedicated to atmosphere. A sense of freshness, renewal. Loved it.

    But… Should there be a question mark after wondered (I wondered)? I don’t actually know mind you, but it seems like it might…

    Anyway, well done.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

      Dear KT,

      For the record, I was conflicted about the question of the question mark. Opted to keep things simple because I didn’t know where to put it. Thanks for reading and giving me your considered input. i do appreciate it. My favorite readers are often those who think and then ask questions or just tell me what’s on their mind. As Danny (Glossarch) says, “I cannot grow as a writer without it.”



  14. Michael B. Fishman February 27, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    Beautifully descriptive prose, Doug. You touched all the senses and brought the scene to life. I was lost (in the good way, not the bad/confused way) in these 100 words.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

      Dear Michael,

      Thanks for confusing me…..Not really! I appreciate your kind feedback on Dream of the Dragonfly.



  15. Inside the Mind of Isadora February 27, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    This is an illustration of the power of words in a vignette. You’ve left me with chills from every written word. Can I say … WOW ??? 😊

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

      Dear Isadora,

      Wow back at you. Thanks for such a nice comment. Every word counts, don’t they? The process of finding the right ones and then placing them in the correct order is what makes writing so damn hard, but also so rewarding.



      • Inside the Mind of Isadora March 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

        I believe you’ve described the reason why I challenge myself to do the 100 word write. I tend to be wordy – i.e.: my comment 😀 – writing 100 words disciplines me.
        I’m happy you liked my comment on your story. 😊

  16. singleworkingmomswm February 27, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    What beautiful descriptives and imagery in this! Forever hopeful I am, I think the answer to the question of the Universe is “yes”. 🙂 XOXO, Kasey

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

      Dear Kasey,

      For what it’s worth, you are one of the people for whom this story was written. The Universe wants you to be happy all of the time and I sense that you are. Thank you for reading and for commenting so kindly and so consistently on my stories, this one in particular.




      • singleworkingmomswm March 3, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

        Thank you so much, Doug. Reading this just pleasantly added some extra smiles to my Tuesday. 🙂

      • singleworkingmomswm March 3, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

        Oh, and by the way….forgot to say, for what it’s worth, it’s worth a lot!

  17. aliciajamtaas February 27, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Loving lightening, I saw quicksilver on both ends of the track. Loving how the sense of smell enhances a story, I was immediately drawn in by your opening line. And dragonflies? Where would the world be without their magic. Wonderful work, Doug.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

      Dear Alicia,

      Thank you, thank you and thank you. I’m glad you like dragonflies and this story. Many Mahalos.



  18. rgayer55 February 27, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    Like they say, “When you’re facing the light the shadows are all behind you.” Beautiful language here, Doug.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      Dear Russell,

      Thanks for that quote. I’ve never heard it before you set it down in the comments box, but I will remember it always. I appreciate you taking the time to visit, read and talk story (as they say here).

      Mahalo and Aloha,


  19. Tracey@WhatsforDinnerDoc.com February 28, 2015 at 1:23 am #

    Does the Universe want us happy? Great question to ponder. I choose the light, over and over again. Is it wrong that I can smell that creosote on a warm day?

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

      Dear Tracey,

      Do you know that your choice of the light shows in your writing? And no, it is not wrong that you can smell the creosote. It means your senses are open to the world around you. It means you have not squandered the gift of life. It means, as Buddha said, that you are “Awake”.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.



  20. David Stewart February 28, 2015 at 2:06 am #

    Doug, this is brilliant. Your description is so vivid and it’s like you tell the whole story through the description. This was a pleasure to read.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

      Dear David,

      Thanks for noticing that distinction (a tale told mostly with description). That was my intent and it took a while to get it close to right, a fact that your words helped to confirm. i appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts here. I’m lucky to be able to number you among ‘my’ readers, if I may say so without verging on pretentiousness. Thanks again.



      • David Stewart March 4, 2015 at 3:05 am #

        My pleasure, Doug. Keep up the great storytelling!

  21. Alice Audrey February 28, 2015 at 4:03 am #

    I’ve seen omens like that in real life a time or two.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      Dear Alice,

      They’re out there for those with eyes to see, aren’t they? Thanks for reading.



  22. Lauraine February 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    A toast with Honey liqueur and a rolling thunder soundtrack. Step high those joy seeking boots and March onward. Wear that epic grin.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

      Dearest Lauraine,

      Your light still shines bright in my heart and your comment has fired up my grin. I’m happier than your ducklings.

      Mahalo nui loa,



  23. Amy Reese February 28, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    Simply beautiful, Doug. I want to fly with the dragonfly after reading this.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      Dear Amy,

      Thanks for saying so. (I think you fly with the dragonfly all the time.)



  24. elmowrites February 28, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    Glorious, Doug, and exactly what these little stories can (and should) be. “Behind him, where the past still lived” is my favourite line, because it tells us so so much in a few beautiful words. Love the wording, love the emotion you poured in, the hope you left and the mystery surrounding it all.
    I’ll tell you, only because I know you’d want me to, that the honeysuckle in the first paragraph read a little awkwardly to me. Grammatically, I wanted an extra “the” between OF and HONEYSUCKLE, because otherwise it readslike the scent is the thing doing the growing, rather than the plant. But when I mentally put that “the” in, it sounded clumsy, so perhaps you have it right and my inner grammarian should bow to the poet who wrote these exquisite words.
    The image those scents conjure, and the rest in every facet, is just Wow.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

      Dear Jennifer,

      You are sweet to me and I cannot tell you how much your kind words mean to me.

      You did exactly what I did to sort out the ‘the’ in that spot, and yes, the flow and rhythm dictated that I leave it out. That is how I roll, as they say, (by the sound, flow and rhythm of my work) since I haven’t got a clue in the grammar department. And yes, I do love your thoughts and musings and considered opinions re any writing that I do. Thanks for leavening the the bread and for taking the time to stand by the oven with me as it bakes.



  25. Dee February 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    Dear Doug

    This is just so beautiful, you have such a way with words. Your opening sentence drew me in and put me by those tracks, I felt I was walking alongside him.

    Best wishes


    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

      Dear Dee,

      Comments like yours are a gift I will never take for granted. Your input is valued and appreciated. Thanks for reading.



  26. patrickprinsloo March 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    Great descriptive writing full of sensory imagery and questions for our existential selves. Wish I had written this.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

      Dear Patrick,

      A blind squirrel will find an acorn by accident every now and then. Thanks for the compliment and for reading in the first place. i appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.



  27. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) March 1, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

    This is the perfect poetic voice for the beauty of that picture.. so wonderful choice of words and such a wonderful dream to follow the dragonfly..

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

      Dear Bjorn,

      I’m glad that Dream of the Dragonfly struck a chord with you. Thanks for letting me know it.



  28. subroto March 3, 2015 at 12:45 am #

    This was a stunning visual feast, an absolutely exquisite bit of writing.

    • dmmacilroy March 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

      Dear Subroto,

      I appreciate your thoughts more than you know. Thanks for reading.



  29. Margaret March 4, 2015 at 8:20 am #

    Such a sensory feast! I loved it. I love the subtle, but absolutely perfect suggestion of a narrative past and future. Wonderful.

    • dmmacilroy March 4, 2015 at 8:33 am #

      Dear Margaret,

      Thank you for partaking in the feast and letting me know the cook didn’t burn anything. Was going for subtle. Glad I came close to the mark.




  1. Social Darwinism | ironwoodwind - March 4, 2015

    […] words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt from Erin Leary. Thanks to all who read Dream of the Dragonfly and commented during the preceding week. If  didn’t get to your story I, please accept my […]

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