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“Land of the Perpetual Rainbow” – FWG Flash Fiction for 3/16/2024

Appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. The rainbow’s an optical illusion, and the pot of gold at its end is just as illusory.


The prompt is:





LAND OF THE PERPETUAL RAINBOW



Darrell trudged along behind Erin.


“It’s not getting any closer.”


“Sure it is,” she replied without looking back. They were hiking in the mountains when they first glimpsed the rainbow beyond a ridge. “Just a little farther…I think.” S/he muttered the last bit to herself.


“I heard that. You don’t have a clue, do y—”


Darrell bumped into Erin, who stood stock still, staring. When he looked up, his mouth dropped open. Beyond the fallen trees at the edge of the forest was a meadow, emerald green and as lush as a cashmere scarf.


“Is that a house?” Darrell breathed.


In the middle of the field, there stood a tiny cottage. Its walls were made of sod cut from An Talamh Torthach, Mother Earth herself. Shaggy, living ferns covered its roof, and a well-worn path led from the oval door to where Erin and Darrell stood.


Before Erin could respond, the door opened and a tiny figure strode down the path to where they stood transfixed.


“What do ya seek?” the leprechaun said with a smile. Erin’s eyes followed the rainbow’s arch. “Ah, yeah, the rainbow. After so many years, I don’t even notice it anymore.” He shook his head. “I’m called Jack, by the way.”


“How can you not notice it? It’s beautiful.” Erin’s voice was filled with awe.


“Why, it’s there all the time, Lass. This is the Land of the Perpetual Rainbow.”


Darrell finally found his voice. “Is there a pot of gold?”


Jack raised an eyebrow. “Some say.” He gave them a crooked smile. “Just over the hill, they say.”


“Let’s go!” Darrell set out through the field, dragging Erin by the hand.


Watching them go, Jack’s face fell. “Damn fools don’t know ya can’t get there. You’re always at the center of the illusion.”



THE END


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