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Flock of Ballerinas (flash fiction)

August 9, 2013

Street corner, by Renee Heath

You have to get up early to see the ballerinas, like long-legged, graceful-necked herons of white feathers. They arrive at practice early for a long day of work. Later, the corporate suits show up, in darker plumage and carrying briefcases and coffee from more exotic beans than they serve at the shelter. They walk on the sidewalks in blurs, eyes focused on their destination, oblivious to me, some hurrying but others slow, like they want to put off arriving as late as possible. The pigeons pay attention to me on the bench, cooing their appreciation for the crumbs I toss.


Friday Fictioneers prompt given by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For other stories inspired by this photo, click here.
Photo copyright Renee Heath
Story copyright Dave Williams

20 Comments leave one →
  1. summerstommy2 permalink
    August 9, 2013 6:18 am

    Well done Zooky great take on the prompt and a lovely metaphor.

  2. August 9, 2013 8:26 am

    I love how you speak of them as if they’re some sort of migrating sub-species, and I also liked how you described a second scene, not even viewable to the audience. Nicely done!

  3. August 9, 2013 9:24 am

    This is wonderful, loved it. 🙂

  4. August 9, 2013 11:16 am

    The early scene is preferable i think. I would not care to see the suits.

  5. August 9, 2013 11:32 am

    A wonderful fictional portrait…just loved it.

  6. August 9, 2013 1:54 pm

    Birds of a feather…

  7. August 9, 2013 2:30 pm

    I enjoy people watching, especially in airports where the exotic ones reside. It’s great entertainment and has spawned many a story.

  8. August 9, 2013 3:02 pm

    Nice piece of observational descriptive writing. Ron

  9. August 9, 2013 7:39 pm

    Very clever!

  10. August 9, 2013 11:25 pm

    this was awesome, you made me see through someone else’s eyes 🙂 specially since i’m not so observant, i’m one of those who keep rushing and rushing..

  11. August 10, 2013 2:36 am

    How wonderful to have a bird watcher view of them. Ballerinas as herons is very nice.

  12. August 10, 2013 6:39 am

    Very interesting piece evoking the life of someone far outside the scenes he observes.

  13. August 10, 2013 6:47 am

    Dear Dave,

    You’ve painted a vivid picture. I’m intrigued by the ballerinas, practicing early in the morning. I like the way the executives with their briefcases were a blur. it rather described a mundane existence of robotic conformity of corporate America. I liked that your narrator ends up on the beach. Now that I’ve replayed your story I’ll end by saying, “Nice one.”



  14. August 10, 2013 7:06 am

    Dear Dave,

    A nice meditation on bird watching and the walk to work. Where do the pigeons fit in to that picture? Good job.



    • August 11, 2013 5:03 am

      I wanted to add in real birds to the ones the narrator uses as metaphors to describe the ballerinas and business workers. He is homeless (as hinted at in the mention of coffee at the shelter), and he does a lot of bird and people watching throughout the day. I thought the pigeons would be a way for him to give something, which is little as crumbs, but something. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

  15. August 10, 2013 7:31 am

    You set a wonderful scene here. I enjoyed the different “classes” of coffee mention.

  16. August 10, 2013 11:39 am

    Liked the last line of:
    The pigeons pay attention to me on the bench, cooing their appreciation for the crumbs I toss.

  17. August 10, 2013 2:14 pm

    Corporate suits in darker plumage. Nice!

  18. August 14, 2013 3:13 am

    Liked this description of the ballerinas – graceful-necked herons of white feathers – interesting observational narrative.

  19. August 27, 2013 9:43 am

    I do like how you describe the businessmen too. Dark plumage like crows hunting prey.
    And the tossing of crumbs to show that we can give back even if just a little.

    A tad slow on catching up. Thanks for visiting my short verse ‘Fading Season’ –
    It seems when we grow old there is little movement, and yet the most movement happens in shorter periods of time. As ill health progresses sometimes quickly.

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