Mud is murky. It’s certainly dirty. Yet sometimes it can hold surprising reflections. A mud puddle is an unlikely place for a rainbow, but it was the place to look.
This week, writers went where rainbows in puddles led them. The murky side of the rainbows holds some surprises.
The following stories are based on the February 9, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rainbow in a puddle.
Good Riddance by Diana Nagai
Kelly descended the front steps, leaving her first love in the doorway. Sliding behind the wheel, she ran her hand over the many tears in the leather seat and tugged firmly on the belt. She cranked her window down, using a pair of pliers gifted to her by her father when she left home; a man who truly adored her. Crisp air flowed over her, creating a lightness that gave her the moxie to reach out and wave goodbye.
With mirrors in place and a blinking oil light, she vanished with a smile, leaving rainbow puddles in her wake.
Jaguar Baby by Kerry E.B. Black
A dreaded rainbow glistened on the garage floor, the tell-tale oil which portends the death of a beloved machine. Chris kicked a pile of tires heaped in the corner. “Darn it. She never listens.”
Fumes from Aunt Connie’s 1968 E-type Jaguar still lingered after her hasty departure. She’d waved, ignoring Chris. “Thanks for fixing my baby!”
Water eddied through the oil slick. She judged from the size of the slick the car would make it to Aunt Connie’s destination, but coming back would not be happening. She packed oil and mounted her Vespa, rushing to rescue her impatient aunt.
Faith (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
“A rainbow in a puddle. We’ll have good luck in our search today,” Michael said.
All Danni could see was a biohazard in mud. She climbed into Michael’s truck and they left to follow leads on Bubbie, missing along the Pack River for a week.
“Did you see it?”
Michael was as bad as Ike, Danni thought. Signs, wonders, miracles. “Yes I saw the oil slick.”
“Ever the scientist. Today, have faith.”
Their first encounter with campers reminded Danni why she had none. The rednecks with AR-15s claimed they peppered a dog fitting Bubbie’s description. For fun, they said.
Fight Own Battle by Lady Lee Manila
rainbow in a puddle
we’re tiny dots of whole
everything takes its toll
testing if we’re able
gives us hope to scramble
feel of trust in our soul
silver lining or not?
up to us to decide
perhaps good if we tried
for us ourselves bethought
and let’s not be distraught
if we make it, it’s pride
we trek some dirty mud
not always smooth, the road
got to pay what we owed
if there’s luck, we’re blessed
depends if we acted
carry on as we flowed
rainbow in a puddle
tells us that we’re able
fight own battle
Rainbow in the Puddle by Reena Saxena
I loved RainBow till I studied Physics. The charm of the rainbow gradually disappeared. The arc transformed into a circle of knowledge, and lost the open element of awe. I was picking up wet laundry from the clothesline, after a shower, rather than look for the rainbow.
I am sure, RainBow was mighty disappointed, and missed my childhood. It was pretty lonely, amidst dense, gray clouds on the gray sky. There it came … down to earth with a thud, in a puddle of water. And the Sun helped the world in noticing its existence. Damn the physics lessons…
Coulored Lights by Jane Dougherty
The puddle in the path reflected like a mirror the tracery of the trees and the sky beyond. I stood on the edge captivated by the still beauty. The sun came from behind a cloud and struck the water, covering the surface with rainbow lights. Diesel, a film of leaked fuel turned the timeless pastoral scene into a surreal nightmare. I raised my head, looked beyond the clouds to the scritch-scratched vapour trails across the blue, smelled the traffic on the road ahead and felt the tree roots curling and straining to find the lifeblood of the dying earth.
Flash Fiction by Pensitivity
The two giants walked side by side, cursing Man’s folly and the weather.
‘This thunderstorm was due today.’
‘Indeed it was and the rain is badly needed.’
‘Water was their most precious resource but they believed the taps would never run dry.
Overpopulation led to reclaiming wetlands for property development.’
‘Man was stupid, filling in lakes, building on floodplains and not dredging the rivers properly’.
‘So here we are, starting again by making puddles with every step.’
‘They’ll know we’ve been here.’
‘Because we’ve left our footprints?’
‘No. Because you dropped your bow in the rain and it’s arched.’
Making a Rainbow by Luccia Gray
‘Look a puddle!’ James rushed to the playground.
‘What’s a puddle?’ asked Timmy.
‘Some water on the floor,’ replied Susan.
‘But we mustn’t spill any water,’ said Timmy. ‘Who did it?’
‘The clouds spilled the water,’ said Miss Rushbrooke.
‘Does that mean the drought’s over?’ Asked Jenny.
The teacher sighed watching the toddlers dip their fingers. They hadn’t seen rainfall in their short lives. ‘Look for a rainbow. That’ll bring us good luck.’
They shook their heads; the sky was clear blue again.
‘Don’t worry,’ said Miss Rushbrooke. ‘Bring the watercolours. We can make a rainbow in the puddle.’
The Magic Rainbow by Ann Edall-Robson
The mystical, magical colours dance through the willows and along the creek. Shades of a second rainbow reflects in the puddles. Transparent in the sun showers happening in the valley.
Race to the end of the rainbow. To the pot of gold protected by the little people. Closer and closer. Beneath the small, yellow booted feet, the puddles on the trail scatter in a spray of water and mud. Droplets of rain on rosy, apple cheeks turn to into rivulets. The hunt for the elusive rainbow and the leprechauns that play under its arch gone now for another day.
Of Puddles and Rainbows by Norah Colvin
For children of the drought who had never seen rain, the gush when the pipe from the bore burst a seam was a rare opportunity for water play and unexpected learning. While Dad and his Station Hand worked to repair the hole, the children danced in puddles under the cooling spray.
“Look at the colours,” a child exclaimed, trying to capture each one. The men paused to smile at the children’s delight, remembering their own childhood glee. Mum watched from the verandah – without their precious resource, there’d be no washing off mud or cooking the dinner that night.
Puddles by Sarah Brentyn
Tina’s legs, splattered with droplets of mud, stuck out from under her dress. A white, frilly thing her aunt insisted she wear today.
“What are you doing? Get off the ground!” Her aunt put her lips close to the girl’s ear, “People are staring!” She hissed.
“White is for weddings,” Tina traced patterns in the brown puddle by her hip. She swirled her finger in circles then squinted. “White is for clouds,” she pointed at the puddle. “Look. They bring rainbows to the mucky mud.”
Tina wiped mud on her dress. “White is not for funerals, Auntie.”
The Rainbow by Michael
Through the window I could see him standing by the puddle. He would stoop down and scoop his hand in the water, stand up and look to see if something was there.
I went out to investigate and found him still mesmerised by the puddle. He pointed and I saw in the puddle a rainbow’s reflection.
Together we stared at it. Then he bobbed down and scooped another handful.
I said, “Look at that, you’ve got it.”
He grinned at me proud of his catch.
Not wanting to drop it we stepped towards home. His mum loved his imagination.
Rainbows and Valentines by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Nora sat on a low rock, head tipped to one side. The meadow’s shallow pond flashed morning’s sun and last night’s shadows. Peter watched the breeze flip her fine blonde hair, seeming to whisper to her. He left the path to the meadow, and dropped down beside her, “Nora, what do you see?”
Since the accident, she’d become more quiet, and a little strange. His catapult had launched the rock and knocked her to the ground.
She plunged her hand in the rainbow waters and erased the vision of their future together, and smiling, met his gaze.
She Gave Me a Rainbow by Drew Sheldon
I always hated the time after a rainstorm. I was just trying to dry off in peace while the schoolkids would run around the park I called home. They’d splash in the puddles and make all the noise they couldn’t make while cooped up inside. One time a little girl couldn’t catch her friends’ attention so she turned to me. “Look!” she yelled at me, pointing at a puddle. Something in the water was making rainbow colors, something she apparently had never seen before. I couldn’t help but smile and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I had.
I Cannot Kill a Rainbow by Anne Goodwin
Even our uniforms are mud coloured, the better to blend with the terrain. Where once was meadow, now is quagmire; our every step hefts a sticky stinking shadow, as if our boots have built a platform sole. No grass, no flowers, no sun to lift the spirits; the only bright spot on the battlefield is blood. Mud paints our hearts with fear and hatred. Where massacre is our mission, colour is a crime. Thus I meet my enemy across a muddy puddle, until I recognise the badge on his lapel. I cannot kill a rainbow. I cannot murder love.
Mud Slide by Geoff Le Pard
The urge to call them back was almost overwhelming. Mary rocked Charlotte and focused on Penny, following Paul across the cliffside. He was confident, Penny less so, but determined nonetheless.
Mary shut her eyes, travelling back decades: another cliff, another daughter following her father. This daughter, her, slipping on the wet mud, falling, landing hard aware of the likely pain of the impact (there wasn’t) and her own mother’s screams. Her father, all worried face saying ‘not to fuss so.’
‘Mum, look!’ Penny and Paul stood on the top waving.
Did you ever really let go of your children?
What Comes First: The Cloud or the Silver Lining? by Geoff Le Pard
Mary focused on changing the baby while Paul pulled out the picnic. ‘You didn’t need to climb up there.’ She couldn’t look at him.
‘It was safe enough.’
‘Is ‘safe enough’ your standard? I had kittens.’
He put his arm round her waist. ‘She was terrified at the start and buzzing at the end. You know, she saw this rainbow, reflected in a puddle, when we finished. It was her pot of gold, challenging herself like that.’
Mary sighed. Was she the only one to worry the next cloud might be the one not to have a silver lining?
Seeing the Wood for the Trees by Ellen Best
Sandy, her boots splashed, hat pulled low, frowning with lips pursed, determinedly marched on. “Keep walking the same path Sand; (she heard in her head) you’ll fall down the same hole”. “Okay dad enough!” She roared wiping her face “Avoid the wood; you’ll miss the trees”. ” just leap shall”? She cried. Jumping she landed smack in the puddle, hiccoughed as tears cleaned mud from her cheeks.
Robert on seeing her, threw a leg over the stile and ran. “Don’t tell me … there was a rainbow at the bottom.” He smiled, his strong arms gathered her and Sandy saw the rainbow.
Here’s to Mud in Your Eye! by Jules Paige
Why is it that the groomsmen had (or have) such bawdy
traditions? At the bachelor party the groom had wished
he’d had mud splattered in his eyes. He’d have rather
enjoyed the toasts to his upcoming nuptials more. He
wasn’t really a drinker. And when his best friend took
him home. The bride to be, saw her intended’s green face.
She warned; Take him straight to the bathroom. But neither
Instead of a simple mess, the resulting chaos resulted in
more slung mud than necessary. Clothes and bed sheets
had to be changed… and the floor mopped.
Why Some Poets Are Falsely Viewed as Irritating Husbands on Occasion by Bill Engleson
“Before the melt, the snow pile was higher than my bearded chin.”
Shelley looks at my hyperbole and shakes her head.
“But,” I clarify, “that’s all behind us. Slush now rules the world, mudpuddles are in bloom and the sun is casting a kaleidoscopic arc of multi-colored joy into the mush of mud and snow.”
“All I said, Sweetie,” Shelley continues to show teeth-grinding patience with me, “Is that we should go for a walk. Put on our booties, go for a simple walk. A quiet walk.”
Alas, she sometimes exhibits limited tolerance for my compulsion to wax poetic.
The Murkiness of Emotion by Jeanine Lebsack
There are mud puddles all around as I step gingerly around them not wanting to get my new Ugg boots wet. The sheep lining encompasses my feet making me feel such coziness.
As I tip toe across the plethora of puddles I glance at my reflection. I look so sad as the tears start to glisten in my eyes. I think of my sweet Mama and her saying “this too shall pass remember there’s always pain, but the sun shines after the rain.” I smile as I wade through the murkiness of my emotions and see the rainbows reflection.
Celebrating Love by C. Jai Ferry
Rainbeau glanced at the chalkboard: hamburger, cheeseburger, and beer. Fish on Fridays, but today was Tuesday. Puddles was a lonely mom-and-pop bar—perfect for her first Valentine’s Day alone.
“A burger, I guess.” She smiled at the blue-coiffed septuagenarian not-so-patiently waiting for her order.
“That it?” The disgust was thick in the woman’s voice.
“And a coke?” Rainbeau added as an olive branch.
The woman shuffled away.
Rainbeau refused to let the woman’s cantankerous attitude steal her smile. She counted out the money for dinner. Tonight was the first of many celebrations. The divorce was final; she was free.
Delusional by FloridaBorne
“Rainbows!” I scoffed. “A delusion of colors.”
My son, far too smart for a 5 year old, asked, “Why?”
“My father told me there was a pot of gold at the end of one, and liked to chase them. We found a beauty at the edge of a muddy field. I jumped into a puddle up to my hips trying to find gold.”
“What did you find?”
“Bacteria,” I frowned. “ I was sick for days. It’s called dysentery.”
“Mom tells me to remember the love,” my son smiled sweetly.
“She should’ve thought of that before she divorced me.”