Step aside or join in the march — it’s a parade of nations coming through! Parades move forward with noisy color and colorful sounds, twirling the senses, often giving candy and vitality to bystanders. Nations can demonstrate such vibrancy when they come together, celebrating culture with joy.
Writers took to the parade street this week and traveled the globe (which is not all that difficult given the many time zones we all write from).
The following is based on the September 20, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a parade of nations.
PART I (5-minute read)
Her Family of Cultures by Sascha Darlington
This job at the university laboratory was a stepping stone. She’d get her master’s and then a career. Unexpectedly, her international colleagues became part of her new family.
A Chinese woman taught her joy despite suffering.
A Polish man taught her flirtation.
An Ethiopian woman demonstrated caring through injera and wat.
An Indian confided emotional injury despite pride in culture.
A French woman showed her strength through adversity.
A Mexican taught her the value of beer, laughter, and literature.
A Yugoslav gave her saxophone and gypsy jazz.
When she thought she might finally leave, an Englishman stole her heart.
Flash Fiction by Jan Malique
Come, let us rejoice, for one day at least. The Otherworld Gates open wide, bring forth all who inhabit places hidden. Silent feet tread lightly on paths of whispers and songs of joy.
For such a parade of nations do the denizens of ancient, and half forgotten places venture forth. For unity’s sake do human and the Old Ones gather. For sake of Peace, at least for one day, may blessings gush forth, shower like gold upon heads bowed.
See them parade, show pride in their souls of sunlight and birdsong. Show pride in the babel of tongues aplenty.
Wandering With Purpose by JulesPaige
They are the migrators of nations. Parading in the sky. Canadian Geese and American Redstarts. Even the insects get into the act the Monarch butterflies, that Fifth generation setting off to Mexico in late summer. Some Blue Jays stay put one season and head to warmer climates the next. Robins also have a few that stay northerly. Some Ruby Throated Humming
Birds can end up in Panama.
Greys, browns, black, orange, yellow, red, white, and blue. Free from borders, These critters carry natural colors as their wings flag and flap in Vee’s, groups or just as a single flutter.
Parade of Nations by Deepa
cars unloaded on the lakefront
thousands were drawn to the park
headed by the finest bandwagon
drawn by twelve magnificent horses
the marching band parade
of anxious thoughts
followed by the drum roll of words
dancing off their rails all night
the ringmaster lost control
parade of nations
jump into action
Dayton Peace Accord: World Affair by Nancy Brady
Participants began to line up for the parade. For some nations, there were only one or two participants; other contingents had larger groups, but all were dressed in their various ethnic costumes. Voices grew louder as the wait seemed to be interminable, waiting for the start of Dayton’s World Affair with its Parade of Nations.
World Affair was a yearly event that celebrated the proud ethnic and cultural diversity of the area. Lithuanians, Germans, Japanese, Scots, Irish, Greeks, and other people from around the world representing their ancestral countries, mingled together in the convention center for the three-day event.
Equestrian Event by Abhijit Ray
“I bet she is here for the annual equestrian event and she will participate in parade of nations this evening,”
Sid was looking at the woman in blue jacket riding a white horse.
“Lets go talk to her and find out more.”
“What event? How are you going to talk to her?”
“Be a little bold and a little innovative my friend,” Sid was already halfway towards the girl.
That was Sid, always forward, always brimming with easy confidence.
Sid did not know that girl’s army major husband was also a rider and disliked romeos hanging around his wife.
Flash Dance by Charli Mills
Jamie clacked his tap-shoes across the pavement. He’d found the kilt at the Keweenaw Consignment and paired it with his mother’s discarded turquoise blouse, the one that matched his sunglasses. He danced every day, preparing for his solo march in the Parade of Nations. Jamie was alone in his nation – an outcast. Many people treated him kindly and he managed to live on his own. Others said cruel things or pointed and laughed. He ignored them. A shout from the bystanders, “Dance, laddie, Dance!” inspired a spontaneous back-flip. Too late, he remembered what was worn beneath a kilt – nothing.
Flash Fiction by Pete Fanning
We line the road, watching them hobble around the bend, ragged and hollow, the rabid fight from only hours ago now carved out of their eyes. We’d spent most the summer surrounding them, from Richmond to Farmville, cutting them down before they scurried down to Lynchburg.
Now the two nations would be one again.
Their great leader is in the courthouse, signing papers and negotiating mercy. I stand with my infantry. Slaves to soldiers who only now, in the eerie dawn of peace, as the confederates wait to be pardoned or paroled, dare to dream of our own freedom.
Good Fences? by D. Avery
Complaining about the bordering gardens, the new neighbor did an un-neighborly thing. He enclosed his property behind a fence, a veritable wall, really.
Thing is, the surrounding peas the others were tending throve. Whorls of tendrils covered the fencing; vibrant blossoms cascaded over the fence, their sweet fragrance carried on the soft breeze. There were many colors and hues, for the neighbors grew all sorts of peas. The new neighbor looked up from watering his monochrome crew cut patch of ground. Awed by the parade of color, he had a change of heart. He would give peas a chance.
When Time Stood Still by Colleen Chesebro
“Eyes left, salute!”
I listened to the drill sergeant’s voice and a sense of pride swell in my chest as I raised my hand to salute the onlookers in the parade stand. Exhaustion had set in weeks ago. Air Force Basic Training had drained me of everything I possessed, but somehow, I carried on.
This was my flight’s crowning achievement to march in the Parade of Nations to salute our NATO allies. We had earned the honor as the first women’s flight to graduate from the USAF. The cadence of my life slipped into place and time stood still.
School Parade by Ritu Bhathal
I hate assemblies!
I stood there nervously.
They came trooping in, like a parade of nations, English, African, Indian, Slovakian,
Polish, Vietnamese… and more.
This was my first time and I had four hundred and twenty pairs of young eyes trained upon me.
Clearing my throat, I said, in a loud, yet slightly wobbly voice, “Good morning everyone!”
“Good morning Mrs Johnson!” came the singsong reply.
And those eyes looked at me with such trust, my nerves melted away.
“I’ve got a wonderful song for us to sing, and then we’ll talk about the year ahead…”
I LOVE assemblies!
The Varied Strait by JulesPaige
There at the falls… up and down the stairs to the caves, for zip lining, to ride the ferries into the mist. Promenading in a free form dance along both sides of the Niagara river a parade of nations. Tourists from everywhere. Their song
varied in the many languages that were unfamiliar to almost every other set of ears there. Some had driven, others had flown across the oceans.
Perhaps every continent was represented. And the mist of the falls smiled and looked back at each pair of eyes when the sun helped to form rainbows at the horseshoe.
Commune Communiqués-June 1968 by Bill Engleson
I wasn’t all that excited.
An old guy coming to live out his life…in our commune.
“He’ll be here mid summer,” Kate said, clutching the old Frenchman’s letter.
“And he knows about us, how?” I asked.
“His niece, Rosario,” she says. “Passed through last summer. Was here most of that July. Then she hit the road. Lives in Columbia, I think,” she adds.
“Hmm,” I mumble, and down my carrot juice.
I’m a local. Not well-travelled. But we are a potpourri of flavours.
An underground railroad of Yanks.
Bobby Kennedy’s dead but our life goes on.
PART II (5-minute read)
Captain Amira (from Quantanelle in Space) by Saifun Hassam
The great starship “Valentina” was on its way to Mars and beyond. Captain Amira Robertson watched Earth’s blue and white swirls receding.
On her tenth birthday, Amira’s Grandfather Qassim had given her an encyclopedic book, Astronomy and Astronauts. Photographs of the Solar System, the Milky Way, and faraway galaxies captured her imagination. Earthrise from the Moon and Mars. The stormy gas giant Jupiter. Saturn with its rings and satellite moons. The Oort Cloud comets.
Neil Armstrong had taken that first step on the Moon. And now spacefarers from a parade of nations were exploring ever farther into deeper space.
A Parade of Nations by Norah Colvin
The children listened intently, eager to learn. Each family’s wish was for a better life. The group was a parade of nations; with Dragos from Serbia, Duy from Vietnam, Melino from Tonga, Ervine from Scotland, Rongo from New Zealand, Jung from Korea, Sanhitha from Sri Lanka, and Jawara from Senegal; and these were only the new arrivals. Others were first and second generation with but a few who could count back further than three, except for Kinta whose ancestors were the first to arrive. The wall map, dotted with pins to show each one’s heritage, was their proudest display.
A Different Sort of Parade by Chelsea Owens
Oogdiblok the Fiercely Flatulent surveyed the plodding masses, scowling. Urgdup, his counselor, knew this meant nothing since the stinky leader always scowled unless he was angry.
“Fmouglisk oog digump,” Urgdup warned.
Sighing, Oogdiblok replied, “Gurdonk.” He blew a raspberry with his fat lips, dismissing his counselor. His expression did not lighten until Fmouglisk oozed in.
She was upset. Oogdiblok knew this by the radiant smile she wore. “Eekdi homespank murgle!” she screeched.
He smiled and winked. He knew he’d started without her. Next time, he resolved, she wouldn’t be allowed to watch The Parade of Ogre Nations at all.
The Gluzzlebups’ Parade of Nations by H.R.R. Gorman
The announcer put its lips to the microphone. “Next, we have the United Statesians!”
A three-toed alien named Gluzurr held the head of her bounty high and licked her lips. Plump cheeks belied the delicacy of Gluzurr’s kill.
“And the Chinese!” the announcer bellowed.
The crowd gaped at the corpse on Boolan’s flaunted staff. The meal had kept a fine diet.
“Next, we have Furrazh with a Zambian!”
The Zambian representative of choice had been flayed perfectly to show off the marbling of the athletic muscles.
“What a lovely parade of nations!” the announcer cast. “Let the feast begin!”
The Family Hairloom (Pun totally intended) by Anurag Bakhshi
There was a parade of nations to honour him at his funeral. The greatest hero the world had ever seen, there had been none like him before, there would be none like him hence. Samson- a God among men, they called him. With his courageous act of bringing down the pillars of the temple, sacrificing himself in the process, he had achieved immortality.
I read what I had written till now and looked at the box on my desk. Now I just needed to add a suitable price to my listing on eBay for Samson’s seven strands of hair.
Parade of Nations by Deborah Lee
Jane ambles through festival avenues, enchanted. The diversity is staggering. Bright colors, strains of different styles of music, smiling faces beckoning her to their booths: Come see this blanket, this bracelet, this vase. Flags are everywhere, almost none she recognizes.
What draws her most are the smells, the different foods. There are foreign foods she’s familiar with, of course — Thai, Korean, Italian, Mexican. But so much to taste from countries previously unconsidered: Romania, Guyana, Cuba, Lebanon, the Basque provinces. Her mouth waters, her stomach rumbles.
As a parade of nations, the Olympic Games have nothing on downtown’s International Festival.
National Food Parade by Susan Sleggs
The buffet in the, new to us, Bed and Breakfast was a wonderful surprise. There was a virtual parade of international foods. We couldn’t name some of the fresh fruit and the egg casserole had a spice we couldn’t distinguish. Both were delicious. We tarried longer than the other guests so we could ask our hostess about the strange exotic flavors. She told us she had asked her international guests over the years for spice and recipe suggestions then incorporated them into her breakfast preparations. Her goal was to please any discerning pallet from anywhere on earth. She succeeded.
Flash Fiction by Robbie Cheadle
“I often wonder how many great potential inventions the world misses out on because the inventor lives in a country where it is difficult to develop the idea.”
Jade laid her book aside and stared at Tim.
“You mean because the country the inventor comes from doesn’t have any institutions that provide financial support to inventors?”
“Yes, financial support is one aspect. I was also thinking of educational and research opportunities and even something as simple as a market to buy the invention. There are lots of barriers to inventing.”
“Your right, we need an international inventor support programme.”
A Scorcher of a Summer by Anne Godwin
“How was your summer? Did you get away?”
“It depends what you mean by away.”
“Oh, I forgot, you don’t go away anymore, do you? Don’t blame you, this year. Who needs to go abroad with the scorcher of a summer we’ve had?”
“You did go away? Where?”
“Barbados and Madagascar most recently.”
“Most recently? You went other places earlier on?”
“Finland, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, and Poland, as far as I recall.”
“As far as I recall? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I watch a parade of nations in the pages of a novel.”
Flash Fiction by tearsofbloodinmyheart
Mari sat and looked at the pile of stickers in the box. Her heart sank. Why no one had bothered to put them into any sort of order and fill the book was beyond her. And now it looked as though the job would fall to her.
She could of course throw them all out, claim she didn’t know what they were and why they had become so important. She hadn’t the heart.
She sorted the flags, a parade of nations, peeled back the thin film to reveal the sticky coating and started filling the gaps in the book.
Parade of Clowns by Perigrine Arc
I sat on my blanket, eating my morning cheerios with my grandpa. The television was on while we ate.
“Grandpa, you sure these are clowns?”
“Yes, Rosie, most of them. Each one represents a state in our nation. Look there–that’s the clown from D.C.…”
I squinted. He didn’t look happy.
“Why’s that lady look so scared?”
I looked up. My grandpa’s gaze seemed far away.
“It’s a parade of clowns, dear, and that woman’s the only sane one.”
Quiz Night Is Always Educational by Geoff Le Pard
‘Come on, Morgan. You’re the expert on flags. We need this. Blue stripes.’
‘I don’t know, do I?’
‘Funny, isn’t it? Each nation has a flag, all different yet we still get hung up on skin colour.’
‘Nicaragua ? What’s brought this on? Drat, I do know it.’
‘Oh I got bollocked at work for saying coloured when apparently I meant people of colour.’
‘Yeah, daft. Look at me, like someone’s sicked over my face, yet I’m white.’
‘That’s booze, not ethnicity.’
‘We’re all red underneath.’
‘I thought it was blue?’
‘Good to know. Cyprus!’
Flash Fiction by Anita Dawes
The birth of a Nation is hard, as any mother will tell you.
It’s new, shiny and fragile.
It must be nurtured, fed at regular intervals
Like a garden, it needs water, love and guidance.
All easy to say.
You let it grow, wait for the day it can stand
Take the rain. Will it weather the storms?
Yes, if it was built on firm ground
Strength comes with unity
Invisible hands holding everything together
A strong chain will let no rust in
You know what is said about one weak link
Never take your eye off the ball…
All We Are Sayin’ by D. Avery
“Kid, what the tarnation you so wound up about?”
“All the Buckaroo Nation celebrations! I was already gittin’ all excited ‘bout the Rodeo. An’ now there’s ta be a parade! I cain’t wait ta see all the flags from all over the world.”
“Flash, Kid, not flags.”
“And the food, Pal! Multicultural culinary curiosities from countless countries.”
“Jeez… Folks’ll likely serve food fer thought and fer the soul, Kid, but it cain’t fill yer belly. Don’t s’pect Shorty ta cook bacon either.”
“I’m hopin’ fer peas.”
“Why in the world”
“Exactly. Let’s have world peas.”