Week 17 Flash Fiction Challenge: Miracle Night


Seeing an opportunity to run, Moody took it, quickly walking away from the prison work-detail at the construction site. Now his pale face was on TV screens across the state. He was a loser; hadn’t his father always said so?

He’d said so when Moody had accidentally shot the owner of the liquor store. Moody hadn’t meant to, but the man had pulled a gun from beneath the counter, and the boy panicked.

Moody hated prison. The loneliness worked on him. He missed Granny Ella, the one person who gave a damn about him. He missed Schuyler Falls.

So when the opportunity came, he ran.


Beneath the highway overpass, Moody huddled around the fire with the homeless men. In the chilly darkness, the men paid him no notice, each locked in his own misery.

One suddenly moved close, surprising Moody by looking deep into his eyes. Passing a bottle the boy’s way, he asked, “You’re new here, aren’t you?”

Moody nodded.

“What’s your name, son?”

Moody studied the man. Ebony skin, eyes the color of dark chocolate. Kind eyes, nearly as kind as Granny Ella’s.

“Name’s Moody.”

“Pleased, Moody. Mine’s Gabe.” He glanced up at the sky. “Beautiful night. Look at them stars. Know what they call this kinda night? A miracle night. All things possible.”

“Miracles! Wish there was such things. I could use one!”

Gabe looked at him. “It’s my understanding some miracles have already come your way.”

Moody frowned. “My mama died when I was a kid, and my old man kicked me out a few years later.”

“You had Granny Ella – that counts for much.”

Startled, Moody stared at Gabe. “How do you know about Granny Ella?”

Gabe smiled. “Same way I know about that man in the liquor store – and the man you took those clothes and that twenty-five dollars from. Miracle both times you didn’t kill nobody.”

Moody’s eyes widened, but Gabe looked at the sky. “Was a night like this another star once burned bright. That was sure some miracle night… So, you need a miracle, boy?”

Pain bloomed suddenly in Moody’s heart. “I want to go home, see Granny Ella again, say I’m sorry.”

Gabe nodded. “That’s where you belong. How much you reckon a bus ticket to that town costs?”

Moody shrugged.

“You got twenty-five dollars, boy! Go home!”

Moody drank from the bottle. “Would if I could… but my face… I’d be recognized, sent back…”

Tears threatened, and he closed his eyes.

His companion whispered, “Go on home, boy.”

When Moody opened his eyes, Gabe was gone. Everyone was. Moody started to raise the bottle to his lips when he noticed his hands.


Dropping the bottle, he explored the contours of his face, the texture of his hair.

Go on home, boy.

He looked up at the stars. Damned if one wasn’t shining brighter than the rest.

Go on home, boy.

Moody fingered the bills in his pocket, and then headed in the direction of the bus station.

Author’s Note: This is written in response to a flash fiction challenge to write no more than 500 words about an escaped prisoner hiding from police with a group of homeless men. You can check out these weekly flash fiction challenges at Thain in Vain.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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23 Responses to Week 17 Flash Fiction Challenge: Miracle Night

  1. Pingback: A Schuyler Falls Story: The Pearl | Odyssey of a Novice Writer

  2. stacilys says:

    Great piece Kate. I did things backwards. I read the follow-up, or sequel to this first. That’s actually what encouraged me to come back and read this first piece.
    I noticed in the above reply to Dalo’s comment that there may be future stories about Moody? Yes?

  3. Pingback: Week 21 Flash Fiction Challenge: Second Chances | Odyssey of a Novice Writer

  4. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great dialogue. Moody a great character that I think we all can relate to at some point in life…

  5. Kate Loveton says:

    I wanted to take this opportunity to also thank the lovely people who took a few moments to read my story and indicate that they liked it – Thank You!

  6. Oh Kate, I loved this!

    You have such a wonderful way of weaving a story – I’m rather jealous of your ability to do so, will you teach me? 😆

    And more from Schuyler Falls, man I am growing to love that little town already. Even though Moody is an escaped prisoner, I am kinda rooting for him to go back home and see his grandma.

    Great stuff!

  7. Pingback: Flash Fiction Challenge – Week Seventeen Submissions | Thain in Vain

  8. Kate Loveton says:

    Ah, Audrey Dawn – now you’re teasing me… you know I look forward to reading that novel. Thanks for the heads-up – something definitely to look forward to reading when you’ve completed.

    I’ve noticed that theme in several of your poems – not only redemption of others, but perhaps for yourself as well. I think that is why your poetry speaks to me so. (I hope anyone reading this reply will hop over to Audrey’s site, see link above, and check out her beautiful work.

  9. Nothing better than a story about redemption. I really enjoyed this story, Kate. Moody spoke right into my heart. This is now my favorite piece to date. Nothing better than a supportive Granny.

    Have you ever read Redeming Love by Francine Rivers. One of my all time favs.


  10. OllieNumberSeven says:

    This puts the kindness of strangers in a new light 🙂

    Loved “the men paid him no notice, each locked in his own misery,” and the feeling of hope that comes through at the end

  11. Kate Loveton says:

    Thanks, Lucy. I do believe in miracles, perhaps not quite of this sort – but anything is possible in Shuyler Falls, both the miraculous and the monstrous. 🙂

  12. Lucy says:

    What a sweet story. Don’t you just love it when miracles happen? I liked Gabe. Good dialog. Lucy

  13. Is this Moody’s last chance to turn his life around? One last miracle to make things right? This is an interesting tale about the power of change. At the end, Moody is different. Is he Gabe? Or is he discovering himself for the first time in his life? Great tale, Kate! TiV

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