A Dance of Lights


Last night, I read a Native American myth about the Northern Lights—that they are spirits of departed friends, dancing in the sky, and colors sashaying over the landscape mean loved ones who’ve left this world are happy.

Three years after Kirk’s death, I still wonder if he found happiness. So, I grab my camera and head north toward darkness that might allow me to see the light.

When the dance of green and violet begins, I click.

Nothing. Dead batteries?

I hear Kirk’s laughter in the wind.

“Why take so many pictures?” he always asked. “Live in the moment.”


Friday Fictioneers is a compilation of writers from around the world who gather online weekly, guided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge? To write a story in 100 words or less based on a new photo prompt.

To read more stories in an online flash fiction anthology by Friday Fictioneer authors, click:

Thank you for your photo, Ted Strutz.  It inspired a fond memory of a dear friend who left too soon. I hope, along with your photo, Kirk somehow inspired my muse to write these 100 words. And if not, he’s laughing. 🙂

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39 Responses to A Dance of Lights

  1. Dear Jan,

    Such a beautifully layered piece. I can almost hear Kirk laughing, too. Evocatively visual.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. neilmacdon says:

    As someone who hates pictures, I’m with Kirk

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    A lovely, light tribute, and also some very sound advice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. James says:

    Cue the theme to “The Twilight Zone.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jelli says:

    Oh, I love your take on the legends… beautiful!
    🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤ The four winds are smiling!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. pennygadd51 says:

    I love that story, Jan. The thought that Kirk’s remembered voice can be so strong, so full of insight, and above all so happy, is inspiring. It’s a beautiful concept, and you’ve really done it justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A wise man, Kirk. It never ceases to amaze me fans at sports stadiums watch the match through their phone as they record it. They cannot soak up the atmosphere, truly, can they? And there is always YouTube to watch the game again – better sound and quality than a mobile phone. Sigh.

    Nice story, Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan Vanek says:

      Thank you, Kelvin. I found myself feeling rather guilty about watching whales in Alaska through my camera lens (at least off and on,) especially when I looked around and saw the whole boat doing the same thing. Some things are so beautiful, they can’t be captured, yet they’re so beautiful we try hard to do so. Still, I do love going back and looking at those pictures and videos. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dale says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your friend (I read that post, too). I love the idea of such a legend. There are a myriad of colours out there with all the people I’ve lost…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jillyfunnell says:

    A lovely way of looking at the Northern Lights. Happy spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mustang.Koji says:

    What a touching story, Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. subroto says:

    A beautiful and soulful tribute to your friend.


  12. Extremely touching and soulful.


  13. granonine says:

    Ahhh, a wonderful little story honoring a beloved friend with such evocative word pictures. Beautifully done.


  14. Calico Crayon says:

    This story made me think about honouring the dead the we want to honour them or how they’d want to be honoured. I say live for the moment. There’s no time to go click-click-whirr when having fun.


  15. Dan Bohn says:

    Beautiful story Jan,,,, even with the dead batteries and dead Kirk.


  16. This is beautiful, Jan. I have heard the story of the dancing lights being departed spirits and thought it lovely. I am glad to have read it in your piece.

    While I agree with Kirk’s philosophy, I’m always torn a little between using my camera and enjoying an event. Hopefully I manage to do both.


  17. What a lovely tribute… The few times I have seen Northern Lights I have always tried to watch it as much as possible instead of snapping pictures… the memory will always be there.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. prior.. says:

    awe – so sweet – and nice message to live in the moment – 🙂


  19. rgayer55 says:

    Great story, Jan. I believe our loved ones who have gone on do watch over us and whisper words of guidance at times. Well done.


  20. athling2001 says:

    Beautiful story. A whole relationship painted in just a few strokes. Well done.


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