Filling the Niche

Lighthouse sunset

Once, there was a land so staggeringly beautiful that even the sand crabs emerged trembling from their burrows twice a day to pay homage to the god who watched over it. Every sunset was more brilliant than the last, causing birds to bump into each other as bold apricots and violets streaked the sky and distracted them. Laughing, the birds tumbled into the sea and frolicked with the fish, for the water was always pleasingly warm and no creature ever killed another. Kindness was their law. The plants that grew abundantly on both land and sea sustained life for everyone.

But then a newcomer arrived in a rickety boat filled with weapons. He hacked down trees, shot birds, and dumped garbage in the sea. Soon, the animals began to fight with each other for the scarce resources. The sun shrank away and snow began to fall. Eventually nothing was left but the crabs, hiding miserably in the cold sand. One crab realized that the god they had worshipped was merely an old lighthouse that didn’t do anything. All the good had come from inside the creatures themselves. Along with the bad. This crab confronted the man.

“Why did you ruin our paradise?” she cried.

He shrugged. “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

Hooded figure with gun


Written for Sadje’s What Do You See 79? and Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 115.

Images from Unsplash and Pixels.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

26 responses to “Filling the Niche

  1. WonderfulPaula. I love this.but so sad. So much truth in the sadness though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Paula, this is great use of both the prompts. Thanks for joining in my friend

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aristotle thought that every space in nature needs to be filled with something. Great story Paula.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So nature gave us human beings to ruin paradise. And we’ve excelled. Beautifully written, Paula.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An awesome way to use both photos. If asked, I would have said it was impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s so sad Paula. I am a nature lover and it broke my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BOO!! Excellent writing, but I don’t like the story cuz it’s true☹

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this. It raises so many questions. Of course the human is painted as the villain, but the animals eat each other too. It’s interesting, isn’t it – that a story can be shaped based both on the focus, and what is ignored. I’m also reminded of the words Carl Sagan wrote in “Contact” – “You are an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a stark contrast when the human shows up — yikes! Like an Eden collapsed, but this time through cruelty. A well-crafted story.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such an evocative tale🧡

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: What do you see # 79 – A Roundup – Keep it alive

  12. Paradise lost. Very vivid, Paula, very sad. It gives as all pause for thought at what humankind has done.

    Liked by 1 person

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