Charcoal Heart Writing Prompt + Flash Fiction

Writing prompts for writers of fiction, novels, short stories, poetry
5 min |

Here is a wee writing prompt for you…

Write a scene where one of your characters is described as having a ‘charcoal heart‘.

It can be from the POV {point-of-view} of your protagonist, or one character describing another. Their charcoal heart can be fantastical, literal or anything in between…

Write as much or as little as time and inspiration enable.

Want to share your work? You can:

  • keep your words for your eyes only
  • share with a writer friend or loved one
  • submit to a lit mag {after leaving to mature for a few weeks}
  • share…
    • in the comments below
    • on your blog & let me know
    • on social media* & tag me @jedapearl
*Be discerning about what you share on social media because technically on most platforms, although you own the copyright, the T&Cs you’ve agreed to use the platform give Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free” licence to use your posted content {words &/or images} for pretty much anything, including commercial and sub-licensing use. This post on Make Use Of gives you the lowdown, in simple, non-legalese layman’s terms. For example, many Instapoets post images with their poems in the image, but they don’t put the words of their poems in the caption. Thanks to Christine de León for pointing this out.


The Girl with the Charcoal Heart

I originally wrote this wee fairytale in 3 parts to set a line down on my Instagram feed – a micro-trilogy – so as to separate what came before {a random mix} to what was to come {poetry, flash fiction & excerpts among the photos}.


Part 1 {View on Instagram}
There once was a girl with a charcoal heart. Soft, dark.
Every morning, when she woke, she’d press her ring finger to her breastbone, injecting a shot of heat and extracting a wisp of charcoal.
As soon as the wisp left her body, it would vanish before her eyes.
She told no-one of this, for her people were the Azul. Forged in the Lazuli mountains, their hearts were streaked cosmos-blue with flints of gold, just like their skin.
You see, the goblin king had cursed her. Or so she thought.


Part2 {View on Instagram}
In the morning when she woke, her arms would ache. Heavy, leaden.
At night, in her dreamings, she was trapped in a rusted bird cage. Her hands were a blur, etching out letter after letter, word after word, possessed.
As soon as she got to the end of the scroll, it would disappear and be replaced by another. Blank, desperate.
In the background there was music and sneaking laughter, as if all the faery kingdom were dancing at the Midsummer Ball. Her eyes, like her arms, were locked on the scroll.
Yet, on waking, she’d raise her heavy hand and extract more of those strange disappearing wisps.


Part 3 {view on Instagram}
Finally, after 400,000 scrolls, the cage began to disappear. Each rusty bar turned into powdery black smoke, curling into a vast cumulonimbus above her head.
When the last bar dissolved, the cloud morphed into a twister. It gathered speed, tearing at her hair, her nightdress. It transformed again into a denser, pointed beak – a giant, angry raven – and rushed at her chest.
It pierced her skin and flew into her heart, flooding inside her body. It filled every cell, every pore, from the tips of her toenails to the ends of her hair.
When she woke, she was charcoal all over. Soft, dark.


Fiction Writing Prompt, character with a charcoal heart

Over to you… Write a scene where one of your characters is described as having a ‘charcoal heart’ {&. share this prompt with your writer friends}.

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