Photo prompt courtesy and copyright property of Graham Lawrence via Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Others’ contributions may be found here. Participation is open to all, just visit FFAW for guidelines.


I once planted narcissi on the edge of my garden. They brought a lot of attention to my plot, but visitors never ventured past their border. The narcissi’s charms entranced all passersby with the same beauty that never allowed the flowers to look beyond themselves.

It wasn’t much of an issue until the nurikabe came. The lumbering spirit must have tried toddling past in the middle of the night, but was drawn to the iridescent narcissi already enthralling the moon.

Now, no visitors come. The narcissi still stare at each withering other. I stare too, but grieve the nurikabe’s selfishness.

Potentially useful notes:

Wagamama” is a Japanese term for selfishness and egoism. My intended use may be a misappropriation, thinking it more a matter of vanity than reservation.

Nurikabe” are a type of yōkai, supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore. They appear (if visible) as walls meant to impede travelers’ journeys.


5 thoughts on “Wagamama

  1. Wonderful story! I wonder if the nurikabe came because the narcissi “didn’t look beyond themselves.” Either way, it is very sad that the selfish nurikabe came at all and destroyed the beautiful garden. This is a wonderful story and I learned some things about Japanese folklore. Welcome to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge! I hope to read more of your stories in the future. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, threefold: for finding wonderment in this story; for sharing your deciphering of its elements; and for the (second) welcome. (I’ve only participated once before, a couple weeks ago.) As for why the nurikabe came, I couldn’t find any consistent rationale to alleged reports of their appearance, so that’s entirely up to interpretation. I was imagining that, aside from the trapped garden and gardener, there would be others on the outside trying to pass in order to gawk at the narcissi.

      Liked by 1 person

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