Angels and Blueberries

by Tara Campbell

“Why is the sky blue?” you ask.

Well, it all depends on who’s answering. 

If you ask a grown-up, you’ll probably get an answer about light, and how it bounces off air particles, and how certain wavelengths (i.e. colors) get absorbed, and certain colors (i.e. wavelengths) get kicked back out, and those certain colors/wavelengths (i.e. blue) are the ones that you and I can see. 

If you ask a scientist, you’ll likely get an even more confusing but way more convincing version of that answer.

But if you ask a writer, you’ll get a different answer every time.

One answer, for example, lies with the special properties of blue fingerpaint.  Whenever children use blue paint, tiny particles of it dissolve from their hands into the air and color it blue.  Over time the pigment fades, but as long as there is fingerpainting, there will always be blue sky.

Another answer is related to the blue-eyed creatures at the North and South Poles.  They are always looking up into the sky, and the blue of their eyes reflects back for the whole world to see.  You’ve probably never heard of these polar creatures because they know how to hide from satellites and explorers.  The reflection of their eyes is all we’ll ever see of them.

But the answer I think is true right now concerns angels and blueberries. 

You see, blueberries are the angels’ favorite food.  There’s nothing they like more; and berries are healthy, so it’s a happy coincidence.  The only problem is, angels are sloppy eaters, and they eat pretty much all day. Of course they do other things like play the harp and sing and keep little babies from getting into the bleach under the sink. But they still have lots of time to munch on blueberries—they live forever, after all—so little bits of blueberry wind up all over the sky.

Even worse, some angels don’t like the blueberry skins, so they peel each berry before eating it and toss the skins to the side.  This doesn’t make them blatant litterers, mind you—they know they’ll get around to picking up the skins, just not at that very moment.

So as the day goes on, the angels eat more and more berries; and as the sun goes down, its light reflects through the berry pulp and juice, creating wonderful reds and oranges and yellows.  And still the angels eat, and the sky grows darker and darker with blue skins and bits of berry.  The angels keep on munching until, with the exception of little gaps for the moon and stars, no light can get to the Earth at all.  In fact, there’s not even enough room for the moon most of the time, which is why you only see the whole thing once a month.

In the middle of the night God finally has enough, and she tells the angels they have to start cleaning up their mess.  Of course they start right away, but it’s a big mess and it takes a while.  And as they clean, you can see a little bits of light start to penetrate the layer of blueberry waste.  Dawn begins as they wipe and scrub, and daylight breaks when they finally clear away enough blueberries for the sun to shine on the Earth again. 

The one problem is that blueberry skins stain, and the angels can’t scrub the traces away completely.  Some days they do better, and the sky is light blue.  But on very sunny days you can see the full extent of the staining and the sky is a rich, dark blue.  But God isn’t that concerned about the stains.  She actually thinks they’re pretty, and the renters down on the surface don’t mind, and she’s not planning on moving anytime soon, so it’s not like she has to worry about resale value.  What matters to her is that the angels did their best.

Now, you may wonder what would happen if the angels ever got tired of blueberries.  What would happen if they switched to raspberries?  Would the sky eventually wind up purple?  If they started eating bananas, would the yellow peels turn the blue sky green?  Or if they developed a fondness for lemons, would the juice bleach the color out forever?  And if that happened, would your grandchildren ever believe the sky had once been blue? 

Or would they just think you were a silly writer telling stories about angels and blueberries?

more Complex Fairy Tales


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15 Responses to “Angels and Blueberries”

  1. Amber Sparks’s Five Flash Fiction Writers | Vela Says:

    […] while you’re laughing. It’s expertly done, and beautifully rendered. And the imagination here! Read this, and make of it what you will (and if you don’t know what to make of it, well, isn’t that […]

  2. eatstuf Says:

    Great comment!

    And one of my favorite stories of the Complex Fairy Tales work. Thnx, and surf-on through again real soon…
    –eatstuf: monitor, co-editor,

  3. A Flash of Flash Fiction: 10 Stories by Women – Says:

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  6. » Blog Archive » Have you Voted for your Favorite Enough? Says:

    […] ever popular Angels and Blueberries— written by our New Co-editor extraordinaire Tara Campbell for ‘s […]

  7. Patti Says:

    I loved the story. Very creative. Except that God is not a woman.

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  9. Nikita Says:

    Very Creative and Fun ! Loved your work

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  11. Dada Seyi Says:

    Awwnn,this is lovely and pleasant to read

  12. 221 – Campbell, Stein, Anzaldua – 1000 Nights Says:

    […] Story: Angels and Blueberries by Tara […]

  13. Strong Traffic as We Wrap our Autumn Publications | Says:

    […] pleased to say that one of Tara’s own stories has been trending all this month– “Angels and Blueberries“, first published in our exclusive collaborative work, Complex Fairy […]

  14. Thanksgiving Break Grade Replacements – Literature with Ms. Smolko Says:

    […] Read “Angels and Blueberries” by Tara Campbell. After, research the difference between an “origin myth” & a “creation […]

  15. eatstuf Says:

    Oh, it’s already been LIT.

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