The Greatest Moment—A Flash Fiction Story

By Sarah Elisabeth

Why did the sun not rise?

Darkness closed in on Mary as she stared into the starless sky. Would the darkness come to her soul again, this time consuming the very air she breathed?

She could no longer wait for the sun’s light. Small clay jars in hand, she stepped from the house and started down the road. Quiet footsteps followed her. The fact she was not alone in her world of grief comforted her.

The sun still refused to show itself. Mary strained to make out the form of the tomb. The pound of her heart overlaid the soft exclamations of the other women. The stone was moved, the black entrance gaping at them. Mary touched the cold rock, and her eyes moved from the stone, taller than she, to the dark opening.

The first ray of the sun penetrated the gloomy interior. Mary gasped when the light revealed the vacant room.

Her spice jars slipped from her grasp and crashed on the rocks. She jerked back and fled. There was only one place she could go, one thing she could do.

“Peter! John! You must come quickly. They have taken away the Lord from the tomb. We do not know where they have taken Him!” Mary tried to catch her breath. The two disciples ran past her down the road, their sandaled feet sending pebbles flying.

Hand pressed to her heart, Mary followed. She exchanged pained glances with the sobbing women who returned to the house.

Mary stumbled on the loose rocks and pitched forward. Groaning, she lifted her face to the rising sun.

“Why?” Her hands reached to cover her burning heart. “Was my grief not enough? Must I be separated from my Lord forever?”

The sound of footsteps brought Mary’s focus back to the road in front of her. Simon Peter met her eyes, the unspoken question hanging between them. He gave a troubled shake of his head. Shoulders hunched, he continued back to the house.

Mary’s feet refused to move. How could she go back without knowing? Yet where could she go for answers?


Something in John’s eyes, in his voice, caused Mary’s pulse to quicken. Studying his countenance, Mary knew he had seen something. Did he know where they had taken the Lord?

John said nothing more. He continued on the path behind Simon Peter.

Agony fresh, Mary turned her sandaled feet toward the tomb again. She would not—could not—leave until she knew where her precious Lord was.

Despite the sun’s warmth on her back, chills coursed through Mary’s body. Her palm rested against the stone that had sealed the tomb. Another sob rocked her body as she dipped her head to gaze inside.

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

Mary brushed away the tears to stare at the man whose floating voice had spoken the question. He sat at the head of the shelf where her Lord had lain.

Choking on the lump in her throat, Mary struggled with her answer. How could she explain to this stranger how her Lord had rescued her from the dark pit of demon possession and brought her into the light of His love? How could her anguish be summed in mere words?

“They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.” What more could she say? Mary struggled to breathe around the sobs that overcame her.

Unable to bear the emptiness of the tomb, Mary turned to let the sun touch her face. But the Gardener who stood in her path blocked the soothing rays from her.

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

Had she not just answered this question? How long would she be tormented?

“Please, Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him and I will take Him away.”

Her heart weighted beyond endurance, Mary longed for the warmth of the risen sun.


The voice was unmistakable. Mary’s head lightened and her heart exploded with joy. Her tears dried. Her vision cleared as she gazed upon the face outlined by the beams of sunlight. Eternal light flooded her soul. There was only one word she could breathe.


The darkness was no more.


Based on the account of the Resurrection in John 20:1-16 NKJV


About Sarah Elisabeth

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer is an award-winning inspirational author, speaker and Choctaw storyteller of traditional and fictional tales based on the lives of her people. Get a free e-copy of her first book, "Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears": Free e-book

6 thoughts on “The Greatest Moment—A Flash Fiction Story

    • Thank you for the kind words, Marijo! It was a moving story to write, filling me with awe of the greatest moment in history. That’s still a WOW! 🙂

  • WOW, Sarah, this is good. And it is the truth. I especially liked the part when Mary thinks about when Jesus saved her from demon possession and brought her into the “light of his love”. We all have moments when we struggle with demonic forces, but NOTHING compares to the moment when we get the victory over evil and realize that Jesus is really KING of kings and LORD of lords.

    • Amen, Kathy! He has overcome the world.

      I hope you had a blessed Resurrection Sunday. He is risen!

    • This story was for a Faithwriters Challenge, and the topic was relief. I can’t think of a greater moment of relief that still happens every time someone discovers His Resurrection!

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