A Fiery Philosophy

I felt awakened from a stupor.


“What’s on fire?” He asked.

“Wouldn’t you like to know!?”I thought but gave no reply.

Taxicab privacy screen was locked in place; I have held myself at arm’s length even from my own family, situating interstates and time zones between us.

I was no longer a reactive object to be manipulated.

I granted myself distance and anonymity to write through my struggles.

After determining isolation wasn’t the answer, I succumbed to existentialism and got on with living.

I felt awakened from a stupor.

I put pen to paper, and the spark of inspiration ignited a flame within me.

Sirens blared as firetrucks scrambled, and the curious cabbie drove away from the burning apartment building.

“Where to, Miss?” the driver asked.

“Home,” I replied as if he knew where that was.

“My soul,” I said, “that is what is on fire.”

I smiled at the reflection in the window and admired the blazing trail left in my wake.

– Written for YeahWrite.me Weekly Fiction|Poetry Writing Challenge 261 Question Prompt “What’s on fire?” and Prompt Up previous line combo for fiction. WC 157


The doors crashed closed covering us in darkness.

Shawn and I rode our bikes to the old amusement park then tossed them down and squeezed through the bent gate. We chased each other around the midway.

We came to an abrupt stop at an old building. “That’s impossible,” I said. “We’ve been here a million times and that,” I pointed, “wasn’t here.”

We approached an open padlock. Making eye contact, we silently agreed to explore. I pulled the lock and Shawn pushed the doors. With an eerie creak, they flew open. We choked on stale air that instantly surrounded us.

The doors crashed closed covering us in darkness. We screamed as we pounded on the doors that wouldn’t budge.

“Trespassers!” A thundering voice shouted from everywhere in the blackness. We screamed again and banged harder on the doors.

As quickly as they had closed, they opened again hurling us onto the dry, dusty ground. We scrambled toward the gate.

I turned, suddenly confused. “Shawn, look!”

I thought I could still hear that booming voice but I saw no building.

– Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: 58th Challenge. WC 171
Photo prompt provided by Uday.


One Man’s Treasure

He poured the contents of the tattered pouch onto the concrete and rummaged through them.

Passersby barely noticed him. He had become a fixture much like a fire hydrant or trash barrel.

He was surprised when the child stopped, and his father didn’t immediately steer him away.

The boy asked questions and told a joke, to which he responded with a snaggletooth smile.

The father put money into the can and turned away. He stopped them and pulled a white feather from the assortment of items he treasured. Giving it to the boy, he said, “Never quit trying to fly.”

– Written for Splickety Publishing Group, Bolt Flash Fiction, Photo Prompt. WC 100


In Light of His Consummation

He clambered toward the ocean with one fiery tentacle torch to light the way.

“We all know he’s going to set himself on fire one day.”

“At least, he’s ambitious.”

Leroy had a dangerous fascination with land life, specifically fire.

We tried to warn him that it wasn’t safe, but he took to the surface nightly and made his way onto the pier.

He found items the humans left behind such as tour flyers, food containers, and plastic bags. He hoarded them away, buried in the sand near the rocks below the dock, except for the silly little top hat he insisted on wearing.

Leroy continued to scour for the one last thing he needed to perform his amazing feat. Finally, one evening he found a matchbook. He called us all to the surface to witness his debut.

The Fantastic Leroy Sea Keeper of the Flame was about to create fire like no other sea creature had done before him.

He piled high all the flammable objects he had collected into a large mountain. Then with everyone watching, he struck a match.

We were in awe of the spark. He tossed it onto the pile, and it began to burn. Leroy was so excited and overwhelmed; the flames we saw reflecting in his large eyes mesmerized him. He didn’t seem to notice the fire slowly crawling toward him or hear our shouts of concern.

When the fire reached his outstretched tentacle, he jumped high into the air causing his top hat to tumble into the inferno.

He clambered toward the ocean with one fiery tentacle torch to light the way.

The water doused his singed pride and he sunk into the deep blue.

The next evening we returned. Sadly, The Fantastic Leroy Sea Keeper of the Flame sacrificed his favorite spot to the out-of-control pyre.

Leroy never ventured to the surface again.

– Written for Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 36, though I missed the deadline. First sentence prompt was “We all know he’s going to set himself on fire one day,” and Photo Prompt combo. WC 300

In Light of His Consummation

The Guy On The Harley

He is a great big brother, always looking out for me.

He skimmed some chunky milk off of the top of what he poured into his glass and sniffed his finger.

I slid my chair up to the table and put cereal in my bowl.

He made a disgusted face. “Damn,” he said and sighed tossing the whole glass into the sink. “You’re gonna have to eat it dry,” he told me. I frowned.

“You know mom won’t be home for a while, right?” He asked.

I looked up at him and tilted my head to the side. “Again?” I questioned.

“She took off with the guy on the Harley.” He matter-of-factly informed me.

That’s the thing about Beau, he doesn’t sugar-coat anything. He is a great big brother, always looking out for me. I am 8 and he is 15, but he doesn’t make me feel bad and he always tells it like it is.

He is not like mom.

– Written for Ad Hoc Fiction weekly contest. Word Prompt was “skim.” WC 150
Photo from PublicDomainPictures.net.


All Who Fly Are Not Ducks

All in a row, they stretched their little wings as far as they would reach.

“Come on my little ducklings, field trip today,” Ms. Avion said.

The children fell into a single-file line, just as they had practiced. They have been looking forward to this day since school began.

The baseball stadium was chosen for the open space they would need to accelerate.

They scrambled to their places and chattered nervously.

“Benji, please demonstrate,” She instructed the older student.

They watched, ready for their turns.

“Now you try.” She said while spreading her own wings.

All in a row, they stretched their little wings as far as they would reach.

She smiled as she watched each one, in turn, gather speed and begin their ascension.

– Written for Microcosms (15). Prompts were Duckling/Baseball Stadium/Fantasy. WC 110

The Mirror

A bright flash of purple, then red and I saw nothing at all.

What is on the surface isn’t always reality.

The mirror was supposed to have the power to show us who we really were.

Hesitantly, I invoked its curse. “Who am I? Show me what lies beneath the surface. Show me what I am afraid to see. I am ready to behold and accept what’s hidden within.” I read out loud from the crinkled paper the seer had given to me.

A bright flash of purple, then red and I saw nothing at all. I trembled with fear for my lack of sight. In the darkness, I heard the mirror shatter.

– Written for Splickety’s Progeny Nano Contest. Prompt was the concept of Identity. WC 100
Photo by Darkday.