Friday Flash Fiction: After the fire

Friday Fictioneers is on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read other stories or better join in and write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt.  I’ve been too busy these last few weeks to read or write but I’ve enjoyed today’s challenge and am looking forward to reading some other stories. My natural story length for this seems to be settling at 120 or so words so editing is becoming a wee bit easier, I think.

 

photo prompt by J Hardy Carroll

After the fire

It was the water she remembered: acute shining fountains; reflections everywhere.

They could watch from their window. Safe, the chief said, behind the yellow ribbon. A crowd gathered on the street below. This was entertainment, nothing terrible, and besides, said the chief, nobody lived on the premises.

But as the show went on, the crowd were paled by the ash, their faces streaked with irritant tears. They coughed and went away.

The morning after, the ribbon was still up and the hydrants exposed. Street quiet and no one but cleaners and menders and doorway sleepers wandering invisible, dazed or dead.

 

25 thoughts on “Friday Flash Fiction: After the fire

  1. Beautifully rendered with such an ache at the end. Loved it.

    100 words is still a challenge for me–even after doing FF (on and off) for almost three words. I host whatpegmansaw.com/blog/ if you ever want to give 150 words a try 🙂

  2. Great story-telling! The opening description conjures excitement. The final line is tragic, as you force us to confront the plight of the unseen. Possibly the best writing, though, is your transition paragraph “But as the show went on, the crowd were paled by the ash, their faces streaked with irritant tears. They coughed and went away.” It’s a beautifully judged progression from thrill through unease to heartbreak. Well done indeed!

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