Playing With Fire

You come across a pack of matches that sets off a series of uncanny events. Start your story with “My mother always told me not to play with fire.” End it with “And that’s how I ended up in the middle of nowhere—naked.”

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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62 thoughts on “Playing With Fire

  1. sjmca1966

    welling in her eyes. I turned to look at the inscription on the gravestone:

    Otago Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F. Killed in action 27th August 1915. Age 27.
    Son of James and Elizabeth Mountford of Winton, Southland, New Zealand.

    I sat down beside her cross-legged and let her fall into me, “I never even met him, why am I feeling this way?” she said.

  2. kittycat4ever

    My mother always told me not to play with fire.

    Fire was the one element of the five i wasn’t allowed to use.Properly wielding fire took years of practice to learn the art and several more to complete the meditation training needed to control your emotions. Fire could easily be influence by strong emotions such as fear, anger or passion. Truth be told, any element could be effected by emotion, fire just had a habit of being deadly if it sparked out of control.

    Not that I cared. Being a wise 18 summers, I was sure I could be the first fire master in my family if they would only let me in The Academy. Apparently, that wasn’t going to happen. Rejected. Lack of emotional control. Fuck them. I could have as much emotion as a damn tree if it I wanted to, they didn’t know me. They had tested me for 1 single hour, making a decision that would affect me for the rest of my life. That was the day I decided to train in secret, I’d become a fire master without their help or their rules.

    Years passed and I proved how wrong they were with every passing sun. I could simply watch one of the other fire master’s perform a move that I had never seen before and replicate it in just a few hours.I had just finished watching fire master Manning work on his signature move, when I caught sight of my girl on Reeve’s arm. Fire Trainee Reeve’s. Soft eyes, gentle touching, and then the horror has they kissed as lovers do. Rage. Boiling from within. I wanted to hurt him. How dare he touch her? I could feel body temperature rising, like my blood was percolating within me.

    I ran, headlong into the woods where I had been training. Seeking to get away from them before I lost complete control. The smell of burned grass from beneath my feet was proof of how close to the brink of disaster that I teetered upon. In my haste I tripped over my own feet, sending me to my knees, the pain lost in the swirl of black betrayal. Gritting my teeth I tried desperately to pull in a calming breath but the only thing I could see was them lying together. Flames kissed my legs, growing larger with each drop of anger and hurt that pounding through me. Like throwing drops of gasoline on a fire, it was burning out of control and I was helpless against the emotional onslaught, striking me down with the force of a tsunami. The flames grew hotter, drying my tears as they left my eyes, consuming the forest and me in its hungry wake.

    I could hear others yelling in the distance, see the water flying up to meet the flames. Emotionally fed, it was erroneous task that would cost them their homes and some their lives. The villagers screams only served to add fuel to the fire, like a night mare I could not wake from. As the fires raged, taking with it all I ever had or would ever know. You see, since the fire was born from my body, it could do me no physical harm, unable to control it, I was helpless but to watch. When the fire finally burned itself it out, it had miles of destruction with me at its core.

    And that’s how I ended up in the middle of nowhere—naked and eternally alone.


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