Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Entry #35

Talking Down the Flames
by Sean Ferrell


She'd always been an odd girl, nearly raising herself. As she got breasts and hips the boys complained that she was easy to get in the backseat, but afterward the car wouldn't run, not ever, like the engine died the moment they used her willingness up. So, they stopped asking her around.

When it was realized that she could talk fires out, the town began to send a car at the first ring of the fire-house bell. Initially, the fire-chief called, politely. She always said, "Yes, all right." Eventually they gave her a radio and she would hear the scratchy voice burble the code for a fire, at which she gathered her bag and shoes and flowered dress she wore to town.

She waited in the kitchen, looking out a window facing the road, her aged mother and father asleep or drunk or both. The fire-deputy pulled his Buick onto the yard. The deputy, too worried she might kill the car on the way, respectfully treated her rude and said nothing. She reciprocated.

None but the fire-chief stayed close when she did it, and even he wouldn't pay attention lest he hear something he ought not. But that one time he couldn't help but understand a few words, and he learned that Mother's love was just shy of brutal, and Father's brutality was a notch above profound. The words were slow and soft. And then the squad reached the scarred room, finding the burnt wood cool enough to touch.

21 comments:

Scott said...

Bonus points for originality, Sean. Very intriguing.

Minx said...

Really liked this. You have managed to squeeze the whole promise of a book into 250 words.

billie said...

I LOVE this. It satisfies me in its brevity, and at the same time, it could be the beginning of a novel.

Very well done!

Jaye Wells said...

A unique take on the theme. I'm intrigued by this and hope you plan on expanding it. Nicely done.

Beth said...

Very interesting take on this picture. You all amaze me!

Bernita said...

Do continue!

Joni said...

Loving the premise of this. Gets my synapses sparking.

Verilion said...

Yep, like the others I would love to read more. This has really grabbed my interest. Well done Sean.

Terri said...

Original indeed. When is the movie coming out?

September said...

i can see this as a movie too.

"Mother's love was just shy of brutal, and Father's brutality was a notch above profound" --> intense

The Wandering Author said...

Odd, original, intense. They're all right. I don't think I've ever seen flash fiction succeed at this particular type of modern fantasy before. It is very difficult to do even with no word limit. And I add my vote to those who think you should develop this story and this character.

Canterbury Soul said...

i think this is beautiful.

bekbek said...

Wow, this is beautiful.

sean ferrell said...

Thanks to everyone for their nice comments. It's been a long, long time since I shared work in a forum where I'd get feedback. It's wonderful to have such positive response to my work. Thank you all, you've made my first entry into one of Jason's contests a rewarding experience.

Trevor Record said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Flemming said...

This story presents so many opportunies for expansion. It would be interesting to see it developed further.

September said...

Sean, I commented earlier but wanted to come back in and congratulate you.

Trevor Record said...

EDIT: Congratulations on your win, Mr. Ferrel!

Oh this one is cool because it leaves a person wanting more. There are questions to be answered. I would like to see this story continued.

angel said...

talk about finding a positive way to use up anger and frustration!

jason evans said...

Quite a sweeping story packed in here. The final paragraph was nothing short of beautiful.

Not sure if I agree about expanding this. Short pieces are just as much about what is not said as what is said. The mystery here is deliciously thick.

High marks overall.

Congratulations on 2nd Place!!

Sean Ferrell said...

Thanks again, everyone.