I couldn’t resist this particular flash fiction topic. The picture and the prompt really struck a nerve with me :
Now he knew why the old man was always yelling at him for playing with matches.
He stood well back but could feel the heat even from this distance. He could hear the crackles and groans as the walls of the old place swayed and buckled.
He was afraid, but invigorated. This would change everything. What would happen now? He could hear the sirens wailing in the distance. There might be trouble, but there would be no more beatings.
In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture.
This is my effort. To read the other entries or to write your own, please click this link. It will take you to Indies Unlimited.
* * *
CFA Chief Geoff Baker and his team were the first to arrive, their big red fire-truck screeching to a halt a safe distance from the massive bonfire that had once been a house.
“Bloody hell,” the Chief muttered as his team swung into action. This was going to be bad.
In the end it took four CFA teams to put the fire out, but they did manage to save the neighbouring houses. No-one could have saved the old man who lived in the smoking ruin of the old weatherboard.
According to the neighbours, the old man liked his beer and was rarely sober.
The one piece of good news was that the old man’s grandson would be at school. But who would look after the poor kid now?
The crews were still stabilizing the wreckage so the police could go in when a shout went up, “Over here!”
Like all old houses in country towns, this one had had an outdoor dunny, and that was where they found the boy.
“You’ll be okay now son,’ the Chief said as he lifted the trembling child into his arms.
The boy, who looked to be no more than six or seven, did not have a scratch on him, but there was a strange, almost exultant look on his face as he said, “When I grow up I’m going to be a fireman!”
* * *
For non-Australians, the CFA are volunteer fire-fighters in rural areas. ‘Dunny’ is a very aussie word for the old outdoor toilets we used to have. They were freezing in winter and often full of redbacks [poisonous spiders] in summer. Thank god for technology!