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The Blazing Fire: A Short Story

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I'm a young author making a break in the world of writing. I have experience writing short stories, books, poetry, and reviews.


A Blazing Fire

“Come on, Ava. It’s time to go inside and sleep,” her mother said, gently tugging her away from the campfire.

They were out on a family vacation at a campground. Cabins all around them created a circle with a large campfire at the center. The fire would burn from sundown to the middle of the night, the blazing light lasting for hours as more and more people from the other cabins would bring in wood for the growth of the flames.

“But it’s so pretty. Just five more minutes, please?” Ava begged her mother, desperate to get back to staring at the flashing colors of the jumping flame.

“You’ll burn yourself if you get any closer. The campfire will be around tomorrow night, but right now it is time to get to bed.”

She frowned towards the light. I had the same tale every night. She would stay out late into the night watching the jumping flames until her mother dragged her back inside. Ava would watch the fire from the window for a little longer before actually going to bed. The flames were just too beautiful to miss.

They went inside hand in hand. Ava put on her pajamas and brushed her teeth while her mother helped comb all the knots out of her hair. There were no lights inside the cabin except for the few flashlights and the window letting the light of the flames in. It wasn’t too dark, but Ava still fumbled through the cabin getting from place to place.

Her mother fell asleep quickly, her snores filling the room. Ava untucked herself from the bed and her feet fell soundlessly on the floor. Before she could make it to the window, something on the nightstand caught her eye in the soft and flickering light.

Ava’s small hands grabbed the object. It was something her mother used but not that often. Small sticks with a darker tip fell out, which she had to quickly pick up in case her mother stirred awake. But she did notice that on the box was a picture of fire.

“Fire sticks?” Her mouth moved but no sound came out. Excitement swirled as she realized that she had her own fire.

She rushed around to grab her shoes and slip out the door. Once outside she put on the shoes while keeping the matchbook tight in her hand.

Not many others were out during this time, most of them off sleeping in their own cabins. The campfire was almost completely out, casting just a soft glow on the ground. Ava was mostly hidden in the shadows, but not for long.

She knew better than to relight the campfire. That would draw too much attention and her happiness would only be short-lived. So instead, she drifted off into the woods.

It was dark and every step she made echoed between the trees, but she wasn’t afraid. Thoughts of fire and its light and warmth kept her from thinking about the dangers that may be lurking about.

Ava found small piles of leaves from a tree going into early hibernation. She had seen people throw leaves into the fire so she thought that this would be a good place to start. With the leaves pushed together tight, her hands struggled to strike the match. Many broke and she even scratched her finger across the box. But with many more tries, her face glowed in the light of the flames.

A sudden rush of fear caused Ava to drop the lit match into the leaves below. The flame grew as it consumed the leaves, creating her very own small campfire. Laughter and quiet cheers came from her as she ran around the flames, cherishing the light and the warmth across her skin.

The flames were captivating. When she calmed down she began to stare and stare, seeing the world change in the flames. Soon, more leaves were added and more matches were lit. The flame grew and grew and turned blue.

Now sticks were being added, she saw people bring those to the campfire as well. The fire surpassed the size of the campfire and the excitement continued to buzz. Ava would have this fire all to herself for hours until it burned down.

But then she got burned. With her close proximity to the flames, a spark jumped out and landed right on her arm. Pain coursed through the spot and in a moment of panic she threw herself back and kicked more branches in the path of the flame.

Sparks continued to fly and the flames reached a patch of other dry sticks, leaves, and grass. The flames grew and grew until they consumed everything in sight. The girl began to scream, watching the world around her get consumed by the very thing she loved so much, the thing she felt so safe around.

The roars of fire covered up the sounds of the other camper’s screams. Smoke traveled down Ava’s throat, choking her. Ashes covered her skin and her eyes were blinded with orange and red.

Eventually, the fire consumed all.

© 2020 EL Doll