The Day Started out Innocently Enough - a Short Flash Fiction Story

Updated on February 19, 2019
DaveOnline profile image

David writes a flash fiction story here about an incident had a boy worried.

The Fires are Raging

Raging, raging the veld fires are flaming. Trees, bushes, houses - all are engulfed in flames; a gale force wind whips the flames across smaller spaces catching the next set of growth, trees, veld, buildings; it's burning, spreading fast as lighting. Only large open spaces are refuge for those who flee from the bright burning fires.

All Starts Out Innocent

Ronny has saved up enough money to buy a magnifying glass; one Saturday morning he and his friend Carter walk off into the veld with it to look at leaves and plants and maybe try start a small fire using the magnifier and the sun's heat, because they'd heard that it is possible to do this. This will be an experiment to test it out.

At a grassy area with shrubs they stop to examine plant life and insects with the magnifying glass - it's a hot, windy day.

"This Is Fun"

“Wow this is fun” says Ronny, “let's try make a fire with it then put it out.”

“Sure, looking at bugs and leaves is great but let's do that!” Carter replies.

Experimenting with the Magnifying Glass

They gather some dry grass in the area and put it into a little pile, Ronny puts some newspaper that he brought with beneath the grass. He focuses the magnifier to create a small point of light on the newspaper. Birds and bees fly about, nearby pine trees stand thick and green in the heat. There's shade there where the boys can go and rest later.

After a while a little smoke rises from the dry grass-pile, soon a flame shoots up and in no time it's burning. Delighted they watch as the flames spread to some nearby shrubs; not too concerned they stomp on it to put it out but the wind blows the flames and a larger area of shrubs catches alight.

Panic Sets In

With panic in their eyes the boys grab branches and attempt to put out the fire – no way, it spreads to the pine trees. Frantically they thrash at trees and shrubs with the branches but the fire just moves further into the trees and starts moving up the hillside.


“There's nothing we can do about it!” shouts Ronny to his friend.

“Let's get out of here!” Carter shouts back.

They Run...

They run through an open space, making their way to the road in the direction of home. They're safe but many cars are making an exit away from the raging fires. Someone from the area they know stops to give them a lift to where they live. It's not very far – the wind is blowing in the opposite direction so the fires shouldn't reach their homes.

They don't go home immediately; from a distance they watch the fires raging and spreading into the distance.


He Wants To Tell All

“I want to tell all” says Ronny - a mixture of shame and guilt on his face.

“No we can't” replies Carter, “We'll get into big trouble, maybe even be sent to reformatory school.“

“Well I'm going home then.”

“Me too, see you later, but don't tell anyone!”

“I won't, but I feel like a criminal,” says Ronny as he makes his way home slowly.

He Hides the Magnifying Glass

When Ronny gets home he finds his parents are out, he hides the magnifying glass in his cupboard under some clothing. He doesn't know what to do with himself and wishes he were dead.

His parents arrive home on foot, they're overjoyed to see Ronny is home and alive and well.

“Where were you son, we're so glad to see you!” his father asks.

“I was just out walking dad.”

“We thought you might have been caught in the blaze.”

“No, I didn't go as far as that.”

“Good, let's get inside, the smoke is awful!”

'Their Secret'

Ronny will keep his dark secret between himself and Carter for the rest of his life. Maybe, just maybe he'll tell his parents someday. In the meantime he hides his guilt; it was a mistake but somewhat of a big one, he spends more time alone in his room, dreadful thoughts going around and around in his head...

Fires spread further, in the direction that the wind is blowing, vast areas of veld have burnt, houses have been raised to the ground, buildings and some shops gutted; the firemen and emergency services are on the scene and hard at work.

"How Did the Fires Start?" many ask.

Everyone hopes and prays for rain and for the wind to die down. What a disaster. “How did the fires start?” many ask. There'll be an investigation into the cause, that's for sure.

Flash Fiction

Do you write Flash Fiction?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 David Edward Lynch


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • DaveOnline profile imageAUTHOR

        David Edward Lynch 

        4 months ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

        Thank you for your comment Tim. Yes fires can be detrimental. It's often wondered how they started, maybe someone leaving a small fire burning that spreads in the wind, but this fictional story about a fire starting has a specific cause as you well know.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        4 months ago from U.S.A.

        Fabulous flash fiction about a topic that is becoming more and more relevant in our warming, drying, climate. Mega-fires can be detrimental, and it appears these young men will be burning inside with guilt for the rest of their lives.

        A great cautionary piece of fiction.



      • DaveOnline profile imageAUTHOR

        David Edward Lynch 

        5 months ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

        Thanks you for your kind comment chloe m.

      • profile image

        chloe m 

        5 months ago

        Thank u so much...i love the way this story was set out

      • DaveOnline profile imageAUTHOR

        David Edward Lynch 

        14 months ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

        Thank you Jill, I hadn't thought of the fire raging in Tommy too but that is true. I knew he carried a lot of guilt in inside.

        I read up on writing flash fiction before writing this hub and used the suggestion to start the story in the middle which puts one into the thick of it immediately.

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image

        Jill Spencer 

        14 months ago from United States

        Dave, I thought your use of present tense was perfect for this story. It gave it a real urgency, especially in the descriptions of the fire, which were my favorite parts. By the end, the fire wasn't just on the veld; it was raging in Ronny too.

      • DaveOnline profile imageAUTHOR

        David Edward Lynch 

        17 months ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

        Thanks or visiting and reading this short story DDE and for your positive comments.

      • profile image


        17 months ago

        You certainly know what to write and how to get our attention.

      • DaveOnline profile imageAUTHOR

        David Edward Lynch 

        18 months ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

        Thanks for visiting Sotiris Sakellar, I suggest you write what comes to mind.

      • DaveOnline profile imageAUTHOR

        David Edward Lynch 

        18 months ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

        Thanks for your comment John, appreciate that you read my flash fiction story; it's purely fictional, we've had a lot of fires the last while here in S.A. and although it's never nice to have fires that cause a lot of damage, they inspired me to make up a story about a possible, but not probable cause of fires.

      • Sotiris Sakellar profile image

        Sotiris Sakellar 

        18 months ago

        I don't know what to write.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        18 months ago from Queensland Australia

        An excellent piece of flash fiction Dave, which is my preferred form of fiction to read these days. I felt for the guilt these two would have to live with. I remember using a magnifying glass to start fires when I was a kid, never imagining they'd get out of control. Fortunately they never did.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)