Fyretober 2021

Day 10’s flash fiction has arrived! I hope you enjoy my take on today’s writing challenge from Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Mother grabbed the pad from my hands, tucking graying strands behind her ear. “No, Widre. They failed, and we’re left to pick up the pieces.”

My hands hung in the air before me for a moment as if my brain couldn’t register the sudden loss of the pad. My eyes moved equally as slow, unfocusing from the spot to follow mother across the room, open and drawer, and slam it shut.

“Mother!” My voice broke into a squeal. Did she still think me such a child? “I was only reading.”

She flapped her rag in my direction before setting back to polishing the table. “Nothing good can come from reading that…” her fingers tightened around the edge of the table. “Filth.” She attacked the table with renewed fury as if trying to polish the thoughts away.

I leaned forward, my feet unwilling to budge from where I stood as if part of my mind agreed with her sentiment. No, I did not agree. “That is not filth, those are the words of those who would fight us.” Mother raised her head, mouth opening as if to retort, but I screamed over her. “Even when we are too cowardly to defend ourselves.”

Mother frozen, her neck twisting to glance to the corners of the room. I froze as well, a sudden tremor working through my body leaving the itching feeling that I needed to move behind.

“Don’t say such things,” mother hissed. She tried to return to her cleaning, but the movements were choppy now leaving obvious streaks.

She was afraid. I knew she was afraid. I’d felt the same fear when they’d come to take father when I was child. When after a month I had to admit Jamund would never return. “Why? What in them is wrong?”

“Wrong or right, those words only caused a fire which burned us all.” Mother sagged forward, swaying. “We’re better with that fire out.”

“But the sparks aren’t out,” I said. With the words, I felt the weight holding my feet in place vanish. Turning I grabbed my coat from beside the door. “And I won’t let mine go out as yours has.”

I was out the door before she could do more than holler my name after me. “Widre!” I could hear the pain in the words, the certainty that she would lose more if I left. But I would lose even more if I stayed. The heat of certainty drove me into the night.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober #fyretoberflashfiction #fyretoberday10

“Fyretober isn’t for just writers or just artists. It’s for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.

Join the creation fun and share your work with us.

This isn’t a contest. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be giving out random prizes for amazing work.”

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