flash fiction by Jason Allard templarwolf
Nine year old Barnabus (Barney to his friends) sat at the edge of the lake, watching the fairies buzzing around, skimming over the water. The little fey, none of them larger than the first joint of Barney’s thumb, were doing their midsummer courtship dance, tracing designs in the water with their toes, hoping to impress a mate. As he watched, one of the blue ones separated from a group of the pink, and zoomed down to the water’s surface. It dipped its toe and took off. Suddenly, in the middle of a wide turn, a large fish, its cavernous mouth gaping, broke the surface and snapped up the fairy before flopping back into the lake.
Barney sighed. “I want to be a wizard,” he said, pouting. He looked at the wand in his hand. It was really just a stick he’d shaved the bark from with his knife, but he called it a wand anyway. He’d tried to argue his parents into letting him attend the wizarding school with his brother, Ken, in the fall, but he’d been ignored when his older sister stormed into the kitchen.
“I am NOT wearing this!” Isabel screamed, looking down at her self in her chainmail bikini. “How in the Nine Hells is this going to protect me?” She glared at their mother, who calmly scrambled a batch of eggs.
“It’s not meant to be worn for protection, dear. It’s to help you land a husband,” Mother said.
“A husband? I didn’t go to the warrior’s academy and earn top marks just to flounce around in a skimpy outfit and catch a man’s eye! I want to land some real jobs and see some of the world. I can’t even go outside in something like this, much less to the warrior’s guild to look for postings.” She paused for a moment to wipe the tears from her eyes. “I knew I should’ve gone with you when you said you’d pick up some armor for me.”
Barney fiddled with the toy wand. “I could be a great wizard. I’m sure of it. I doesn’t look all that hard. All you have to do is wave your wand and say the magic words.” He thought about how Ken had done it the other night, lighting the fire in the hearth in an instant.
He looked at the tree across the field. It was tall, but with some low hanging branches. His tummy rumbled. “If I could make the apples ripen faster, I could have some.” Beaming, Barney stood. He planted his feet squarely, thinking of wonderful, juicy apples. He threw back his shoulders, held his head high, and raised the wand.
He slashed the wand towards the tree and shouted Ken’s magic words, “INCENDE LIGNUM!”
Barney felt the power course through him, knocking the wind form his lungs, and the large apple tree burst into flames hotter than Father’s forge. Leaves curled and browned, then fell to the ground, igniting the dry grass of the field.
Barney screamed and ran for home, dropping his wand in his mad dash.
flash fiction by Aaron Rosenberg gryphonrose
* * *
I am the flame and the fire, the wrath and the rage.
I dance across the sky, incinerating the clouds. Their ashes sift down to cover the world below. The air itself boils at my touch.
I skip from moonbeam to moonbeam, igniting the cool silvery light, giving it my own fiery glow. I transform the world to a red haze.
I trace my way across the trees, their leaves catching flame, curling into black shadows, their bark darkening and cracking, their limbs popping and crackling, their trunks splitting. I see them as verdant boughs and leave them as smoldering torches.
I float across the meadows and plains, the grass burning beneath my passage, the ground itself charring from my presence. The flowers shrivel and die, withered away, their colorful petals but a memory before the heat of my gaze.
I soar above the oceans and seas, the lakes and rivers and streams, and they boil away as I breathe upon them. Their plumes of steam rise high, blotting out the sun, lending all a shimmering curtain of heat.
I am the flame and the fire, the wrath and the rage. This world is my kindling, my tinder.
I will set you all alight.
flash fiction by Brady Bonney rifkinite
* * *
The white man had stopped at the threshold. In all of his days he had seen more men die of his actions than Sunday sermons he had missed, and he never thought he may have to see them again. His mind blurred between the realms of reality and peyote, but he was holding together. He and the Indian stood at the base of a long set of stone stairs snaking over a canyon, on the other side a set of gates. Pearly gates, and a set of fissures tore through them. The Indian guide turned to him and asked, "Are you okay? Do you need to stop?"
"No." He did need to stop, but he did not trust the Indian. He had said they had to be drugged to get to their bounty, and with all the Indians he had killed he might have sent this man's brother to the gallows.
"We are almost there," the Indian's voice was stewed in caution. He may as well have said, "We're almost to him, we can almost save you."
"What is this place?" The bounty hunter wanted to vomit. The world was turning, and it no longer turned as his world did.
"This place? This place is what you see."
"I see the end, the gates to death. And they're crumbling. I thought they were joking." He had been sweating for several hours, but now all the fluid in his body seemed to be fleeing from his pores. "Are we really here to stop that? Are we here to take him in?"
That was the first time the white man had talked to him like he was human. "I am not due for this place, and it is deemed that you are not either, but if we do not stop it there will be no difference between here and where we are bound." The Indian stopped and looked at the white man. Their eyes both spoke of regret for wasted lives, and hope that this was their only chance. "Do you see St. Peter?
"No, it's too far."
"Do you know what we believe? Do you know what I am seeing?"
"No." The bounty hunter threw up all down his front.
"We believe that there is a great tree waiting for us. Surrounded by plains." As the Indian spoke the bounty hunter's sight stopped seeing what he saw, and started seeing what the Indian spoke. "Under the tree all is well, it watches over us, keeps us safe for eternity. Today though. Today it is burning."
If you want to write something to go with this piece, drop me a line at aaronace [at] gmail [dot] com. If you like what you see, please leave a tip for your writers and artist. If you'd like to see more, just scroll through previous entires. Enjoy!