a year in stories::forty five

I’ve written seven or so short stories this week, most of them about robots, which I might make into a chapbook of robotness later. I’m trying to get a bunch of work done before these submission deadlines to some paying markets. I mean, there’s no problem if they don’t get accepted, but it would be nice to get paid money for some of these things.

Look at me, a horrible capitalist! But I figure it’s better than working for the Man.

Anyrate, if all the stories I’ve written get rejected, I’ll post them on here. This is a story I wrote today that I decided wasn’t right for the places I’m submitting to. It’s quite short and magical. Maybe it’s about acceptance?

Fire Fire Fire

 

When the fire woke and stepped from the chimney I knew it was going to be a strange day. The house caught fire and it was snowing outside, sizzling against the fire’s flames licking at night.

The sirens blared and flashing lights approached while people screamed at the sight of the fire standing beside me. It was a small fire, only reaching up to my waist, and it didn’t really look human, but it had limbs. Fiery limbs with flames reaching upward, when I stared I almost thought I saw a face but before I could really get a proper look, it walked away, leaving wet tracks in the snow.

Muddy tracks through the snow, it was quite easy to follow, even if it hadn’t been a walking fire.

Well, needless to say it was drawn to things that burnt. It seemed to shrink as we walked through the snow. So it burnt down the whole town.

Lots of families lost their homes, and some lost children or parents. I don’t think the fire was vindictive, it just wanted to survive. I don’t think it’s our fault either. I mean, we had to live somewhere, yeah? It’s just our houses were flammable and the fire was struggling through the wet.

I can’t really explain why, but I protected the fire. We hid for a long time and waited for the snow to pass, the police and searchers to go away. Screams filled the night and I fed the fire logs. I was hungry but I figured we’d find food somewhere, sometime.

The face in the flames was my sister’s but she wasn’t dead. I hadn’t seen her in a few years but I knew she still lived and I knew she wasn’t a fire wandering around ruining Christmas for the whole town.

We sat there for a long time and it kept me warm through the winter.

It died out a long time ago, while I slept. It didn’t cry out or make a fuss. It just went out. I can almost see the sad eyes of my sister watching me sleep, watching over my dreams and life.

 

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