In the embers

Thanks to Anshu Bhojnagarwala for this week’s photo prompt.

In the embers

Archie let his thoughts drift, soothed by glowing embers, the flames’ soft crackle. The fragrance of burning pine-cones took him back to boyhood summers, hunting here in these mountains with Father.

Now, Archie hunted alone. He longed to settle, to share all this with a son of his own. He’d tried to find the right woman, but none had endured. He had held great hopes for the last one—the failure still hurt.

He prodded a smouldering piece of leather into the hot centre of the fire, incinerating every trace. He sighed. She’d looked good in those red shoes.


Another story for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly flash fiction link-up kindly hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

48 thoughts on “In the embers

  1. Dear Margaret,

    Archie could be his own worst enemy…or rather Public Enemy Number One. Great twist. You took me from soothing fire to flame of passion in a hundred words. Well done.




  2. WEll, there’s a dark tale, Margaret. You threw me off with his talk of hunting and wishing to share the experience – was not expecting that ending! Wonder what she did to end up on the fire


        • It’s fascinating. I make a point of not reading any before I write my own, and I’m always blown away by all the great ideas people have. When I do start reading all the others I usually have to resist the old demons of self-doubt that tell me to quickly take my story down – that it doesn’t measure up. It’s also interesting how two (or more) writers can sometimes come up with similar ideas.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I NEVER read the others first. I try very hard not to even notice who has already posted. I’ve gotten good about not comparing my own with anyone else, but that’s hard when you start reading so many great stories. We are all here to support and encourage each other, so I try to do that with my own work too: Good job, Dawn! 😉 Bravo to all of us for putting ourselves out there, for creating new stories each week.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. So if I read this right, the shoes were the last trace he’s burning. He’s gong to have to resist burning them at least until they’ve delivered a son and heir, methinks. I also won’t read until mine’s done, sometimes just catching sight of a title sends me into bouts of anxiety.


    • Yes, you’re reading it right. Whether or not the women are meeting exactly the same fate as the shoes is open to interpretation – just how ghoulish do you want it? Interesting that you, too, don’t like to look at other stories before writing yours. And I must say I find coming up with a good title the hardest thing to do.


    • Oh, that’s funny, Bjorn. Such an appropriate dating site for Archie, with his particular predilection for campfires. And I like that you see Archie as a hobo Bluebeard. Thanks for commenting.


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