Flash fiction: Fire


Naked, she crouches in the dark, watching the two men drinking and laughing beside the camp fire. Even in the poor light she recognises her towel, slung around one of the men’s shoulders. Her bag and its contents are spread at his feet.

Behind the marram grass, she growls.

‘Did you hear that?’ says the towel-man, standing.

She jumps forward, grabs at a burning stick, jabs it at towel-man, who howls as fire meets flesh. Brandishing the flaming torch, she scoops her belongings together, and is gone.  

It isn’t until morning that she feels the pain on her own skin.


This is a 100-word piece of flash fiction based on the picture prompt above. It’s part of the Friday Fictioners group run by Rochelle Wisoff-Field (who also supplied the photo this week). Rochelle dedicates a great deal of her time each week to uploading, visiting and commenting. To join in with your own story, visit Rochelle’s website here, or to read some of the other stories based on this prompt click here


And a quick reminder that I had one of my short stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last week after winning a competition. It’s available to listen on iplayer, although I don’t know if it works in all locations around the world, and it’s only available for one more day. If it doesn’t work for you, it’s available to read online here. If you do get to listen or read, do let me know what you think!

56 thoughts on “Flash fiction: Fire

  1. Dear Claire,

    Glad she got her things back. Delicious descriptions and sweet revenge. No doubt with the adrenalin rush she wouldn’t feel her own pain until later. 😉

    Also, I just finished listening to your award winning story. Congratulations, the recognition is well deserved.




  2. Post-apocalypse survival tale. Wasn’t Baker going to do that to Emily anyway? A live clucking chicken would’ve been a sure give away. Loss of innocence more than once in one childhood – oy! Well done, it’s a deserved win.


  3. A great tale of revenge, against the odds.

    I read and listened to your story, it is quite understandable why the BBC picked this up. Many congratulations Claire, look forward to reading more of your work.

    Best wishes



  4. A great piece, because it leaves the reader wondering what he or she would do in the same situation; would cold, anger or fear win. Years ago, in all innocence, I knocked on the pane of a public phone box because I’d left my handbag inside. The very large guy inside opened the door, gave me my bag, then, as I thanked him and started to leave, he called out, ‘Aw, hang on,’ and took from various pockets the contents of my bag. I thanked him (probably profusely) and went on my way. I was in a public place in daylight – but you never know.


  5. Very vividly painted and the imagined story regarding her origin gives it an extra edge. Read your story on the BBC site and absolutely loved it. The story and the way it was written just blew me away.


  6. I like how much was left open to interpretation in this story. For instance, when she growls I naturally began to picture some kind of wolf-woman creature and, even though nothing like this is alluded to elsewhere in the story, it’s surely rare for women per se to start growling out threats or for men some way off to be startled by the noise…

    Also, I read your BBC story (congratulations btw!) and I thought you did a wonderful job of capturing the wide-eyed quality of the narrator – her wide-eyed enthusiasm about Emily and her wide-eyed fear. It made her character and situation genuinely fraught and believable – a really skilful write and a sad read 🙂

    P.s. your sharing buttons seem to have gone awol again…


  7. Thanks for your comments, and for reading my BBC story – I really appreciate it. I like stories without all the information. As a reader, I prefer to have to work a bit, including in this one, why the woman is naked.

    (The sharing buttons are there, by the way, just above the ‘reblog’ button, next to the ‘like’ button. Not that obvious, that seems to be the theme.)



  8. Wonderful story, Claire! I like that you have her growl. She’s like a wild animal. It’s all quite visual. I read your BBC story, and I absolutely loved it. It was so intense. I want to read more. I’m disappointed that I missed the reading. I tried, but it was too late. Congratulations on being published! It is well-deserved.


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