Flash Fiction: 318a South Dubuque Street


At 3:17am August 12, firefighters responded to a fire at Barney’s Pub and Grill. The crew gained entry to the apartment above and rescued one adult male, one adult female and a child. They were transported to Iowa Hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

The fire was extinguished after thirty minutes. Sixteen fire department personnel were on scene. The cause remains under investigation.

She kept the clipping in her purse amongst the bills and receipts for years, like some keep photographs of their loved ones. Eventually she lost the wallet and the piece of paper with it. Then, she mourned.


This is a 100-word piece of flash fiction inspired by the photo above (this week supplied by J. Hardy Carroll). Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click here to join in, or here to read more stories by other writers.


If you’re already thinking about Christmas, I have an offer you might be interested in. If you buy a copy of either of my books for someone (or yourself), I’ll send you a personalised card for free. Click here for more information.

45 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: 318a South Dubuque Street

  1. Very clever story. I like the why you leave the reader to fill in the blank at the end. My first thought was the arson, then a possible family member not there that night. Then read the other comments and said to myself . . . “Claire is a very good and consistent writer”.

    Very well done !!


  2. I loved your matter of fact telling of the story and all the interpretations of your readers. So much could have happened. Nice you leave it up to us. Dammit. 😉


  3. This is so touching. I know you’ve said to others you’ve left it open to interpretation. I had the feeling it’s her family she lost and can only allow herself to mourn once the clipping reminding her has gone too.


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