Memory Flames – Friday Fictioneers

I can definitely say that this is the latest I’ve ever posted a Friday Fictioneers story. I’ve been the first one before, so now I guess I’m trying to be the last. I started a new job today as an ESL Instructor at a university in Iowa and also moved into a new place this weekend, so I’m hoping after this to finally settle down to a routine. This summer has been quite crazy in many ways. I apologize that I have not been able to read many stories in the last few months. I will try to be better about that from now on.

I would say that this story is weird, but that describes most of mine. I’d say it’s different, but . . . again. Read it and tell me what you think.

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Memory Flames

When I first saw it, it terrified me. I had emerged from subterranean haunts far below and saw it dancing a hypnotic, alien gyration on the edge of my vision.

It was the Other and as much as it repelled me, I drew closer because of a ghost of a memory long ago. It reminded me of her, before we were sundered; before she ascended and I sunk down to personify the Underworld.

*        *        *

Frank came back from gathering wood and froze. A shadow, like an incorporeal old man was bending over his campfire, warming non-existent hands over its cheery flames.

About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

21 responses to “Memory Flames – Friday Fictioneers

  • Amy Reese

    I’m guessing that Frank is seeing a vision from the Underworld. A strong piece of writing, David. This sentence, “I had emerged from subterranean haunts far below and saw it dancing a hypnotic, alien gyration on the edge of my vision,” really evokes an eerie mood. Very well done!

  • Sharmishtha

    so is the unpacking done? how is new life?

    • David Stewart

      The unpacking is not done yet, since they’re still building the house we’re renting and we’re only living in two rooms of it so far. Things will be good once everything is settled in, but it’s already more settled than it has been for a while.

  • Nan Falkner

    Dear David, Really good story – I wrote about a man in the fire too! You did a great job and it’s very scary. I substituted for an ESL teacher in 5th grade once – it was fun – I learned some Spanish! My great-nephew in Houston goes to a Spanish Immersion Class (he’s in 4th grade) where they speak only Spanish all day except when they leave the school proper. It’s cool – Congratulations David – You must be a genius!
    Nan 🙂

  • rochellewisoff

    Dear David,

    Strange little story indeed. I’ll admit to being baffled by it. But it’s early and I haven’t had coffee yet.

    Do I need to send you a tardy slip? You can probably go beyond essay and write a novel entitled “What I did on my Summer Vacation.” 😉

    I live in an area where English is a second language. Well…proper English. But I’ll spare you that rant.

    Happy to see you here.



    • David Stewart

      I think it’s either a strength or weakness of 100-word stories that they can often be taken several different ways. This one is definitely that way, but if you want to see my intentions, I meant the shadow to be Darkness itself, taking a mytho-romantic view of Genesis 1, where it said God separated the light from the darkness and imagining the time before that.

      Now that I am more settled, I hope to get my stories in earlier, although never in the top 10, I’m sure, since I’m not willing to get up that early. 🙂

  • siobhanmcnamara

    Captivating as always, David.
    Best of luck with the new job

  • the Found Girl

    Ooh, this game me goosebumps! And cheerio for the job, too. After such a summer, I bet you’re ready for a holiday proper.

  • patriciaruthsusausan

    David, All the best on your new job! I would guess an old ghost has decided to come above and is remembering what it was like. He seems not to know he’s a ghost. Well written. 🙂 —Susan

    • David Stewart

      This is a story I think is open to a lot of different interpretations. I saw the man as Darkness itself, remembering a time when darkness and light were not separate. But that’s just me. 🙂

  • Pat

    As I commented to Nan – I too saw the man in the fire in the image, but just left it.

    Your tale is wonderfully well written and compelling. Definitely has an impact. Great job.

  • Rachel Bjerke

    I messed up your plan of being the last story this week… better luck next time! 😉 just kiddin’

    Intriguing story this week, the image of the incorporeal old man warming his hands over the fire is so vivd and creepy. Wonderfully done 🙂

  • aliciajamtaas

    warming non-existent hands over its cheery flames – THIS would make me freeze, too.

    Good luck with the new job and the move.

  • Elan Mudrow

    Nice work! I enjoyed your writing style.
    check out:

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