MLMM Photo Challenge — What’s Left

The fire marshall knocked on Caryn’s front door. When she opened it, he handed her a small cardboard box. “I’m sorry for you loss, Miss Kavanaugh,” he said. “I know it’s not much, but this is all we could salvage from your parents’ home.

Indeed, it definitely wasn’t much. There was her father’s old 35 mm camera, a tiny toy globe he kept on his desk, a blank tape from his portable dictating recorder, and a Matchbook model of an old VW bus that he told her was just like the one he had when he was in college. Strangely, there were three watercolor paintings by her mother that her father must have kept in his desk.

Caryn took each of the salvaged items out of the box and laid them out on the marble floor of the foyer in her house. She looked down at the strange assortment at her feet. She couldn’t wrap her head around how this small collection of random items was all that remained of her parents’ lives. Sure, she had her memories, but their lives, their home, and all of their other possessions were gone.

Her eyes welled up and guilt overwhelmed her. She had planned to have their 120 year old house updated with new wiring and plumbing last year, but her parents, who were in their seventies, resisted. They didn’t want to have strangers working inside their home during the pandemic. But now that they had both received their second vaccination last week, they finally agreed to let her bring in an electrician and a plumber.

Caryn meant to make arrangements last week, but she just didn’t get around to it. She’d waited this long, what would another week or two matter? Now, after everything was destroyed by the fire caused by an electrical short, it was too late, and all that remained were those seven random items spread out at her feet.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: fotografierende on

The Monday Peeve — The Heat

Every Monday Paula Light gives us an opportunity to blow off a little steam with her The Monday Peeve prompt. I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity by blowing off some steam about the weather.

Okay, I know that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record with all my complaining and whining about two things: the WordPress block editor and the weather. But today I’m even more pissed of about the weather than I am about the block editor.

For the past decade-plus we lived in the city of San Francisco. My home did not have air conditioning. Just a few strategically placed ceiling fans. That’s because, living so close to the Pacific Ocean, it rarely got into the 80s in the section of the city that I lived in. Even more rarely, the high temperature would hit 90. So air conditioning was not a necessity.

But in February we moved to the East Bay, about 35 miles east of our place in San Francisco, to be closer to our son, his then pregnant wife, and our future grandchild. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

But what we didn’t count on was triple digit temperatures. Yesterday it hit 111. And at around 4:40 pm yesterday afternoon we lost power for about four hours. Loss of power meant loss of air conditioning and it didn’t take long before our house became uncomfortably hot.

So what is my peeve about today? Well, here’s today’s forecast.And the power company is talking about more rolling blackouts to accommodate the demand. On top of that, the National Weather Service has also issued a Red Flag Warning.That is a warning issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the air quality is already hazardous due to the existing wildfires.

So yeah, I think I’ve got good reason to be a bit peeved today.

Friday Fictioneers — Fire Dancers

There was an outburst of “oohs” and “ahs” from the audience. But Deborah burst out crying. “Daddy, they’re on fire. You need to help them, Daddy.”

“No, sweetie,” her father said, giving a knowing glance to his wife, who was sitting on the other side of their daughter, “they’re not on fire. It’s done with lighting and costumes to make it look like that way, but it’s a trick. Isn’t it amazing?”

Relieved that no one was going to get hurt, Deborah stared in awe at the members of the troop. “I’m glad they’re not on fire, Daddy,” she said.

(100 words)

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll.

Twittering Tales — The Blinding Light

53B466DE-0E9D-431C-9149-A978B10F9E5E Chilled to the bone, he started to gather branches from the warehouse floor to use as kindling to build a fire. When a blinding light shown down directly upon him from a high window, he thought it was a godsend. But it was a beam from an alien ship and he was instantly vaporized.

(280 characters)

Written for this week’s Twittering Tales prompt from Kat Myrman. Photo credit: Michael Gaida @

Thursday Inspiration — Light My Fire

049D48DF-3686-4701-BFA1-19A4369E9492“You know, baby, I would be a liar if I told you that you didn’t light a fire deep within me,” Jim said. “But you have to swear to me that you’ll never be untrue. Because I do believe we can, together, get much higher.”

“I don’t know, Jim, if I’m can make that kind of commitment to you,” Alyse said. “This is our first date and I’m not the kind of girl you think I am.”

“But baby, the time to hesitate is through,” Jim said. “There’s no reason for you to wallow in the mire. We are made for one another.”

“Actually, Jim, I agreed to go out with you because my parents begged me to,” Alyse said. “I recently confessed to them that I like girls better than boys and they asked me to go out with you thinking that you might be able to ‘cure’ me. But while you’re a good looking and very nice guy, Jim, I’m just not into you that way.”

“But, Alyse, if we don’t try now we can only lose,” Jim said. “If you reject me it will be like you’re throwing another log on my funeral pyre.”

“Oh stop being such a drama queen, Jim,” Alyse said. “But speaking of fire, let’s go down to the lakefront. You can build a fire and we can roast us some marshmallows. As friends, of course.”

“Fine,” Jim said. “I’ll light your fire, but I’m going to bring some grass. I feel the need to get much higher.”

Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration prompt, where the theme is fire, coupled with the picture above.