Saturday, September 26, 2009

a flash of fiction

Looks like flash fiction is back on the menu for Saturdays. This was a prompt from Saturday Scribes with a theme of 'choice', and using the words 'boardwalk, sparks, circling".

Flames of War and Hope
by Paul Darcy

I could see the sparks circling high above the burning boardwalk. The air raid sirens had fallen silent now, but the city’s emergency vehicles and crews made almost as much noise in the dark of night. Underneath, like a dying breath, the eerie wails of despair and pain from victims wafted out in the smoke and ash. But there were other sounds as well, the sounds of children’s laughter so starkly contrasting these sounds of despair.

I used to walk my dog this way before the war. I’m not sure what happened to him after my home was bombed killing most of my family and blowing a hole in my world to rival any I could see in the city streets. Watching the fires attended to, I sat upon a precipice, looking over the edge and my eyes began to well with tears.

But, almost to my surprise, they were not tears of fear or pain or anguish. They were tears of joy, joy that in the midst of this evil I could still hear the laughter of children. Not all hearts were reduced to cinders, and I knew hope and love, despite the odds, could prevail over despair if you let it.

Turning from the flickering light of many fires, I walked towards the children, to join them in their games, and I began to smile for the first time in days.


  1. Anonymous4:40 pm

    What was that old saying? An optimist is someone who gets chased up a tree by a lion, and still enjoys the view.
    Your message is very important.
    On The Boardwalk

  2. Very effectively captured moment. Considering how many of your stories are set in rather dire, disastrous circumstances, it's always nice to see a few sparks of hope here and there. Does this mean we'll someday get to hear a Cthulhu story with a happy ending?

  3. Zilla's Other Half3:26 pm

    You *never* get to hear a Cthulhu story with a happy ending. :)

  4. Grondzilla12:06 am

    At first your speaker does seem to have a bit of that Lovecraftian detachment. It's like they have an epiphany and opt to join the world again. Nifty...oh yes and what have you done with the real Mr. Darcy?

  5. Anonymous10:20 pm

    Nice ,,,, I like that you set the reader up for one emotion and then completely taken them somewhere else. Quite effective and nice to read at the end of a somewhat trying day,