The cannons sprayed water through the night sky onto the roof of the blazing building.

A crowd of nearby residents gathered to watch.

The old theatre, dwarfed by surrounding modern apartments, had lain empty for several years. It was preserved and protected for reasons of architectural heritage.

Remarkably, the surrounding buildings were untouched by the flames and smoke.

By midnight the fire would be extinguished.  The damage would be extensive. Demolition the inevitable outcome.

Within a year another uniform set of apartments would have blossomed.

So long as no one looked too closely, he thought.

Copyright J. Hardy Carroll

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


  1. Ah, another arson story, though I should talk since I leveraged that theme as well. I felt bad about the old building. I’m glad there’s a process by which historic buildings are preserved, but we have all too many cookie-cutter neighborhoods and shopping centers in the world already and they’re growing exponentially.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought it looked like a theatre too, though couldn’t quite tell what it is. Yes, who needs architectural heritage lying empty when there are luxury apartments that can be built. And who cares if the local people can’t afford to live in them, just so long as a few hundred thousand can be made? Nicely done, Iain, though sadly believable

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really liked your take on the prompt and beautifully done, as always.
    I guess, scientists need to develop secret medicines for greed control in this chaotic world.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It sounds like a job for fire investigators. There’s usually some detail the arsonist misses. I hope they discover it. The criminals usually think they’re too smart to be caught. Good writing with great description, Iain. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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