BALEFIRE

Jonny stuffed his cold hands into his coat pockets as he watched his father make the final preparations. He had been helping stack the wood in the back garden for the last week.

Every year he had asked for a bonfire, every year his mother and father told him no.

But not this year. This year his father had been surprisingly enthusiastic. He had even taken a load of old papers from his study and put them at the bottom of the pyre. ‘Perfect for kindling,’ his father had smiled at him.

Now Jonny stood with his mother’s arm around his shoulder as his father added lighter fluid to the base of the bonfire. He then stepped back and took out a box of matches.

‘Ready?’ he asked, though Jonny felt he was directing his question at his mother rather than at him.

His father struck the match just as the blue flashing lights appeared. They were coming from the front of the house, reflecting through windows and against the garden fence. They were accompanied by the sound of two or three cars pulling up out in the street.

His father tossed the match into the fire. With a ‘whoosh’ flames leapt up into the night sky. The boxes of papers at the base instantly burned. Jonny could see them curling up and turning black before disintegrating. Behind him he felt his mother and father squeeze each other in a close embrace.

The urgent shout came from the front of the house. ‘Police! Fraud Squad! Open up this door immediately!’

‘This is great,’ Jonny said, caught up in the excitement and watching the flames dance. ‘Best bonfire night ever.’

His parents brought him into their hug. ‘Sure is,’ his father said.


balefire
Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt: Balefire  – curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.


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31 thoughts on “BALEFIRE

  1. Oh My! Just what kind of papers were they burning???? Cheers to them for getting it done just in time….I think! I am going to assume that they are good people, for Jonny needs good parents, and that the papers were just false evidence to frame them over something. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This brilliant Ian, sadly there will be incriminating evidence somewhere…… No such thing as a victim less crime and no such thing as getting away Scot free for real people.
    Mind you we can hope for them can’t we.💜

    Liked by 1 person

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