The people burn. Bright flames of white heat in the darkness.

They are everywhere, surrounding him, closing in.

He shrinks back, covering his face with his hands, cowering in the depths of his own black mind.

Make them stop. Make them stop.

Faces crowd him. Searing orbs. Skulls with eyes of deep black emptiness.

They screech at him. Urging him to do it.

They will only leave his nightmares if he does what they ask.

His resistance falters. He screams back.

He looks at the scared mother and child huddled in the corner.

‘I’m sorry.’

He drops the match into the pool of petrol.

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Written for Friday Fictioneers 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). I hope everyone is coping with the new WordPress editor. I’m finding it quite frustrating, but getting there!

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



84 responses to “BURN OUT”

  1. Yikes, a reminder of some of the impossible choices people are sometimes called to make. Quite chilling.
    I hate the block editor and have actively avoided it until I was forced to cross the divide. I might just be keeping my posts very simple with one photo until I find the time to nut it out. Meanwhile I’ll be singing If I can Turn Back Time with a lot of other bloggers.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • The block editor is a big change. I can see a couple of advantages, but mainly drawbacks so far. Just pleased I managed to get my post out successfully this morning! Thanks Rowena, hope you are well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you about just getting the posts out. It was more of an issue with my Weekend Coffee Share post yesterday, which has a range of topics and usually has quite a few photos throughout. Just keeping it all very Simple Simon at the moment.
        Hope you’re keeping well and safe atm. Melbourne is in lock down but we’re good but treading cautiously here. Trying to focus on enjoying the outdoors and went for a lovely beach walk today.
        Best wishes,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This so nicely constructed, a descent into the mind of evil and madness. The imagery resonates with desperation, fear (the cowering mother and child), and depravity. Also shows how lame “I’m sorry” can be.

    Liked by 2 people

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