THURSDAY: House Fire

Flash Fiction Week Runner-up!


Copyright is held by the author.

IN THE front yard, Keira stood in her pyjamas and stared blankly at the flashes of orange in the upper windows. Winding, snake-like trails of smoke illuminated by moonlight, emanated from multiple points in the roof. The once perfect house and everything she and Trevor had collected through their five-year marriage were all burning away.

            Her loyal dog, Patch, whimpered and pressed her nose into Keira’s hand.

            “It’s OK, girl,” Keira reassured her. “He’ll be here soon.”

            As if on cue, Trevor’s Honda rounded the corner. He raced up the long driveway, nearly hitting the mailbox at the corner and skidded to a stop. Patch’s tail wagged as her former master emerged, but Trevor’s eyes were on the house.

            “What the hell happened?” he breathed, his stubbled jaw slack.

            “I wanted to cook eggs,” Keira stammered and wiped away a tear running down her cheek. “I-I put the stove on to heat up the oil, but Trev . . . I was just so tired. I sat down and fell asleep. The next thing I knew, I woke up to a house full of smoke.”

            “Where’s the fire department?”

            “On their way.”

            “Why did you call me first, Kiera? This isn’t a little fire.”

            “I don’t know. It was my first instinct.”

            A window cracked and then shattered. Trevor’s eyes went even wider, the flames reflecting in them.

            “I’m sorry, Trev.”

            Patch cowered as distant sirens sounded and within a minute, firetrucks screamed up to the house.

            The next hour was a blur, as they sat watching in silence, the smell of smoke thick in the air. Patch rested her head on Trevor’s knee and he rubbed her ears soothingly. Kiera wondered if he’d try to comfort her too but knew it wasn’t likely. After her second affair, he’d left and sworn he’d never forgive her, told her the marriage was truly over this time — and yet, here he was. When she called, he came.

            A firefighter approached them, clearing his throat. “I’ll have more details later, but I’m afraid there won’t be much to salvage. Goes without saying, you’ll have to find somewhere else to stay for a while.”

            As he headed back to work, Keira looked at Trevor hopefully.

            He looked away.

            “Trevor, listen, I know this may be the wrong time but, I’m sorry . . . for everything. When we couldn’t have kids, I went into a tailspin and I don’t know, I messed up. I really messed up. But, I love you. Only you, and I swear, I’ve changed.”

            His eyes slowly reached hers.

            “Please Trev, I’ve nowhere else to go.”

             Trevor sighed deeply. “Fine. You can stay with me for now and we’ll see how it goes. Seems fate keeps somehow throwing us back together.”

            “Thank you.”

            Trevor nodded grimly, stood up and walked towards his car.

            Kiera leaned down to rub Patch’s back, barely repressing a grin.

            “See girl?” she whispered into the dog’s ear. “I told you a fire would get him back.”


Image of Sharon Walker-Zeman in a sleeveless floral-patterned dress, smiling, outside on the grass in front of evergreen trees.

Sharon Walker-Zeman lives in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada and is an optometrist and a mother to four young boys. She has enjoyed creative writing as a hobby for many years. She is always eager to learn new things and enjoys family time, the outdoors and quiet moments with good books. She has been previously published in Our Canada Magazine and on CommuterLit.

1 comment
  1. This week’s best so far by a mile

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