First Light – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in his picture (below).
This week Al’s cleverly reflective shot made me think of sunsets, and memories, and memories of sunsets.
So I wrote something quite different.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read this 90-second  story aloud: First Light

I remember the first fire I ever set.
Well, the first illegal one.
It was great.
Just a little garden hut, two doors down from my mum’s house.
I watched it from my bedroom window.
I’m telling you, what a buzz you get seeing something like that.
Aye, and knowing it is your own work.
After two or three more small time escapades I got more adventurous.
I went into buildings where the flats had storage cupboards on the stairs or landings.
When a door was unlocked, I made a fire in there.
Then the fire engines came, lights flashing, sirens wailing.
Then, of course, I had to do the real thing.
I knew this old couple, a pal’s grandparents.
They lived in a top flat, three floors up.
One night I took paraffin and matches and wire.
I poured the paraffin through the letter box, lit it.
Inside was an inferno in minutes.
The wire?
I tied it to their door handle, and to the handle of the flat opposite.
So they can’t open their doors from the inside.

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30 Responses to First Light – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. And so a pyromaniac is born. The emphasis being on the “maniac”. Good writing, C.E. —- Suzanne


  2. Jesse Raven says:

    Always enjoy the rhythm of your tales and this is no exception. Great storytelling – Loved it!


  3. That certainly is “quite different.” Great story!


  4. Sally says:

    Scary to think how one act led to another.


  5. Dahlia says:

    Yikes! I wonder what’s cooking next – children?


  6. mandibelle16 says:

    Wow, one scary little boy CE. I thought he was just a pyromaniac but he clearly likes burning people in their homes too. Great write 🙂 🤗


  7. Dale says:

    You seem way to at ease with this guy’s thoughts…
    He couldn’t just keep it at the fire stage, noooooo, just had to move up to murder. Evil.
    And great job as always with that nonchalant voice and well-placed chuckle.


  8. Iain Kelly says:

    Fabulous. A great voice here, and a nice contrast to the reflective image.


  9. You captured the voice of a psychopath brilliantly.


  10. I love this. You capture the random horrors quite well.
    I wrote a short story called Your Friendly Neighborhood about an arsonist who sets houses on fire so he can feel close to the occupants. It creeped me out so much that I never submitted it. (you can read it here, if you’re brave:


  11. I liked that. I agree with Rochelle. That chuckle makes it all the more sinister. This sounds like the confession of someone sitting in their cell in prison chatting with someone about their hobby.


  12. Dear CE,

    Sometimes you frighten me. Your reading with that little chuckle at the end made it more chilling than ever.



    Liked by 1 person

  13. Steve Lakey says:

    You show us a monster in the making. Chilling.


  14. emmylgant says:

    Scary how you can enter the mind of a psycho devoid of empathy! John Connolly would be proud. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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