The Fire – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, the standard, and the prompt photo.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture below, which this week is supplied by Jennifer Pendergast.

Click here to hear the author read his words:

The Fire

They give me money, a lot, to burn it down.
An old ramshackle warehouse, big metal shutter-doors, bars on windows, you know the type.
I get through a wee door into the office.
Then it’s easy.
I’ve a couple of cans of petrol that I splash about the cartons and pallets.
Upper floors are wooden, they burn great.
Back outside I see the nightwatchman at an upstairs window.
They said it was empty.
He’s screaming blue murder, that’ll probably give me nightmares.
But it’s an incredible sight, lights up the whole night sky.
I wish I’d brought tea and biscuits.

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49 Responses to The Fire – Friday Fictioneers

  1. We should have guessed – the arsonist is a cool headed nasty person who likes tea and biscuits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, well, well. I haven’t read you in a bit and yet murder is still happening! 😉 Any time’s good for tea and biscuits though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. subroto says:

    Biscuits? I think marshmallows would be a better choice. But then fire/kettle/boiling, ok I can also see the opportunity for a cuppa.


  4. Oh you devil you! What a cold hearted bastard, dedicated to his occupation I’ll give him that! Lovely wretchedness.


  5. GHLearner says:

    That’s one ice-cold arsonist there.


  6. They shouldn’t have paid him upfront. The guy didn’t do his homework. A cold character indeed. Loved that last line, C.E.


  7. athling2001 says:

    Cold fellow isn’t he. But I love the last line.


  8. James McEwan says:

    Clearly, he enjoys his job as a contract arsonist. Unfortunately he can’t pin this one on the night watchman and a death complicates the deed. Hope he got his money first.

    He must have grown up in a house with an open fire where he sat having tea and biscuits – something he misses these days.


  9. Sinister to the core. The last line brought down the house, literally too.


  10. LOL… arsonists are people too! Great tale.


  11. The callousness of this is wonderful!


  12. Tannille says:

    Never enough biscuits! Have to see the humour in these things, beauty of fiction. More tea please.


  13. jenne49 says:

    Good grief! The arsonist’s-eye view.
    Chilling – despite the fire!
    And a great wee story, but who knew ‘tea and biscuits’ could be such awful words?


  14. granonine says:

    My word, CE! You’ve gone and left the poor guy to a gruesome death, and all you can think of is tea and biscuits? Tsk.


  15. Flamin’ ‘eck, what have you done now?


  16. elmowrites says:

    Ouch! The guilt for that watchman didn’t last long, did it?


  17. Dear CE,

    There’s an arsonist with little to no conscience. Nothing like fireworks to light up the night sky. 😉




  18. I don’t see the prompt in this story. I do like the sinister nature in it though.


  19. ahtdoucette says:

    CE, seriously, I think you may need help. Obviously, these are way too many grisly murders for just one writer. Get help. Put an ad in the paper maybe. I don’t want to help you kill people personally, but there are plenty of people out there looking for work. LOL. Too funny. Again.


    • ceayr says:

      C’mon, Anne, be fair, accidents happen.
      And I’m trying to picture the ad:
      Wanted. Someone to share in an unfeasible number of killings in self-defence, murders, assassinations and a variety of other gory mishaps. No experience necessary.


      • ahtdoucette says:

        That ad would cost a lot of money/jail time. How about: “Murder/mystery help needed. No exp req’d.” Hope this helps! Normally I would invoice for this kind of copywriting but with. Best of luck in your other, other career!


  20. Iain Kelly says:

    Expect there will be an upturn in suspicious ‘insurance job’ fires in the next couple of years as we come out of the pandemic. Plenty of opportunities for this MC to enjoy his tea and biscuits!!


  21. neilmacdon says:

    I was wondering how you’d go about making gingerbread men sinister. I laughed aloud at the last line. Well done!


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