“A Tiny Flicker”

A tiny flicker
Red and yellow
Touch of blue
Edge of green
Next to orange
Grows
To fill
The small window
Of my attic room.

I lie still
Under the quilt
Sewn
By my great aunt Lena.
The colors morph
From one
To another
Sometimes
Leaving space
For the black night
To peek through.

The room is warm.
The air smells
Like smoke
From the campfire
We built
With the Scouts.
I think
Of hot dogs
Corn on the cob.
S’mores.
Ghost stories.
One
Of a little boy
Who burned
In a fire
And came back
To haunt
The house
Where he perished.

I am drowsy.
And hot.
I throw off the quilt.
And bury my head
Under the pillow.
I barely feel
My mother’s
Arms
As she picks me
From the bed
And carries me
Down
The narrow
Winding stairs
Of the fragile cottage
In the old Methodist
Campground
And out the door.

She runs
Between the house
And its garage
A mere twelve feet
Away.
I see
That flames
Have eaten into
The walls
And are reaching
Out
To devour us
And our tiny shelter.

My mother
Hugs me tight
And hands me
To a neighbor.
Then she turns
And runs back
Into the house
To fetch
Great aunt Lena
Who has gone
To the attic
To find
A picture
Of her mother.

The fire company
Arrives
And the flames die
Before
The rest
Of the tightly-packed
Bungalows
Catch fire.

Even at my young age
I know
That when I
Think of this black night
With its mesmerizing
Color
Heat
And smell
Of danger
I will always
Remember
The love
Of my mother
For her child
And her ditsy aunt.

(Written for dVersePoets, Mining the Memory, February 07, 2013.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to “A Tiny Flicker”

  1. brian miller says:

    nice….lots of cool little touches in this…the blanket/quilt…we had a heavy one made by my mom years ago…so warm…the ghost stories…have told and heard quite a few of those in my day as well….her ditsy aunt…ha….

  2. Wow, what a scary memory. Thank goodness your mother saved you.

  3. claudia says:

    oh heck…the house on fire…what a scary experience..dang… glad everyone got saved…i used to tell ghost stories with my cousin in the forest…haunting…ha…

  4. That was a REAL memory. Very interesting

  5. deanabo says:

    Beautiful descriptions.

  6. I have the impression that your mother was lost in the fire…and if not her, a certain childhood fearlessness or even innocence. The use of color in this is so effective.

  7. Grace says:

    I can see and smell that fire and smoke ~ Funny but this also happened to me when I was young ~ Also enjoyed the ditsy aunt and her quilt ~

  8. Vivid word pictures. I know about ditsy aunts and patch work quilts and Methodist campgrounds, but thankfully no fires.

  9. kkkkaty1 says:

    an experience to haunt you forever, I’m sure, but I’m glad there are feelings of being safe and warm and cared for…that you remember your aunt ..I hope she made it out along with your mother 😉

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