Helpless #flashfiction #newcago


I wanted to cover my ears as the flames licked the sky in Newcago.

“Help me. I’m on fire!”

“I can’t see…”

the wail of a small child

Helpless I watched. The firefighters tried but could not get to the center of the apartment complex.

Then the first bodies…

The charred hand of my favorite professor. He turned that ring around his finger while he lectured.

Find me a lonesome tree in OldYork where I can bury my nightly pain.

But I knew I was the only one who could find the scum who burned people for the hell of it.


The gnarled tree is today’s prompt from Friday Fictioneers led by our hostess Rochelle. It’s the kind of tree you could sit beneath for a picnic or a good rant. Have a look at what the Fictioneers are writing about today.

Week 3 in Newcago Serial When the Lights Go On

week 2 in Newcago Serial  Can’t Kill The Thirst

Week 1 in Newcago Serial Secret Weapon

43 thoughts on “Helpless #flashfiction #newcago

  1. Good atmosphere and the promise of more excitement–like the detail of the professor’s ring and choice of the tree to bury your pain. Look forward to next week’s offering.


    1. Hello! This post could not be written any bteetr! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!


  2. The professor’s ring bit was good, which told me the setting was a school.

    The story is a bit too close to the bone for me! Here in England a man, wife and ‘friend’ have just been imprisoned for deliberately setting fire to the couple’s house, which killed 6 of his children (all of the wife’s). He was trying to implicate his mistress, who had also been living in the house with 5 other of his children, and had moved out. This man has 17 kids in all. Doesn’t work.


    1. The setting actually an apartment house (didnt have the word count for the details). It was a real arson case that a friend of mine was a first responder to. What “man” doesn’t understand is that someone always pays for another’s reckless behavior often paying with life


      1. True, there are no effects without causes. Mine was almost a true story. I was the 11 year old girl who wrote that short story about the tree and sent it off for publication. I was 13, not 11. I sent it to a girls comic: ‘The Bunty’, which published stories about ballet and horseriding, not sci-fi/fantasy. The editor sent me a really nice letter of rejection!


  3. very atmospheric – I was curious as to how you were going to weave the old tree into your story but you did it very well.
    I love Newcago (but I wouldn’t want to live there!)


  4. Love that you managed to work in little details, like the ring, even in so few words! The brief glimpse we get of Newcago here isn’t very pleasant, but it’s very intriguing all the same, and I’d be curious to know more.


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