Tag Archives: fire


“Good morning Abigail,” said Peter. “You are sitting in my chair.”

“Good morning,” said Abigail. “It’s now our chair, and yes.”

Peter pointed to the nameplate on the desk. “It’s my office,” he said. “It’s my chair.”

“Well, my office caught fire, so now this is our office,” she replied.

Peter said nothing. Abigail typed at the computer in front of her.

“Did you set fire to your office?” he asked.

She kept typing. “No. I mean, technically, yes, but not on purpose.”

“And the reward for that is my chair?”

Our chair,” she corrected, “and yes.”

He blinked. “I’m going to need my chair to do my work this morning.”

“Oh no,” she turned to face him, with a smile as close to innocent as she could muster. “You have a meeting with Chris this morning.”

“I don’t have a meeting with Chris this morning,” he said. He pulled out his phone and checked the calendar. “Okay,” he conceded, “I have a meeting with Chris this morning.” He read the invitation. “You created the meeting?”

The innocent smile failed. “No. I mean, technically, yes, but not on purpose,” she said. “The meeting is about the fire.”

“So you set your office on fire, and for that you get my chair while I sort out your mess?” he said.

“Yes,” she said. “Please don’t fire me.”

“There’s been enough fire,” he said. “Besides, I would need to sit in my chair to do that.”

Our chair,” she said.


The Caveman Who Was Last Thursday

A very long time ago, five men in animal skin rags huddled around a crackling camp fire as the sun set and darkness enveloped them. The first yelled loudly to draw attention.

“Me tell story,” he grunted. “My father was greatest hunter that walked the plains. He killed many many beasts. His family ate well every night. But he killed so many that he made the gods upset. One day the god, err… Palvae, appeared to him in a ball of fire. ‘You hunt too well, hero, be mindful that your children also have enough to eat. Do not over-hunt…’”

“You interfering idiot!” interjected the second man.

The first’s jaw dropped in surprise. “Wait… you’re a time traveller too?”

“Yes!” spat the second. “What on earth do you think you are doing, spreading some ham-fisted ecological message or something? History doesn’t work like that!”

“Um… sorry to interrupt chaps…” They both turned in shock to stare at the third speaker, who shifted nervously. “While we’re on the subject, I did, um… sort of teach everyone how to make fire…”

“You meddling twerp!” shouted the fourth, breaking his silence. “I came here from the 26th century to find out how that happened and it turns out clever clogs Prometheus just brought a box of matches with him!”

The argument broke off suddenly as the fifth figure cleared his throat.

“Captain Lampton,” said the fifth figure. “Time Police. Before I place all you geniuses under arrest, can somebody please tell me… where are the real cavemen?”

Fruit Council

We must confer.

The message floats between council members. It is received at different times by each, but each must hear, as per the rules. Therefore the conversation is slow.

We must discuss the simians. There have been recent developments.

Council members come and go, brash youth to wise old age in the blink of an eye. Conversations occur over centuries, each topic spans generations.

A new type of simian has emerged. No tails, more aggressive. Where the originals climbed up to find us, the new cut down our homes. They have some strange new power that burns.

The glory of nature, confined to the sky and the earth has now been harnessed by the simians.

They will eat too many of us. They will destroy us and our homes. We must fight back, or the Spirit will be extinguished.

There are dissenting voices. Some members voice new plans. The Council does not fear destruction, for death and rebirth are fundamental to their Cycle. The simians must be learnt from, principles applied in reverse. The recommendation is arrived at.

Cultivation. They will grow us, and we will grow them. Our mutual interest will lead to abundance. Place the knowledge in their minds. Show them the skills needed. We will turn the foragers into the foraged. Our Spirit shall multiply.

The Spirit of the fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law. The simians are powerless to fight back. The fruit rules.


“I am Traganek, fire-breathing dragon!” shouted the beast. Gregor’s eyebrows floated up a little. The beast turned to him. “Does that not convince?”

“It’s a little wooden.” Gregor stood up and began pacing up and down between the empty rows of seats. “You’re just saying the words. The audience needs to be afraid.”

Traganek fluttered his wings a little and pawed at the wooden stage.

“But it’s ridiculous,” said Traganek. “It is a parody of dragon personality, written by a fool who has never met one.”

“I know,” said Gregor, “and believe me, the audience is aware of that too, they’re not stupid. But your part is that of a terrifying spectacle…”

“…a pantomime villain…”

“…a terrifying spectacle,” insisted Gregor, “who breathes fire and eats people, and they need to feel terrified. As if you are going to swallow them whole right now.” He slumped back down in his chair. “This isn’t going to work. You’re better in romantic comedies. Let’s face it.” The dragon gaped, and his eyes puffed. “Your range is limited,” continued Gregor, “your ability to convey emotion pitiful. In Hamlet you were, at best, wistful.”

Traganek’s sudden thunderous snort reverberated over Gregor’s head, rattling the doors at the back. Rearing up on his hind legs until the horns on his head scraped the ceiling, Traganek’s enormous wingspan blotted out the spotlights. He roared: “Do not speak ill of my roles, mortal! I was nominated!”

“Alright!” yelled Gregor with delighted applause. “Alright Traganek! Do that!”

Fire Spirit

Alex stumbled, still in a daze, into the pub the morning after the fire. Everything seemed untouched, as it had the night before. Yet the body was there, lying face-down on the floor in the centre of the room. It was badly burnt, scorched by some mysterious fire, though the carpet underneath was untouched.

The Investigator, Mr. Corten, was standing over the body, taking notes. He looked up and saw Alex staring at him, and motioned for him to sit on one of the nearby stools.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Alex. “The fire was upstairs, not down here. And as I said, I saw the body in here before the fire started.”

“The books upstairs were completely destroyed,” said Mr. Corten. “And most of them seem to have been through from the windows during the blaze. Someone was up there during the fire, throwing burning objects out of the windows.”

“It sounds crazy,” said Alex, “but it reminds me of old tales of fire spirits that dance around, causing havoc and murder.”

“That is exactly how it’s meant to look,” said Mr. Corten. “The murderer has been very clever. It’s a very elaborate hoax. They would have needed a fire-proof suit and some sort of incendiary device. Plus maybe an accomplice to bring the body downstairs.”

Alex shook his head. “The only people here last night were my friends.”

The Investigator fixed him with a strong glare. “One of your friends is a murderer.”