Flash Fiction: Fire

There’s a fire in me.

It’s been there as long as I can remember.

It has the potential for danger, but it mostly burns the soft oranges and yellows of a candle or campfire.

Occasionally it turns blinding white. When watching the world burn seems like the only option.

Sometimes it’s blue. A blowtorch ready to cut apart the thing that has made me angry, or, build the things that have got me passionate.

There’s a void too.

A dark mass without any real shape. An oppressive thing that expands, surrounds and fills space. That suffocates the fire.

It sits, heavy and inescapable. Not painful, not unsettling or upsetting. Just there, smothering.

For the most part the fire keeps the void at bay.

Its sparks and crackles as the logs are stoked, make the mass flinch back, grow smaller as it tries to escape the burning cinders.

Sometimes the mass gets a foot hold. It manages to stop wildfire, smother a section and triumphant it presses forward.

It proves bold as it moves on the fire. Pressing hard, smothering piece by piece the thing keeping it warm and alive.

How does this thing not realise that if the light disappears the dark does too and then there is only nothing?

Maybe it does and it just doesn’t care.

It proves bolder as it moves past the warm embers and cinders. It presses on towards the hotter areas. Bold and bright, full hearted heat that can be used to keep a fire burning, that can be used to restart a dying fire.

The mass pushes on, presses in. It wants to asphyxiate. It wants there to be nothing.

It never wins.

Like the half-dead hero at the end of a movie the fire always fights back. The fire finds something in the suffocating air to cling onto and use as fuel.

It grows. Rebuilds. Fills the space with warm light and pushes back the void.

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