Writespiration #90 Burnt Edges

burnt edges

This week I’ve been thinking about the past and how things have affected my life. I often joke about having a cold lump of coal for a heart, or about the fact I am dead inside. It’s a joke. Sort of. I like the humour of it.

But actually there’s some truth to it. We go through life, and the tiniest of things affect us. A moment, a fleeting comment, ill chosen words or a look of love you’ll never see again.

Sometimes these moments hurt us, others they heal us. Whether positive or negative, all of them deeply affect us. They leave us with burnt edges. Tiny scars that paint our souls with memories.

That’s what I want you to write about this week. Burnt edges. Maybe it’s the edges of paper, or burnt memories. Whatever you choose, include burnt edges somewhere in your piece. Write no more than 200 words.

If you want to join in, post your flash in the comments or in a post on your blog and link back here. You have until 12th June. Please note I am extremely slow at responding to comments at the moment. I moderate everything and I do read everything, but expect a delay.

Here’s mine. An excerpt from chapter 8 of my novel, Keepers:

I was alone. The gulf of tears pressing against my eyelids flooded my cheeks. Huge sobs mechanically rocked my shoulders and the gaping void in my chest filled with a darkness that seared like the heat of the sun. I stood up and launched angry balls of fire into the air. I screamed at the thick black clouds until my voice was hoarse and my nose was full of acrid smoke. When my scream finally ran dry I shot as many bolts of lightening into the air as I could. The edges of the clouds burnt black. I fired dozens more into the air, hoping one would tear the sky in two and make my pain rain down on the city.

Something fluffy rubbed against my legs. I glanced down. Cat-Nye was hopping between my shins. The sight of her drained the fight out of me and I collapsed on the rooftop sofa.

“How could they, Nyx? How could they just die?”


Now to last time and the Blowtorch flash in a flash.

DAON in first:

Edith clapped her hands in delight.
Blowtorch, her favourite part of cake decorating. It was cold outside and the snow had set into an icy wonderland. She went outside, naked, with no shoes.
Carefully she activated the blowtorch and wrote her name in the snow. Edith was here once, but when the snow melts, we will not know this fact.


Debby up next with this:

“Several tedious months went by. She had left her manuscript for so long, she no longer had the energy to go back to completing her book. While gazing over the many pages of scribbled words and trying to make sense of them, she decided it was easier to grab the blowtorch and pretend she’d never attempted to write anything.”


FloridaBorne with a rather gory ending :p

“I have one life to live,” I told Dr. Johnly.
“Not really,” She said, looking at her nails as if she were bored with it all.
“Why would you say that?”
“I can tell you for a fact that once you’re here, you’re stuck here until you make right what you did wrong.”
“But I believe in heaven and hell.”
“I left 2 husbands, giving both 2 children each that were raised in private boarding schools. I used my 4 children to take as much from my husbands as possible and lived in the house of my dreams. I believed that once I died, that was it.”
A nurse ran into my room, wide eyed, standing next to the doctor.
“Dr. Johnly was…it was so horrible,” She said, her hands trembling. “One of her ex’s just dispatched her with a blowtorch! Mr Gonzalez…Mr. Gonzalez. Code blue…”


Ritu in next with a hilarious twist

Pulling the ramekins out of the oven, I was really pleased with the results.

Dave loved Crème Brulee and I was determined to make this meal the best thing he had ever eaten. Never having made this before, I was following the instructions to the letter.

Now, what was next? Sprinkle sugar, ok.

Then using your blowtorch, caramelise the sugar.

Blowtorch?! No one told me I needed a blowtorch?!

“Mum! Dad! Have you got a blowtorch?”

“Yes love,” Dad answered, “it’s in the shed, I’ll just go get it.”

Moments later, Dad arrived with his protective mask and an industrial blowtorch. “Right love, what needs welding?”


Allie next with a romantic piece

I pulled the visor down and the world grew a little darker as I fired up the torch. Brilliant white light sparked as the iron before me melted into form. I pulled away, satisfied. Cold bars which had once kept loved once apart were now tightly entwined into a heart that would be later positioned in the center of the park; a place where love meets eternal.


Lee Juana Wilson  in next

When I think about Joe, all I remember is everyone saying, “he’s the master of the blowtorch.” I was impressed the first time I heard it. Oh, he’s mastered a skill. That is awesome. I don’t know many people that have “mastered” a skill. The next couple of times I heard it, I realized that I don’t even know what he uses blowtorch a for. The more and more I heard it, I learned Joe had not mastered or even become an apprentice at anything else.


Next in Jane all about mens stuff…

It looks a bit like an oil can. Not that I’ve ever taken much notice of what George knackles away at in his shed. Men’s stuff. He’d have put a lock on the door if he’d ever dreamed I’d come in here and disturb him. Well, first time for everything. He’s left bits of metal lying everywhere—on his workbench, on the floor. You can’t see to tell the truth in here for the filth over the window. A bit of a tidy up won’t go amiss either. I pick up the battered can thing. It’s warm as if he’s just been using it. Wonder what it does? I turn it to look down the spout thing and press on the—


Next up Nortina joins in with this piece

My neighbor sets his trash pile ablaze with a blowtorch.

Because it’s Friday.

And he missed the garbage truck this morning.

“He’s mad!” my mother shouts. She yanks the curtains closed. Rushes to the kitchen to prepare dinner. “That’s how forest fires start.” She slices peppers and onions on the cutting board and rakes them into the sizzling pan on the stove.

I peek out the window one last time, watch the wind blow the debris in his yard east — toward our house.


Last but by no means least, Helen with a last line to die for

Like a shrieking, nasty, blowtorch, she was. Hot breath, foul scented, spraying in my face. I longed to turn my head away, but I couldn’t. Instead I had to just take it.

Bitch.

The fire of her obvious hate burned me, flecks of it hitting my face as she screamed out her rage, taking out her jealousy.

Like I didn’t have a say. Like I was somehow to blame.

I closed my eyes, and she slapped me. I struggled against the bindings, wanting to scratch, to hit, to fight her. To take back what was mine.

To get away from her flames.


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55 comments

  1. Gretel’s Story

    Day after day flour fattens in the tins.
    I knead the dough as yeast unlocks the bread.
    My brother swings above me in a cage,
    I dare not think about what it is made of.
    Its lock whispers, ‘Flee! Go home little girl.’

    As gingerbread men shout of yeasty death,
    as bread screams – burning – Hansel also fattens.

    Blind crone trusts in the bone I have her feel.
    My brother has not meat enough, she thinks.
    But soon she grows impatient and won’t wait,
    today’s the day she’s chosen for sweet feeding.

    I light the oven, check the catch is strong,
    I beckon to her, smell her rank approach,
    And – as she bends to test the heat –
    I push with all my strength and bolt the door.

    We burst the cage of bones and run away,
    our hands over our ears to block her shrieking.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great stories, Sacha, and a prompt that I couldn’t resist. You know that I should be editing and you are making me procrastinate! 😀 😀 Here’s my attempt:

    The call woke us in the middle of the night, a neighbor screaming that our summer place was engulfed in flames. We drove up there on the weekend to find a pile of char dusted with ash. Everything was gone in the place where I, my father, and my grandfather had spent our childhoods.

    The contents had been old and worn but tenderly loved: the tattered books, the pillows my mother had sewn, the logbook with hundreds of messages from visitors who’d joined us there over the decades. All swept up in the smoke, some memories impossible to reclaim.

    We rebuilt. I stitched new pillows and scoured flea markets for old tables and chairs, for tattered books and well-played games. We started a new logbook though it didn’t feel quite the same. What we couldn’t replace were the huge cedars that had crowded the lakeside for centuries. The fire consumed dozens of them and left many scarred. We planted saplings, but will always see the burned edges of what was lost.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Bernd Hedges hated his silly name. Everyone misheard him and giggled. ‘Burnt Edges? That’s a daft name.’ Why had his German mother married and Englishman and chosen his grandfather’s name for him? It was bloody thoughtless. But for Bernd the worst was still ahead. It was a Monday. He was late for the team meeting and Roger hadn’t noticed him sneaking in when he said, ‘Has anyone heard from the Singed Fringe?’

    Liked by 3 people

  4. A curved scar split my grandmother’s chin and continued down her neck. It was the only thing that spoke of the flames that once licked her face as a child. Grandma herself never spoke of that awful day or of those who weren’t as lucky as she to only be scarred. The fact that Grandma lived with that mark to almost ninety was proof I was descended from those of strong stock, determined grit, and quiet resolve. Survivors.

    As the years passed, I noticed how her scar faded while other lines on her face grew more pronounced, until the average person seeing her on the street might not even recognize it for what it was. Certainly at the end, no one would do a double take, but by then Grandma wouldn’t have cared if they did. As far as she was concerned, the only double take that mattered had been over sixty years ago when at a local dance, a young man saw the woman, and not the scar. And when that same man shyly asked her if she’d like to dance, that same woman said yes.

    It is not enough just to survive. You must love too.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Definitely! It’s great to write prompts to find you excerpts. I was talking to my grandson the other day. He loves making up games. I told him it’s always good to make up games. Then you can make up the rules to suit yourself too. Why should a prompt be any different! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Memories of love sear with passion bright and hot. Memories of false love burn with the stabbing pain of an ice shard through the heart. Time is no balm for that wound.

    Great post, Sis. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. Truly, you’re aces, Sis. As for the website… um, not yet. Grandpa still has trouble remembering all his social media passwords. o.O

        Like

  6. 200 words, right? here goes….

    Burnt edges.
    Derrick W. Miller

    “Your phone doesn’t seem to be taking my calls,” I text. I just turned it on for her this Friday. She was paroled last night.

    “it’s ok. I’m going to my sponsor today,” was all she text back.

    “Good to hear.” I replied. “I’ll be home soon.”

    No reply.

    “Lacy, where are you?” I punched into my phone messages for the umpteenth time.

    “Are you still there at your sponsors?” .

    “Let me know you’re ok.”

    Still no answer.

    “Sarah, this is Doc. I’m sorry to bother you, but Lacy posted she was with you Friday.”

    “You’re doc? The older guy she’s living with? She got a ride to your house Friday night.”

    “She never came back. I was hoping that she spent the weekend with you.”

    “That’s bad news, Doc. I’m sorry but she won’t answer my calls. I’m done with her.”

    “Your girlfriend is seeing other people,” stated the restricted phone line.

    “She hasn’t been here for over 2 weeks, she is not my girlfriend,” came my well rehearsed line.

    5 months of prison visits, moral support, financial help, and my address given as a home plan. Young women and me…burnt again.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Burnt edges.
    Derrick W. Miller

    “Your phone doesn’t seem to be taking my calls,” I text. I just turned it on for her this Friday. She was paroled last night.

    “it’s ok. I’m going to my sponsor today,” was all she text back.

    “Good to hear.” I replied. “I’ll be home soon.”

    No reply.

    “Lacy, where are you?” I punched into my phone messages for the umpteenth time.

    “Are you still there at your sponsors?” .

    “Let me know you’re ok.”

    Still no answer.

    “Sarah, this is Doc. I’m sorry to bother you, but Lacy posted she was with you Friday.”

    “You’re doc? The older guy she’s living with? She got a ride to your house Friday night.”

    “She never came back. I was hoping that she spent the weekend with you.”

    “That’s bad news, Doc. I’m sorry but she won’t answer my calls. I’m done with her.”

    “Your girlfriend is seeing other people,” stated the restricted phone line.

    “She hasn’t been here for over 2 weeks, she is not my girlfriend,” came my well rehearsed line.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this challenge Sach – fitting for my current WIP, the sequel to my memoir Conflicted Hearts titled ‘P.S. I Forgive You. Here is a tiny excerpt from my current rough draft.

    Ode to my Mother

    I have feared you for most of my life,
    How hard I’ve tried to end the strife.

    You’d never own up to your mistakes,
    The decades had passed, yet your heart won’t awake.

    I shudder and wince when I think of you alone,
    But you left me no choice, emotional abuse I could no longer condone.

    I wish you peace Mama in the time you have left,
    I just can’t come back, my heart is bereft.

    D.G. Kaye

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sometimes truth does hurt. Yes, writing in memoir is painful, no doubt. Some of my other books aren’t sad though Sach. I do like to inject humour in some of my stories, but some stories just aren’t funny. 🙂 xoxo

        Like

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