That’ll Teach ’Em – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is a flash fiction challenge which asks us to write a story in no more than 100 words from the photo prompt kindly provided by the host, Rochelle Wisoff Fields. To join in with the challenge, or find out more about it, just follow the link to Rochelle’s blog.

Here is this week’s prompt . . .


Photo prompt © Roger Bultot

and this is my story . . .

Sammy grabbed his brother’s arm. ‘I can’t see the bedroom through all that smoke.’

Rick grinned. At nine, and a year older than Sammy, he was the one in charge. ‘The firemen just went into the house…  They’ll probably find the candles.’

‘But they’ll know it was us if they do!’

Rick shrugged. ‘It’ll teach Mum not to send us to our room in future –‘

‘Rick! They’ve got two people on stretchers. Wonder who they are.’

‘Can’t tell. We’re moving further away all the time.’

Sammy reached out his arms and giggled. ‘These clouds feel really nice.’


Word Count: 98

If you’d like to read other entries, click on the little blue frog below:


About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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86 Responses to That’ll Teach ’Em – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Sonya says:

    A great story, Millie, but oh so sad… At least they don’t seem to know what’s going on. Great use of dialogue to reveal what’s going on.

  2. A tear just ran down my face. Thanks for the story Millie.
    Be safe,

  3. luckyjc007 says:

    Oh my gosh! Two people on the stretcher doesn’t sound good . Children often times do not realize the extreme harm their actions cause. This story certainly portrays that and is well done in just a few words.

  4. draliman says:

    Oh crumbs. I guess they didn’t make it out then. I like the direction your story took! It was great the way you said it without actually having to say it.

  5. luckyjc007 says:

    No, and I was one of those children…fortunately, my father caught me lighting matches one day as he passed my bedroom door. There was no fire. I was 4 years old at the time and I think he blamed himself for leaving the matches on the table where I could get them.

    • milliethom says:

      Parents generally do blame themselves, don’t they? We have to be so careful with inquisitive young ones around. I imagine your dad never left matches lying round again. I’m glad, in your case, you were ‘caught’ before anything awful happened. Thank you for sharing that with me, Jessie. 🙂

  6. Good little story Millie that conveys a lot of messages with just a few words!

  7. Yinglan says:

    Oh, that’ll teach their mother, all right and it will also teach the kids to not play with candles. Great story and great lesson.

  8. Amy Reese says:

    Riveting story, Millie. And so sad. I guess these kids don’t get to learn a lesson.

  9. So sad. I hope the boys remain oblivious to what they’ve done and that the clouds hold them tight. And hope Mum survives it – she is in for a long hard struggle.

  10. This is so much like children. They don’t realize the consequences. Great story!

  11. Shivangi says:

    Very strong story….made me emotional. Their parents would be distraught…heartbreaking

  12. adamjasonp says:

    I guess it’s too big a burning stove to learn the lesson this time…ooh, pretty clouds!

    • milliethom says:

      Things definitely got too far out of hand for a lesson to be learned. If I’d positioned the two lads differently, they could have escaped disaster. I think I must have had my miserable head on whilst writing this! Thank you, Adam. 🙂

  13. Awww…Millie! That was a heart-breaker 😦

  14. Mike says:

    This is a well written “Teary Eye” story.

    • milliethom says:

      It is a tear-jerker from me this week and I’ve regretted it since I hit the publish button. I’ll really have to redeem myself next week. Thank you, Mike. 🙂

  15. Ineke says:

    100 words and everything in it! Children and matches don’t go together

    • milliethom says:

      That is very true, but there’s something about them and the flames they create that seems to fascinate children. Parents have to be so careful. Thank you for that, Ineke.

  16. Sandra says:

    Oh dear! Very sad.

  17. It reminds me of that Nicole Kidman movie, The Others. Great fiction, Mill!!!

    • milliethom says:

      Yes, the story has a very sad ending. I haven’t seen The Others, so I’ll have to look it up and see what it’s about. Thank you for the nice comment, Amanda. 🙂

  18. OMG! I read it twice to see if I got the meaning correct! Poor children!
    A very good story Millie! I love putting all the pieces together at the end in your stories.

    • milliethom says:

      It is sad, Heena, and I’m beginning to think I should have made it a happier ending. It’s just that I’d written one with a happy ending the day before and felt like a change! I’ll have to do a rewrite some time. 🙂

      • Hmmm… well that’s what writing is about after all! You stirred more emotions in your readers through a short story than some people do in an entire novel! That’s really something!!!
        I’ll be looking forward to read it’s rewrite 🙂 (or for that matter anything you write!)

  19. Oh No! But,…great story Millie. Wow!

  20. Norma says:

    Poor children wanted to “teach Mum…” but now got the clouds to handle. That’s children – they never listen. Good story, Millie.

  21. Naive even unto death. Poor children.
    You wrote that story very cleverly, Millie, as I was sure at first that those two bodies belonged to people other than Rick and Sammy, and that the two children were too young to understand the true severity of what they’d done. Then you put that twist at the end and took me by surprise.

  22. A very clever and poignant story here. That last line says it all, and a good message too. It is sad that children seem to act first and not contemplate the consequences.

  23. smilecalm says:

    leave it to kids
    to do the darnedest things

  24. As sad as this story, the ending really punched me in the gut, but in a good/sad way. Great story Millie!

  25. plaridel says:

    sad story. it must be tough when they finally realized they died.

  26. So,sad.. And learning from mistakes is not always possible. Some paths are really just one-way street.

  27. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Millie,

    That’ll teach their parents alright. What a unique, sad, heartwarming (sort of) story. Wildly imaginative and wonderfully written. And I’m glad it’s just a story.



  28. Dear Millie,

    I see dead people. They don’t know they’re dead. 😉 It took me a minute to get this, but it was worth the effort. Well done, my fellow swimmer.


  29. Susan Langer says:

    I really liked how you used the dialog to tell the story. Well written and sad.:)

  30. Chilling and sad with a touch of humor in the dialogue! Well done.

  31. gahlearner says:

    Oi, I didn’t see this coming, was annoyed at the two brats… until they moved away more an more. Mischief gone wrong, how sad. Great take on the prompt.

  32. Aquileana says:

    I like the ironic twist at the end… Very well written, dear Millie.
    Have a great week ahead! … Best wishes, Aquileana ⭐

  33. Ellespeth says:

    Oh yikes! You make it sound so nice to be floating on a cloud, though. Great story that carried me from beginning to end.

  34. Creatopath says:

    A chilling story with great dialogue. It could all too easily happen. At first I thought the two bodies were their parents and then was shocked to discover it was the kids. Great ending with the clouds helping us reach our conclusion.

  35. Oh gosh poor children! I wish they knew what was going on!!! But seriously, it was a wonderful story sweetie! 🙂

  36. Great twist at the end, Millie, although sad. It was quite unexpected. Good dialogue and well done. — Suzanne

  37. rgayer55 says:

    There was a show on TV a couple of years ago I really liked called “Dead Like Us.” This story reminded of of that. I’ve also visited with people who had near-death experiences and saw EMTs working on their body. Strange stuff, but I believe.

    • milliethom says:

      I’ve heard a few similar stories, too, I admit, and had that kind of idea when I was writing this. I imagined the lads watching their own bodies being taken out and so on. I’m not sure whether I’m a believer or not, but near-death experience is a fascinating idea. Thank you for telling me about the TV show and your own experiences of people who’ve had them. It must be really interesting to hear what they have to say.

  38. I of July says:

    one wishes he won’t have sons like them 🙂

  39. I like the way you clued us in in the last line. Good story.

  40. amiewrites74 says:

    I also thought the bodes were the parents until that twist at the end. The clouds and giggling softened the blow somewhat. Sad, but great story 🙂

  41. Dale says:

    As I’m scrolling down to leave a reply, I note Rochelle stole my words! 😉 What a well-written story, Millie! Anyone with children worries about matches.

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