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

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86 thoughts on “That’ll Teach ’Em – Friday Fictioneers

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. The parents will definitely suffer after this. I was hoping the boys’ light hearted ‘ascent’ would take the edge off the real tragedy of events, but it hasn’t disguised it at a great deal. Thank you for the lovely comment, Irene.

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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. 🙂

      1. 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!)

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.



  8. 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.


  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. Thank you, Dale. 🙂 You’re so right about matches and chlldren. And the fact that little ones are completely fascinated by them makes it even harder to keep them out of their reach.

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