Photo of ember and flame.Ever since his wife Irma died, Martin’s been starting fires. They were small fires at first—tea candles and Sterno—flickers that fellow residents of Danworthy Independent Living noticed through Martin’s sheers. Now, he’s cruising the hallways with a butane lighter, lighting fires in metal trash bins. No one can prove it’s him, but Martin’s soot-stained thumbs give him away. Irma was the one who loved fires—their Yosemite honeymoon, gathering sticks and logs, the crackling blaze, clinging together until the embers grayed. Irma, the ideal girl he’d sketched inside his head. Irma at the end, so cold. So cold.


Michele Finn Johnson’s work was selected for Best Small Fictions 2019. Michele is fiction editor at Split Lip Magazine. Find her publications at www.michelefinnjohnson.com.

Photo Credit: Kik

One Response to “Yosemite”

  1. Kenneth C Ko says:

    Excellent opener. Excellent finish.

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