Photo Story: Flames

September prompt

Photo Credit: Hamish Irvine

The flame framed Henry’s adolescent features against an impending darkness. A fiery period endured there, ending a childhood. The period was passed to me, and I began a new sentence: one of immaturity defining itself, for a cost I am still paying. We all passed the swaddled vice, and it became quickly familiar to our smooth hands. As it stubbed, we grew cocky and burned ourselves, though we only laughed, pretending it did not hurt.

They ignored me when I suggested we stay to swing for a while … I was older than my parents knew, but younger than I pretended.


Connor Walsh is a college student who skipped class to write this story. He enjoys when he writes something that not only his mother likes.

9 Responses to “Photo Story: Flames”

  1. georgia says:

    i did love this it is amazing

  2. George Merrill says:

    Connor, its always a good sign when your work compels stuffed shirts to rattle the cages of their comfortable dogma. Maybe you should skip class more often.

  3. Glen Donaldson says:

    The joke is on all of us who didn’t get it first time ’round. This piece is shimmeringly brilliant – and a very worthy winner. A tale of innocence lost at the hands of a cigarette. Talent on the page for all to see.

  4. 100words says:

    Regarding the exchange farther down in this string, 100word story stands by all of the writers we publish. And while debate and dialogue is welcome, this is just a reminder to keep it cordial and fair. Thanks. Lynn Mundell, Co-Editor, 100wordstory

  5. jeffswitt says:

    Was this a last minute entry as I don’t recall it as late as yesterday?

    I think this is more poetic than story and really tells nothing.

    With the exception of the mention of a swing in the last para it could go with numerous random pics.

    If one were to take the “stay to swing” line with some creativity this could be an apt entry for the current photo prompt of the suspended girl.

    This was a most confusing selection, if not disappointing.

    • George Carlisle says:

      I agree with you in that this story was confusing to read the first time through, but after reading it two or three times, I really enjoyed it.

      In my reading, I think the “flame” these teenagers are passing around is the smoking of cigarettes or better yet, the use of some drug. The author did a good job of briefly displaying how this burns without the kids feeling pain, as kids take part in these actions without thinking about the consequences later in life. I also enjoyed how the story paints the picture of children trying to grow up too quickly in today’s society while inside they still have desires of the average child.

      This being said, I think that this story suits the picture perfectly, as it delves into some of the choices and struggles of the young adult.

      • anonalana says:

        George – Should a 100-word story, let alone a contest-winning 100-word story, require “reading it 2 or 3 times” to get it? And after that, judging from your comment in your second paragraph, you “think” you know what you read?

        Just asking. Alana

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