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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Flash Fiction Challenge - Week Six Winner

The entries for week seven of the flash fiction challenge will be up for voting tomorrow morning on our blog

The winner of Week Six of the Flash Fiction Challenge is the
multi-faceted T.L. Tyson and her entry Light My Fire.
Congratulations T – excellent work!
T.L. Tyson

About the Author
T.L Tyson hails from the land of maple leaves and beavers, in other words, Canada.
Her hermit-like existence allows her to delve into her writing without worrying
about someone knocking at her door. Sleep is a rarity for her and she spends the
night hours conjuring up new characters and thickening plots. She is constantly
being lead in new directions by demanding personas and quirky ideas. Her writings
cover a broad range of themes and genres, from YA urban fantasy to sea-faring
historical fiction. If you catch her without her laptop, you may find her curled up
reading a book or expanding her music knowledge.

If you want to see more of her, check out


Light My Fire – T.L Tyson

The scent of rubbing alcohol and disinfectant pierced through the layers of Eugene’s unconscious state. Pulling out of the greyness, he tried to swallow but couldn’t. His mouth felt thick as if packed with cotton balls. A gasping noise came from his throat with every breath he took.

He couldn’t move. Panic swarmed him like soldiers raiding a bunker, and he opened his eyes, darting them around the room. A sign propped on the dresser by the bed read ‘Eugene Egmont. September sixth. You are in Vancouver General Hospital.’


Memories drifted back to him. An image of Mary Clare with flowers in her hair, baby’s breath laced through the mahogany strands, and wearing a white dress came to him. She’d smiled, thanked him for coming, and said, “I didn’t think you would make it.”

The fluorescent lights overhead flickered as Eugene tried to put his memory back together. Footsteps sounded in the hall, the squeak-squeak of shoes on lineoleum, and then the swish of air as someone entered his room. He tried to speak, but it came out a horrible rasping sound, one a dying man would make.

A face appeared above him, her mouth forming a shocked little ‘o’ when she noticed him awake. “Oh, Mr. Egmont, can you hear me?”

Again he tried to speak, but his words hid in his throat as if they were too shy to make an appearance. Wheeze.

“It’s okay, Mr. Egmont. Nod if you understand.”

He tried for a nod, but came up with only a pathetic flinch.

“My name’s Cybil, I’m one of your nurses.”


“Alright, Mr. Egmont, I’m going to pull back these bandages. We need to clean the flesh. If you feel any discomfort, please let me know.”

Bandages? Discomfort?

The bandages made a sucking sound as they were removed, the noise identical to the sound a sticky honey jar makes when being pulled off a counter. And then a ripping sound and flashes of pain rippled through him. A burning sensation lit up under his skin.

She continued pulling and whispered, “The bandage is sticking.”

Eugene howled—the sound not dissimilar from a wounded animal—and his body jerked. His words found their way from his throat, “Stop, please. It hurts.”

There were more footsteps and another voice said, “What are you doing? He’s awake? Knock him out!”


Opening his eyes, he looked over at the board. October third.

He shifted on the bed, pulling himself into a sitting position, and studied his body. The bandages covered most of the damage, but segments of pink, puckered flesh could be seen where the gauze stopped. His hands were completely wrapped, he didn’t even know if fingers existed under the cotton swaddling, just like he didn’t know if his chest still had nipples, or if there was a cock between his legs. They wouldn’t show him a mirror, but from the tightness in his face, he knew the skin was melted too.

He heard a voice in the hall and the click of high heels echoed outside his door. He glanced up as she entered the room. Mary Clare—but there were no flowers in her hair. This time she wasn’t smiling at him or thanking him for coming. A deep frown nestled at the corners of her mouth.

“Oh no,” she whispered.

She pressed up against the wall, an expression of horror twisting her face. God she was beautiful. Her brown hair framed her sweet face, her cheeks pink, lips plump and parted.

On shaky legs she took a step forward.

“Come on, Mar. It’s only me.”

“Genie?” Her voice quivered.

It took awhile for her to make her way to the bed and an ever longer amount of time to meet his gaze. Then she just started talking—about the wedding and why it took her two months to come see him. How she felt responsible. She knew getting married would hurt him, knew he would find a release the only way he knew how. How she really wished he had given it up, like she had.

He snapped, “Give it up? Mary Clare, don’t you remember how good it feels?”

“That was my old life. I don’t do it anymore.”

“Don’t bullshit me!” He glared at her. “You still love it—the heat, the flicker, the flames licking each other.”

“I got help. I got better.”

Eugene scoffed. “You aren’t the girl I fell in love with.”

Hurt came to her eyes. “Maybe I’m not.”

She stood, gathering her purse.

“Mar...” She refused to look at him and he asked, “Do it for me?”

She shook her head. “The doctors say the burns cover seventy percent of your body.”

“I don’t care.”

Mary Clare glanced around cautiously. “I shouldn’t. You’re sick. It won’t help.”

“I need it, just this once. Please, for old time’s sake.” She hesitated and he added, “A parting gift. A perfect goodbye.”

Rummaging through her bag, she produced a lighter. The sounds seduced him; the scrape of the wheels turning, the click of the button pressed, and the subtle whoosh as the flame appeared. They stared at the dancing fire; their mouths parted in desire. A tightness formed in Eugene’s groin and his heart raced as a wave of calm passed through him.

Mary Clare let the flame die. “I have to go.”

Eugene noticed her hand shaking as she placed the lighter in her purse. “You’ll be back.”

She made her way to the door. “You should go back to the meetings. They’ll help.”

“Like they helped you?” Her eyes met his. “Why do you carry a lighter in your purse, Mar?”

She rushed from the room without answering his question.

Leaning back, Eugene thought of the flame dancing between them. And he longed to see it again. He knew Mary Clare would be back. Their fire had been rekindled; it would take more than a wedding and a few meetings to douse it.

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