Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

#FridayFictioneers – 6/7/18 – We Must Remember

with 31 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

Thank you to Rochelle and J Hardy Carroll for this week’s photo.

I’m not sure my story works – please let me know.


© J Hardy Carroll


We Must Remember

(Genre: speculative fiction; 100-words)

It stands as a memorial. The site of the last spontaneous combustion.

As the sun spots grew and the flares flew closer to earth, the instant ignitions became numerous and scary. No one knew who or when or why. Lovers were burned, children orphaned, families lost. The world’s population pulled together, unable to find anything or anyone to blame.

And then it all stopped. Days, weeks, a year went by and no one smouldered. People started to breathe, fall out, and fight again.

The last scorch mark stands protected as evidence that everyone can get on. When they want to.




31 Responses

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  1. Great story. I’d been working on a ‘spontaneous combustion’ story for weeks now. 😦


    July 6, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    • Thank you. I’m looking forward to your spontaneous combustion story when it appears. I think this one stemmed from the thought ‘what’s left behind.’

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm

  2. As prophesied in the book of Revelations?
    Nice one.


    July 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    • Not a book I’ve read, I have to admit. But we all have shared memories and thoughts wired in our DNA.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm

  3. I like the idea, but it needs characters to carry it. And with an idea that big you probably needed more than 100 words. Flash fiction tends to lend itself to (a) one or at most two characters; (b) a sngle incident; (c) a simple change. You can, of course, break all these rules, but it’s hard to do it successfully


    July 6, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    • Thank you for the critique. It’s really useful. I am now thinking how to re-write incorporating a character, so maybe changing the POV? I’ll re-post when I’ve taken this on board and done something with it.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:06 pm

  4. yes, it could happen. we just don’t know when or where.


    July 6, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    • No, and the fear of not knowing should keep us all behaving well…. or maybe not.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:10 pm

  5. The end of the human race – but not quite!

    Liz Young

    July 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    • No, not all gone. And we still have the same mix of goodies and baddies, so nothing much changed apart from a few deletions.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

  6. I think it worked, although as Neil says, perhaps 100 words is too constricting for this idea. Nothing wrong with being ambitious though. Would love to know why it stopped as suddenly as it started.

    Iain Kelly

    July 6, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    • I suspect this might have been a bit ambiguous for 100 words. I have no idea why it stopped, unless it was all to do with the flares and critical body temperatures. You see, you’ve got me thinking already.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:12 pm

  7. Love this story – the mystery of spontaneous combustion has always enthralled me. You weaved a nice little story around it.

    Eric Alagan

    July 7, 2018 at 3:30 am

    • Thank you. Spontaneous combustion is such a weird and wonderful thing, the reasons why and wherefore.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:13 pm

  8. I enjoyed it and yes, we are left with questions, but that’s not a bad thing!


    July 7, 2018 at 5:51 am

    • Questions are always good – I think I have even more since reading everyone’s comments. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      • Funny how that happens… and I like it when it does!


        July 9, 2018 at 2:40 pm

  9. It’s true we just need a common cause to do great things and sad when we forget the commonality so quickly when it’s not vital anymore


    July 7, 2018 at 10:40 am

    • It certainly is sad when we forget the things that hold us together, which happens all too often.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:14 pm

  10. Ingenious take.


    July 7, 2018 at 4:24 pm

  11. Love the idea! In fact, me being me the image in my mind was quite funny (in a tragic way, of course) 🙂
    Great message behind it, though.


    July 8, 2018 at 7:20 am

    • Funny images are good. I think that abandoned leg must have created a few, before the potential implications took over and quite a few Fictioneers got serious this week.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:16 pm

  12. When you say, “everyone can get on” do you mean they can get along? That’s how I interpreted it.
    It’s amazing how quickly people can go back to fighting once the common cause isn’t there to hold them together.

    Russell Gayer

    July 8, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    • Yep, get along for get on. As a race we do seem to take an age to come together, and all to quickly fall out again.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:17 pm

  13. Dear Sarah Ann,

    Oh my. You’d think after the spontaneous combustion episodes they’d be done with fighting among themselves. Your story works on many levels. Good one.




    July 8, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    • Thank you. You would have thought scary, unexpected and unpredictable deaths would have stopped people fighting amongst themselves. It’s a pity the spontaneous combustion wasn’t more selective in weeding out the less than desirous of the population.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm

  14. The fact they are back to fighting with one another is realistic. I sense another shared disaster looming.


    July 8, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    • It seems we too easily forget the good times and embrace the bad ones. I’d love to know what further disasters you sense coming.

      Sarah Ann

      July 9, 2018 at 2:21 pm

  15. Ooh, so much potential in this one. I wonder how they figured out how to stop this.Would make great drama–or comedy. And to leave a lonely leg as memorial… 😀


    July 9, 2018 at 9:06 pm

  16. Lol sounds so Avengers-like
    Loved it but scary as heck!

    Laurie Bell

    July 12, 2018 at 12:28 am

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