Okay! Well, I botched this one pretty badly considering yesterday I realized I was tagged by the wonderful Yomu back in MID-LATE OCTOBER to do this create-a-story tag. And since I realized this, I feel like I should at least create a story, because creating stories is enjoyable to me…and I feel bad about missing the tag. All the other stuff, like keeping the tag going isn’t really going happen because it’s been so long and really I just see this as an opportunity to write a short story! Sorry, y’all…
This was actually hard for me, too, because I feel like I could have gone at least 2,000 words, and I actually went over the 1,000 mark without realizing it. So I had to cut my story short…which sucks. I’m now at 1,000 words. It feels like I ended it prematurely, and that’s too bad… Oh well I guess. Also, since my idiot self can’t seem to get the list of words that could have been used into this post, if you want to do this I suggest checking out Yomu’s post…which I linked in the first paragraph.
These are the rules I actually used:
- You pick your first word, your setting, and your story genre from the list below. As individuals, your brand of creativity is unique to yours, so we want to highlight that by letting you choose from a bunch of words and creating something beautiful out of it.
- The short story will have a limit of 1000 words. You do not need to write a story with 1000 words exactly. It could be 300, or 500 as long as it doesn’t surpass a thousand.
So, with that out of the way, it’s time to pick my three words!
FIRE + SCHOOL + SLICE OF LIFE
Okay! Here we go!
Flames of Youth
The rain of the morning had finally stopped. Now, there were just looming dark clouds and slight winds. Aaron tightened the straps of his backpack and buckled the horizontal strap across his chest. He flipped the hood of his black coat over his head and tucked his chin as a gust of wind blew against his face. It was cold, the kind of bitter cold that comes right before the first snowfall of the season, and Aaron groaned. He turned right off the street and headed for the doors of his high school.
“Aaron! You’re going to be late again if you don’t hurry,” a short, dark-haired female in a purple jacket yelled from the entrance to the school.
Aaron waved his hand at her and jogged to the entrance. “Sorry. It’s windy and cold, Hannah,” Aaron replied.
“Well, we’ve called you six times and Jason sent you a few text messages. There’s no reason for you to be late this time,” Hannah said. “Let’s go! We got marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, but need to make it to the gazebo before it starts to rain.”
Aaron sighed and followed Hannah, taking his hood off and brushing his messy brown hair with his fingers. After a few minutes Aaron and Hannah were met by another student standing in the hallway.
“So he’s finally here,” Jason quipped. He pushed his glass back into place and pulled a stick of gum from his pocket. Then, Jason turned around and began walking through the halls. Soon they’d made it to the gazebo behind their school.
Once in the gazebo, Aaron and Jason helped each other light a fire in the pit at their feet. It wasn’t huge, though, being contained in a small square in the ground and surrounded by brick and a spark screen. After a few minutes of arranging the wood, getting the kindling set, and starting a flame, the fire burned steadily. Aaron replaced the spark screen.
Aaron, Jason, and Hannah were soon met by two more students carrying five small chairs—their friends, Kay and Nathan. Aaron spread his arms out while Kay and Nathan dropped the chairs on the cement and hugged them both.
“It’s good to see you again, Aaron,” Kay said. “How long has it been?”
“A year this time,” Aaron replied.
“And seven months before that,” Nathan added. “We need to see each other more often. You look taller, too.”
“I might have grown. Maybe,” Aaron said.
Aaron looked Nathan and Kay up and down. Nathan had the beginnings of a mustache and beard coming in, broad shoulders, and slicked back blond hair; Kay had royal blue hair pushed to one side of her face with a new tattoo on her neck. It was a scorpion. Aaron hissed.
“That must have hurt,” Aaron said, pointing to Kay’s tattoo.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Kay replied. “What did you bring?”
Aaron nodded and opened his backpack. “I’ve got a few thermoses filled with hot water and some Styrofoam cups, packets of chocolate powder, and mini marshmallows, too! We can have hot cocoa with our s’mores!”
Hannah yipped and pulled marshmallows and five skewers out of her backpack. She handed one to each of the others and placed a marshmallow on her own.
Rain began falling while Aaron and his friends set up their chairs, pulled the spark screen off, and roasted their marshmallows over the fire. The light pat on the roof of the gazebo was like playing the drums on a desk with two pencils.
“I’m surprised it’s still raining and not snowing,” Nathan said taking his marshmallow out of the fire and placing it on a graham cracker. He motioned for Kay to help, and she used a piece of chocolate and second graham cracker to hold the marshmallow in place. Nathan slid the skewer back and placed it near the fire. “Thank you,” Nathan said while biting into his s’more.
“Watch it!” Hannah yelled. “You’re going to spurt the marshmallow out the back end!”
Nathan panicked. He bit harder, flipped the s’more, and bit at the marshmallow coming out the other side.
Aaron laughed and pulled his marshmallow from the fire. “Who wants to help me?” he asked.
Jason slid his chair over to Aaron and placed the chocolate and graham crackers against the marshmallow. When Aaron thought there was enough pressure on both sides he pulled the skewer out slowly.
“No!” Aaron yelled.
Jason fumbled with the graham crackers, the chocolate slipped off the marshmallow, and Aaron’s s’more collapsed against the spark screen. Jason looked at Aaron, then the s’more, and back to Aaron.
“That’s bad luck,” Hannah said. “How about you just make yourself some hot cocoa?”
Nathan and Kay laughed. “It really is bad luck, Aaron,” Kay said. “I’ll roast one for you and you can take it off the skewer, okay?”
“Golden-brown, Kay,” Aaron said while pouring water into a cup and mixing the chocolate and mini marshmallows. “Not black. Golden-brown.”
Kay gave Aaron two thumbs up and roasted the marshmallow to a golden-brown color while Aaron made his hot cocoa. After stirring the chocolate packet and mini marshmallows into the water, Aaron grabbed the graham crackers and chocolate and pulled off a golden-brown marshmallow from the skewer. “Thank you very much!” Aaron said.
“Not a problem, Aaron,” Kay replied.
With all five friends eating s’mores and drinking hot cocoa, Aaron sighed and smiled. “You know, I’m surprised the school let us do this,” Aaron said.
“What do you mean?” Jason asked.
“I mean they’re letting us light a fire on school grounds? Isn’t this for special purposes?” Aaron asked.
“Who cares? We got to have some fun,” Kay said.
The group laughed. Kay was right, Aaron thought, they did get to have some fun because of it. Aaron looked into the fire and smiled. They’d have to do this again some time when they were all in town. What beats friendship and fire on a calm night?
This was a lot of fun! I’ve been wanting to do some other writing in my life outside of revising my novel (which can be a major pain in the ass), so finding out I was tagged in the create-a-story posts was super exciting! I’m happy I got to sort of mess around with a word count limit even though I hate them, and the entire experience was a lot of fun. I hope all who read this enjoy the story to some extent!
Thanks for reading!