Flames Started It, Flames Ended It

Written in response to: Start or end your story with a house going up in flames.... view prompt



My house was engulfed in flames, bright orange red flames that ended in black smock and then disappearing into the clear sky. I, Lucy Carter, on the other hand sat with my mom in the back of an ambulance covered in ashes. The firefighter arrived after more than half of my house had turned to ashes leaving me with zero hope that it could ever be restored to its original glory. Meanwhile my mother, the great Suzy Carter tried her best to show her shock and fell sadden about the whole incident.

“Looks like it was a gas

leak from one of the pipes, when was the last time you had the gas lines

checked?” one of the firefighters came to use to explain the situation.

“Last week, but the guy who

came looked super sketchy. He was looking here and there and asked so many

personal questions that I had to ask him to leave without a proper maintenance

check. I was going to call someone this week but…” tears left my mother’s eyes

as she tried to explain an event that never happened. I never understood how

she did it, lied to everyone’s face, made herself look like the victim and then

got away with everything.

I’m not saying she’s a bad

person apart from her recent arsenal (our house), insurance fraud (she will

soon commit) and some unrelated random incidents, she’s pretty normal. 

“Honey, I’m sending you to

your aunt. You can work for her this summer while I take care of insurance and

a place for us” my mother announced as the ambulance dropped us off at the

nearest (and cheapest as my mother insisted) hotel.

“Mama, I’m not going to

work at a camp, it’s not fun and the fire wasn’t my fault either” the last part

I said in a whisper while also rolling my eyes at her.

“I don’t care, I’ve set it

up and you’re leaving tomorrow. No questions, no arguments” she always gets the

last word, even though I’m the responsible one.

The next day as mama said I

was shipped out to black lake for my summer job as a councilor looking after

campers a year or two younger than me.

“Lucy, welcome to camp

black lake. Suzy told me you would be with me like a month ago. I didn’t

believe her but… You’ve grown up gorgeous…” Aunt Ry (short for Rylee) gave me

the tightest hug before continuing “Have your hair always been red and when did

you stop wearing glasses, forget it you’re prettier without them.” This went on

for hours before she explained to me my duties and gave me a camp to the camp

grounds. She handed me another few papers, one of which I think she didn’t

intend to because it said “Underground

short cuts” but it wasn’t going

to return it, it could come in handy.

My whole day went by

uneventfully, since today’s work didn’t include watching over the campers. But

after curfew that changed, some of the campers snuck out and I only know that

because I was out of bed myself, not for the same reason they were out smoking

and I was out finding internet signals. Was I going to stop them, no, was I

going to report them, never, was I going to walk away staring at them but not

saying anything to make them think I will tell someone, definitely. I’m forced

to be here, that doesn’t mean I have to follow rules. So that’s what I did, the

look on their faces was priceless.

Next week or so I followed

the routine but the thing is I never saw those campers again, it was strange so

I went to aunt Ry.

“Hey, just wanted to ask

about some campers, I saw them about a week or two ago and now I don’t see

them” I’m trying to explain also while not mentioning about them smoking but

aunt looks as clueless as always.

“I’m not sure but I think

some campers did go home”

“They can do that?”

“This camp isn’t forced.

They sign up and then they can leave whenever, they just have to sign the


Weird explanation but I

took it.

“And Lucy, it’s your turn

to walk the grounds after curfew today but be in bed after”

“Ok Aunt Ry”

The day goes by and night

comes and I’m out walking the grounds, it isn’t as creepy as it sounds. I start

from the first cabin since they’re all labeled. It's easy to find my way back,

I walk checking the doors of each cabin and windows and the sides. This I knew

would take me ages but a duty is a duty so I walked from cable to cable until I

came to the late cabin, cabin 55. Unlike other cabins this one was completely

empty since the door was open and I would have left it like that if it wasn’t

for the trapdoor. I had barely noticed it; it wasn’t open as much as left ajar.

Empty cabin, trapdoor, and

the middle of the night and then it hits me. One of the documents Aunt Ry

handed me said “Underground

shortcuts” so it was natural that

I would check it, it would be irresponsible of me if I didn’t. I pulled open

the trapdoor and surprisingly there was a ladder for me to take down into

darkness. I climbed down and headed the only way I could see after I turned on

my flashlight. Then began the journey that lasted longer than I thought because

I walked and walked and walked and walked, you get the point I walked plenty

before I stumbled upon a small cave like place. There were boxes upon boxes

stacked and as I got closer to the middle I heard voices.

“Have you loaded the boxes

on the truck?” The voice was familiar and more authoritative than usual.

“Yes, Ma’am” came the


I stepped forward, I’m an

idiot to do that, my feet moved on their own and seconds later I stood a few

feet away from the aunt I thought was the sweetest nicest human in the world

but turned out to be selling drugs.

“Lucy, how did you get

here” she didn’t look worried at all instead she seemed glad and unbothered.

“You sell drugs”

“No… no. Yes. It’s

complicated. I smuggle them and then send them all over the country. That

wasn’t complicated but that’s the short version of what I do.”


“It’s in our DNA, I smuggle

drugs, your mom commits fraud as you know, your dad was an embezzler, your

grandparents from our side are scammers, and somewhere along the lines your

great great great grandparents took part in genocide then became professional


“What?” my brain had

stopped functioning at this point.

“Don’t worry you’ll soon

realize what crime fascinates you and then you’ll be right on track but you can

also experiment with what you like, murder, fraud, kidnapping, blackmailing,

manslaughter and there are more.”

“Stop. I’m not like you or

mom, I… I don’t want to commit crimes even for fun and I won’t let you either”

my eyes got blurry with all the tears but I managed to run towards the way I


“You won’t make it far like

your father…” her voice echoed, “he decided he had had enough and wanted to

stop his criminal activities and take responsibility for his crime. What a


She stopped talking when

someone grabbed me by the legs and I tripped. I was brought back to her.

“Did you I had your father

killed in prison because he defied our family and I’ll do the same to you if

you defy this family now” she was smiling while she told me what really

happened to my father. Something inside of me snapped, the image of my normal

family broke. I ran towards my aunt to fight her for taking my dad away from me

but she dodged and I slammed into the table.

“Poor Lucy” she mocked me

and made faces at me.

I looked around to use

something, to do something and then my eyes landed on a lighter and a perfume.

It was the one that contained the most alcohol. I knew I wouldn’t be able to

hurt her but I could burn her drugs. I got up slowly grabbing both the perfume

and the lighter. I ran again, this time spraying perfume and igniting it with

the lighter. By the time they caught me again the boxes were on fire, her

employees ran for the escape but I remained in the fire.

“Lucy” I could hear her

echoes but the smoke had made me dizzy and I had passed out.

Sometime later when I

regained consciousness, aunt Ry was hugging me and wrapping me in a blanket.

“Lucy I knew you were like

us, you have the gene even if it took so long to show.”


“Arsenal, burning my

shipment was probably a bit too much but I forgive you since you found your

calling. Let’s get back. I need to call Suzy and tell her, she would be so


I didn’t know what she was

capable of after today, I knew if I defied her now she would flip again so I

went along until I could get out of this place safely. Going to mom wasn’t an

option either but I had to stay somewhat obedient until I could escape this



August 26, 2021 17:42

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


20:45 Sep 03, 2021

Very vivid. Well done! :)


Show 0 replies
Charli Britton
19:57 Sep 03, 2021

"Meanwhile my mother, the great Suzy Carter tried her best to show her shock and fell sadden about the whole incident." I am unsure what you mean in this sentence, I would suggest rewording it or fixing it. A tip for your dialogue to flow a bit more smooth is to read it out loud and see if it sounds natural. If it does then great! If it doesn't... it won't sound natural reading it either. I did like your story a lot though. I thought it was intriguing and had a great plot!


Aman Fatima
10:34 Sep 04, 2021

Thank you for the tip, I'll keep that in mind for the next story because I'm not sure if i can edit it right now. "Meanwhile my mother, the great Suzy Carter tried her best to show her shock and fell sadden about the whole incident." here i was trying to say that Suzy was acting like she was shocked and sad about her house burning down because she was the who cause the fire in the first place. Thank you for reading my story. :)


Charli Britton
12:18 Sep 04, 2021

Ok. Thank you for the clarification. and you are very welcome. :)


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply