Image of Short Story
Behind an old building was a girl, crouched in between the alley wall and a dirty, snow-covered dumpster. She was tucked away from the cruel chilling wind. The girl, still just a child, shivered tremendously in the cold and curled tighter. Her flimsy worn out clothes did nothing to protect against frostbite.

According to the news forecast she overheard from a radio the temperature was 23℃ outside. But it felt like 16℃. The day had gone by dreadfully slow. The hunger and pain in her stomach made her even more aware of the time trickling by. The girl, a child, could tell it was now evening by the lack of yellow light and by the creeping of dusk inching over the sky.

Night was coming but the girl had yet to find a proper shelter or any food. The dumpster she had been using as protection from the cold wind had already been ransacked by other homeless children, leaving nothing edible for her to salvage.

Now, hidden behind the snow-covered dumpster, she protected her weak body from the icy fingers of winter and perhaps even the clutches of death. The girl desperately wished for warmth. The warmth of a home, a family. She knew nothing but the cold and pain.

The girl hated the cold. She hated the pain and hunger that it brought. She despised the soft snow and the freezing temperatures. She wish that someone would come and change her miserable life. That someone would see past her rags and dirty face.

But no one ever did. So hate filled the girl’s heart.

The girl wanted warmth. She wanted heat, a lone flame. A scorching fire that would burn away the cold and replace her pain with passion. The light that nurtures life and growth. But the blistering heat that destroys just as well.

It would swallow her whole, and the dumpster and the alley. Leaving nothing but blistering heat and warmth. The girl wanted fire. She wanted to burn forever and never die.

So her soul granted her wish. It lit a spark which from it, birthed a mighty flame.

In utter awe and disbelief, the girl withdrew her hands from her clothes and from them came a flame. A bright flickering light sparked from her soul. The girl held her tiny fire close, trying to warm her body with this miracle.

The cold, that was slowly eating at her strength, faded away and was soon replaced with heat. It's everything the girl had ever wanted and more. An intense fire that would chase away the frost and snow.

The lone flame the girl cradled soon grew from encompassing her one finger to her whole right hand. Then her left hand was ablaze as well. At a quick pace the heat traveled up both of her arms onto her torso. And from there it went in two directions: the crown of her head and the tips of her toes.

Soon her entire body was swallowed by a fiery heat. She was a living flame. The girl stood up from her crouching position, her body aglow with bright orange light. The snow that covered the dumpster had began to melt.

A small insane smile slowly appeared on the girl's face as an idea formed in her mind.


She would burn this world and everything in it. Snow, ice and flesh would all melt away leaving only scorched earth for a living flame to walk on.

“Yes,” she whispered as giggles started to bubble up from her throat. “Everything shall burn! Everyone will feel the coldness of death! And I shall be the only one left alive! I shall burn forever! I will be immortal!”

Soon the girl’s giggling became full blown laughter. She laughed and laughed, her mind envisioning the destruction she would cause, her sounds bouncing off the alley walls. The fire crackled along with her mighty flames dancing around her body.

But her laughter slowly died out as the flames on her body grew hotter and hotter. Insane joy turned into horror as her skin started to blacken and burn.

The fire that was once her friend turned on her and began to viciously eat away at the girl’s flesh. She was nothing but fuel in its conquest for destruction. Her laughter became screams of pain.

Tears poured from the girl’s eyes as she was consumed by the inferno, feeding off of her flesh, hair and bones like a leech. She watched morbidly as her nails and fingertips withered away into ash. The girl gave one last painful scream before she fell to the ground, the fire still at work.

After a few minutes the fire died away leaving nothing but smoldering bone of what once was a girl, a child.

A girl whose wishes burned just a little too bright. Like a wooden match, the girl started the spark that led to her demise. Whether it is by the freezing cold or blistering heat we all will one day die. Just like her.

No one is immortal.

No one burns forever.

No one.

Not even poor little girls.