In a jaundiced sky, bats and crows flew amok in uncertain directions at dusk. The sky was a dark canvas of jittery flight. A blaze over the tall gum trees was a telltale sign, suggesting the end of time. The fire grew. The denizens of the forest ran deeper around the bend. Human voices carried distress. Trees and houses and the animal habitat, all burnt to a cinder. The fire rose without reprieve. A permanent haze descended. Luminous sparks like ubiquitous fireflies bejewelled this feral frontier.
A boy braided in and out of charred trees looking for his dog.
“Sparky, Sparky, where are you, buddy?”
He called again through a thick haze. He heard a cry. The boy ran towards the whimper. It kept getting further away. In the meantime, the fire engulfed a quarter of the forest. The boy was tired by now. He stopped running. He found a well and sat down near it. It wasn’t thirst which made him rise. He heard that whimper again. Maybe, Sparky jumped into the well. The well water was murky. It appeared undrinkable, tasteless. He couldn’t see anything in it. But heard intermittent whimpers behind a tall poplar.
“Sparky, is that you?”
The boy followed the whimpers. Fire sparks crackled, as a branch of the poplar fell. He walked straight through the fire. He saw Sparky on the outer, a blue fluorescence in a blue forest. Sparky’s tail wagged when he saw the boy, a blue fluorescence. No more burns, no more thirsts; no more residues of a dead memory.
Mehreen Ahmed is an award-winning, internationally published and critically acclaimed – MBR author. She has written Novels, Novella, Short Stories, Creative Nonfiction, Flash Fiction, Academic, Prose Poetry, Memoirs, Essays and Journalistic Write-Ups. Her works have been podcast, anthologised and translated in German, Greek and Bengali. She has two masters’ degrees and a bachelor’s (Hon) in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Queensland and Dhaka University. She was born and raised in Bangladesh. At the moment, she lives in Australia.
photo credit –@pamoni