Photo credit: Timitrius
Naqsa stared into the fire until her eyes dried, trying to spot it again. She’d seen things before: floating shapes, odd colors. She’d made the mistake of admitting it. Her father called her impressionable. Her brothers teased her mercilessly. Her mother pulled her aside, named it witch-sign, ordered her to stop seeing things.
Now her mother whispered, baby on her chest. “Put another log on, Naqsa.”
“I just did.”
Her brother scoffed. “Idiot! It’s obviously burned down.”
Naqsa added a log. There, something moved in the fire. She glanced at her mother, imagining what to say, what wouldn’t sound crazy. Nothing.
Later, she awoke to shouting and flames.
A small thing jumped from beam to beam, all the colors of fire, igniting whatever it touched. Nobody else noticed.
If her visions were truly witch-sign, Naqsa must at least try. She sought the shapes, instinctively tried combining them. They moved! Two joined, beginning to form… water, she hoped.
The thing stopped, red claws visible against the wood. Yellow eyes glared, ready to pounce. If she could join another shape, maybe…
Her father yanked her outside. “Stupid girl, daydreaming again.”
As the house collapsed, Naqsa’s vow solidified: keep seeing things, and learn.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by the wonderful Alastair Forbes. Thanks Al! And thanks to Dawn for the original photo prompt:
Photo © Dawn Miller