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Bridges Burned

July 21, 2011

Embers dance through the air like fireflies, before blinking out, and melting into the night sky. The smoke burned her eyes and throat, but she breathed it in deep, savoring the sting in her lungs.

It had been a long time coming and the deed was finally done. No regrets. No sorrow. Just the satisfaction of a job well done.

The river rushed past, gurgling at her feet, lapping up the splintered remains, and washing them down stream to litter someone else’s shore.

Come morning, this bank would be clean, wiped clear of any memory of the bridge that once stretched across these shores. Years of labor and upkeep undone with the spark of a single flame. She stared in wonder as the flames licked up the other side, crossed the expanse, and finally touched down beside her, leaving only a few smoldering planks behind.

Stones bit into her bare feet as the wind whispered across her skin, drying the tears from her smoke stung eyes. She gave one last nod to the other shore, a final acknowledgement for what once was, then turned and walked away.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2011 8:11 PM

    fascinating snippet! The description is really vivid. But why did she burn the bridge down?

    • July 21, 2011 8:18 PM

      Actually, you’ll see the flames end at her feet, which means they started on the other side. 🙂

  2. July 21, 2011 8:14 PM

    Oh why was she leaving – I want to know more! Great descriptive writing – write more do write more ^_^

  3. FARfetched permalink
    July 21, 2011 8:29 PM

    Great use of a classic metaphor. Puts to mind that old song…

  4. July 21, 2011 9:14 PM

    But where’s she going to go? What are you going to build for yourself after dismissing all of this?

    #intrepidface

  5. Ian O'Neill permalink
    July 21, 2011 9:38 PM

    Nice job.

  6. July 22, 2011 12:19 AM

    Haha like the others I want to know more. More! Nicely done :).

  7. July 22, 2011 1:26 AM

    Great story.
    Unlike some other comments I think this piece of writing stands well on its own and doesn’t necessarily need more. You paint such a clear picture of this person and this scene in my mind that it allows me to fill in the ‘what next’ or ‘why’ myself.
    It fits in great with the picture prompt on Indigo Spiders blog
    http://indigospider.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/sunday-picture-press-twisteroo/

  8. July 22, 2011 3:31 AM

    Ah but was it a bridge over troubled waters?

    Beautiful imagery, as always.

  9. July 22, 2011 4:10 AM

    Loved this! ‘litter someone else’s shore’ my fav line but it was tough to choose.

  10. July 22, 2011 5:39 AM

    Beautiful story. Leaves us all wondering why somebody would want to burn down a bridge.

  11. Deanna Schrayer permalink
    July 22, 2011 6:52 AM

    Even with the violent nature of the story itself, the imagery here is so soothing it sounds almost like a lullaby. And that is a story well done!

    Of course I too want to know – why?

  12. July 22, 2011 7:17 AM

    Great job, Danni. Once again you’ve told as much with what you didn’t say as with what you said. I’m always impressed with that.

  13. July 22, 2011 9:13 AM

    I kinda want you to announce this will be the beginning of a new novel… it hooked me in instantly, Danni:)

  14. Dana McEntee permalink
    July 22, 2011 9:56 AM

    Lovely Danni! 😀

  15. July 22, 2011 9:59 AM

    I agree with Anne, great start to something longer. Love the imagery!

  16. July 22, 2011 10:13 AM

    Thanks for the fic Dani. I did end up wondering if it was more a Floyddian Wall to be honest but its definitely a story to make you think.

  17. July 22, 2011 1:25 PM

    Excellent images. I agree with Helen, write more!

  18. July 23, 2011 5:35 PM

    I haven’t read a flash written by you in a while, but this imagery is as graphic as your other pieces and so much is said in such a short piece. Well written and visually stimulating. I can picture the remnants of the smoldering bridge. A fantastic piece Danni.

  19. July 23, 2011 8:26 PM

    Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. I’ve never actually taken a flash and expanded on it before. I see a scene or image or emotion in my head and this is what comes. Nothing before. Nothing after. I like to leave some of that up to the reader because I think it means more if you decide for yourself. Like Chuck said, there’s so much to find in what isn’t said and for each person it’s something different.

  20. July 28, 2011 12:00 AM

    Late again….loved the line about the smoke stinging her lungs-she deliberately gives herself pain to experience her actions. This shows (really SHOWS) that something important has happened on the other side of the water. Great read.

  21. adampb permalink
    July 29, 2011 6:10 AM

    This is such a remarkably “visual” piece, evoking the old adage in new ways. You can see the impact on her through the sensory descriptions. You also sense she takes something away from it without her being the one who started the fire.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  22. July 31, 2011 10:45 PM

    I want to know more about her, the fire and the bridge. The movement of the water and the fire was a nice contrast. Coolness-heat, calmness-emotional…alot of movement going on behind the scenes.

  23. August 8, 2011 5:28 AM

    Lovely piece, the intimacy and the air of mystery leave me intrigued, and with a clear mental film of this short tableau.

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