Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Brilliant Little Fire - A Tale Of the Town Of Renaissance (Pt 1)

A Brilliant Little Fire

Part One:  Joseph
Mayor Joseph Grey removed the last traces of office; the ceremonial hat and badge would be handed to his successor, and he would be free to pursue whatever new path he chose. Five years had gone by swiftly. The town which they had constructed was everything he had envisioned; neat, tidy homes, a clapboard school for the handful of children, even a universal church for those who felt the call of a Greater Power.

Yes, it had been a good run, but the time had come to put an end to it. At first, building the town had brought the Tragedy survivors together, giving them a sense of community and of purpose. Starting anew had allowed them to move beyond the horror of past lives, exorcise their own personal demons, and begin the process of forgetting. But lately, he'd seen the signs of rot setting in. People began to bicker over property lines and water rights. Those who were gifted with their hands dressed up their homes, inciting jealousy in their neighbors. Last week there had been a vulgar spat between two women over a pew in the church – when the sanctuary was half empty! He shook his head in disgust.

A dog-eared photograph hung on the wall by his front door; a woman, with the wide glowing smile of a child. He remembered the long nights in the old world as he waited for death or the dawn, whichever arrived first. The fevered sparkle in her eyes and the feel of her hand in his as she slipped away forever. Taking the photo down, he hesitated between the pile of items he'd chosen to keep and those consigned to destruction. I will remember you, but your things must go; if we cling too long, then the dead become more real than the living and Renaissance becomes a ghost town. He dropped it on the discard pile.

The notices would be nailed to each and every door at six o'clock the next morning; every resident would have one hour to collect whatever they could carry and move on, if they chose.

At seven o'clock, Mayor Joseph Grey would light the fire which would burn Renaissance to the ground.

Prompt: A sense of impending doom.
Word count without title: 366
Character # 1 - Mayor Joseph Grey

Click HERE  for Part 2


  1. oh man... that's some heavy stuff there! I am hooked. This is going to be an awesome blogfest!

  2. Corinne..I could not agree more.

    Still love that last line, Li. I can't wait for the next installment of yours.

  3. Now that's a gr8 starter...
    Just light the match

  4. I'd like to know why. Impending doom for certain. Is the fire going to happen or not, if not what will happen then.


  5. Outstanding post.... Love it! It's 4:30am but i was on to reading it twice. Nice one...


  6. Sturdily constructed, and that final line is a doozy! Nice work!

    This is gonna be one heck of a blogfest! :D

  7. Well, that will have them rolling in the aisles.

    That's a lot to digest in a such a succinct section. Wow. (And now I have "Light My Fire" playing in my head, along with "Ring of Fire")

  8. Hehehe now you have me hooked, wondering why the mayor wants to burn the town. :-)

  9. Awesome story and even awesomer cliffhanger. Looking forward to part 2!

  10. Excellent writing. Got me hooked and wondering about what's going to happen.

  11. This is really good and look forward to the next one.

  12. Impending doom indeed. Great job, Li! I finally put mine up...*whew*

  13. "We don't need no water let the mother***** burn!" :).

    Excellent story and I love the cliffhanger. Can't wait for part 2. I'll bring the marshmallows.

  14. Burn, baby burn! Thanks Lisa ...

  15. Ah, the new mayor wants to burn down the town? Usually the loser does that!

    One of my adversaries in my tale is the mayor as well. But obviously my tale springs from another year, another dimension of the mult-faceted Renaissance.

    Great sense of impending doom? You nailed it, Roland

  16. What a great way to wrap the action. Looking forward to next week!

  17. Awesome opening, to be sure. But also loved the way you handled the brief descriptions of the town. The reader gets a picture without slowing the pace. Well done.

  18. Oh, that's what I call a cliffhanger and excellent use of the prompt! I can't wait to read the next part.

  19. Oh, that's what I call a cliffhanger and excellent use of the prompt! I can't wait to read the next part.

  20. The bit about the dead and memory is very, very powerful. I love this beginning/ending in one piece. Well crafted!

  21. Well that's not what I expected. Great hook!

  22. Holy smokes! Talk about impending doom! The old Mayor's lost it. Loved it. I seriously wonder how this is going to pan out in your next entry. Will he be stopped? Wait and see. Again, love it! :)

  23. @Corinne and Stu - thank you! It IS going to be an awesome blogfest!

    @ladyknight- wait for it....

    @gerhi - ah, I can't give anything away...

    @thelit shack - thank you!

    @JJ - 4:30AM, so you're an early riser like me:) heavy stuff for early morning..

    @Jon Paul - this is going to be a lot of fun, so many great stories :-) Glad you liked the last line.

    @Joshua - now I've got Ring Of Fire in my head too :s

    @Misha - the mystery deepens...

    @Richard-thank you, glad you stopped by

    @Reka - thank you

    @Damyanti - I'll bet it's a load off of your mind :-) Hope you're feeling better. Nice job gettin' it done! Haven't nearly caught up with reading all entries, but I'll be around :-)

    @Rick - and bring hotdogs too, please :-)

    @info - you'll bring marshmallows too, yeah?

    @Roland - thank you! there's at least 1 other entry featuring the mayor - he's a popular figure apparently :-)

    @Kurt - glad you liked it, thank you!

    @TD - thank you! It felt strange to come in under the word count, but I really couldn't see adding anything else :-)

    @Treelight - The way the blogfest is set up, it's perfect for cliffhangers, just like the old western serials.

    @Jodi - It's a bit of personal philosophy. thank you :-)

    @Barbara - Surprise! Not what I expected either, to be honest.

    @David - I'm not sure how it's going to pan out either, really. So many ways to go...

  24. That last line is absolutely killer. I loved it.

  25. Ohh-ho! He's just going to burn it down. Your injection of his thoughts over how the town's inhabitants were slowly changing was a nice addition. Property disputes, water rights, favorite pews...Ugh. It's so suburban...Maybe he should burn it down...lol. ~ Nadja

  26. This is sad. Adding the picture to the leave pile was a nice touch. The emotion in this piece is heartbreaking, and captivating.


  27. Excellent! exciting, and I even wanted to vote for "funny" along with interesting because I laughed about the women fighting over the pew.

  28. Wow, talk about impending doom! I also love his thoughts about clinging to the dead too long and they become more real than the living. I'm gripped!

  29. @Jana - thank you. hope it keeps you coming back for more :-)

    @Nadja - unfrtunately, the old women fighting over a pew actually occurred. :-((

    @Donna - and I'm still struggling over whether the story will remain "dark".

    @Colleen - it si funy in a way - although sad as well

    @JC - thanks :-)) I suppose I could go the zombie route with this...

  30. O.O The story ended up going in a completely different direction than I thought it would when I first started reading it. Loved the intrigue of the last line. I'm hooked!

  31. Igual lo meten en la carcel por querer quemar la ciudad.
    feliz semana.

  32. Intriguing! And I love the last line.

  33. Your mayor is not feint of heart. . . and you left readers at cliff's edge.
    Intrigued, though I repeat previous sentiment. Strong, filled with anticipation of what is to come.
    Bring it on . . .
    Great start, great hook, great imagery.

  34. There are a lot of the 10 Commandments being disobeyed there...I love how you've packed so much into such a low word count...I'm impressed.
    I'll be back!

  35. OMG, you're going to burn Renaissance? *My characters are still in there!!* :-D

    Really nicely written. I loved the moment where he stares at the photo, and tells the one he's lost that he'll always remember her, and throws the photo onto the pile to burn.

  36. Funny to think the trouble about the Renaissance would be other people. You took the name of a great period and inverted its virtues. Clever, Lisa.

  37. Ooh, now there's a sense of danger! Can't wait to see what happens.

  38. Wow. I did not see that coming. I love the way you did this, there are so many directions the story can go in from here. Very good.

  39. That kicked as a Tuesday Serial debut! How could anyone not turn up next week to see how this series pans out?

  40. I loved the way you described the woman in the photograph. This actually gave me a really great story idea. Can't wait to see where you are going with this.

  41. wow. Cliffhanger! As I read I couldn't tell if Joseph was just leaving office to pursue his own interests, or if the whole town "had to end." You kept it ambiguous til the last line, and now I'm hooked!

  42. Great last line... It really sucks you in and leaves you SCREAMING for more. Well done Li.

    Sorry it took me so long to get here... Off to read part 2.

  43. Wow!
    It kind of sucks that I only got round to reading you awesome entry so late... but then again I can read all three parts in one go!
    Great cliffhanger... hopping off to part 2.
    *thumbs up*

  44. Hi Li, sorry I'm late in commenting. You certainly have depicted a sense of impending doom well and your descriptive language is spot on, as usual.
    I wish I'd been in the right frame of mind to take part. Maybe next time ;O)

  45. Just clicked onto your blog from the Third Sunday Blog Carnival….

    Follow mine at http://thewrongplaceatthewrongtime.blogspot.com/

    I also have a post on the Third Sunday Blog Carnival……


    Dave Perlmutter