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This was my entry for Cracked Flash Fiction Competition on 2 July 2016. The prompt was: ‘The insurance company warned us about you.’

Well, all I could see was smoke… There was a big veldfire a few kilometres away and we were engulfed in smoke. Yeah, my lungs are still burning.



Burned Smoke

By Ronel Janse van Vuuren


‘The insurance company warned us about you.’

‘And yet here we are,’ I answered, not sure what their eyes were searching for.

The smoke filled everything; hid everything; revealed only parts of the story.

‘What’s that smell?’ the brunette asked, scrunching her nose while peering through the smoke like she could actually find anything.

I smirked. They had been warned and still they came calling.

‘I’m not sure this was such a good idea,’ her blonde friend said, taking a step back.

‘Are you reneging?’ I asked softly, narrowing my eyes.

‘Of course not! It’s just…’

‘Just what?’

‘This wasn’t what we’d expected,’ the brunette said quickly, obviously afraid of what I might do next.

‘Breathe in the smoke. Once it clears, you’ll have what you asked for,’ I said before turning to leave.


I turned back and crossed my arms.

‘It smells burned.’



I cocked my brow, trying not to laugh at their confusion.

‘If it’s burned, how will it be the best birthday cake ever?’

‘It won’t. You asked for cookies.’

I cackled as the smoke cleared and the cookies baked and iced to look like feathers, snowflakes and butterflies were revealed.

‘But… But…’

‘No buts. Your party will be amazing. People will be talking about it for years.’ I laughed softly, mockingly. ‘At least you’ll be able to listen, if not join the conversation.’

I left the perfectly set-up event, the smell of icing and freshly baked cookies following me in tendrils of smoke. The dumbstruck girls will have a lot of cleaning to do, silently, once the party was done and the price was paid in full.


cookies montage plastic wrap

So? What do you think? I cannot bake cookies – something always goes wrong. But what if I could get a witch to help me? Mm, she’ll have a steep price for me to pay… Yeah, I’ll stick to buying freshly baked cookies from the bakery.

twisted tale tuesday image

“Have the determination of a mirror. It never loses its ability to reflect. Even if it is broken into thousands of pieces.” – Unknown

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