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I’ve been working on this piece for almost a week now and each time it tries to tell me something new. I even wrote it as Forest Inferno for Saturday’s Cracked Flash Fiction Competition – I like what the story told me, so if you want you can read that rendition and tell me your thoughts here in the comments.

Right: I’m still doing #FlashFicHive as I told you last week. For details, go here.

This week’s prompt:

“Write a story inspired by a GIF.”

The GIF I chose for story 1:

Of course the #KnysnaFire last week (and weekend) also inspired this story – check out the hashtag on Twitter for the horrific tale of a South African town and forest going up in flames.

I’ll share my second story with you in July.

Now for the flash fiction story as promised.


By Ronel Janse van Vuuren

The fire whooshed past them, consuming the valley and creeping up the mountainside. Flames surrounded them: there was no way out.

Meara watched with gritted teeth as Imps popped in and out of existence, taking animals, insects and saplings with them. Only the tree nymphs were stuck. As was she.

To read this story and others like it, get Tattered Tales now. https://www.books2read.com/u/4XK7jL

24 tales of Speculative Fiction (ranging from science-fiction to fantasy to magical realism) with a Dark Fantasy undertone running from outer space, strange advancements in technology to the subtle things that make characters tick in a supposedly normal world.

The final word count is only 361… It feels longer.

For day 10 I had to share my “battle” lines.

Maniacal laughter came from the shore. Goblins and Ly Ergs danced, celebrating their success: when the forest dies, their master will win. She worked on the chains binding her. With each struggle they tightened, shimmering in the light of the flames.

I thought it showed how only the MC can save the forest and how everything is going downhill…

Day 11 challenged me to share my best lines with another hashtag and then quote-retweet it to #FlashFicHive (I forgot to add in my retweet that it was for day 11… oh well). I met lots of writers with #SunWIP and so many different writers loved my lines!

The lines I shared:

With determination she did not know she possessed, she willed the ocean to flood the beach and the forest, to hunt down the flames.

I really like the imagery.

Maybe I’m a bit morbid, writing about the tragedy on the coast like it was some struggle between the Dark Court and other Fae… I do write Dark Fantasy, though, so maybe that was the expected result from my Twitter timeline.

You’re probably wondering about the title…

wanweird (noun) misfortune; an ill or unhappy fate or an unfortunate outcome. Scots etymology: ‘wan’ + ‘weird’ = fate, fortune, destiny

Got it from “The Word” – a fortnightly newsletter celebrating lexicology and language in all its intricate beauty, one word at a time.

And what did the GIF do for the story? I used the GIF to inspire the theme – the expression of triumph after a successful event.

Which, of course, is why I love writing: no matter how horrible things are, I can always write a happy ending (if I want one).

As for the MC’s powers: Meara is an Irish name meaning “sea”. I thought it an appropriate name for this Water Fae.

What do you think of this story? Do you follow trending Twitter hashtags?

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