Up in Flames by Mary Redman In a rusted barrel behind a frumpish house, raged a growing pyre fed with scraps from a cardboard box. Its tender was no white-garbed virgin stirring ritual flames, but a young wife in a cotton housedress. Brown hair fastened at the base of her neck escaped and lashed her face with strands while she worked against the wind, her mouth a grim line. There was time— the babies napped, and the older children were off to play. Impassively she incinerated pages— was nearly finished, had heaped a final load into the backyard drum. Then, caught off-guard by smoke- reddened eyes and heat that pinked her cheeks, she watched a gust lift one lit page, sail it aloft, and set the field ablaze. When the firetrucks and her neighbors arrived, she said nothing of her blunder. An empty box lay in stubbly grass, while embers of dreams she’d released floated like fireflies through the white oaks hung
Flying Island is the Online Literary Journal of the Indiana Writers Center, accepting submissions from Midwest residents and those with significant ties to the Midwest.