We are so delighted to have Maryam Al Hammadi back with us with a brand new piece, we hope you all enjoy this heartbreaking piece titled “A Fire”
The house was on fire.
“Stop,” the mother whispered, dreads plastered to her forehead. The perpetrator of the fire, a ghostly spectre the colour of dried blood, simply dissolved into plasma, waves of light fanning over her house until the fire grew.
“Stop,” the mother said again, holding her sobbing baby closer.
A wooden beam fell, glittering and burning.
“Stop!” She yelled. “Please, all my possessions -”
The tendrils of conflagration almost touched the stars. Slowly, each fiery string formed a letter, bright against the dark of the night. The mother let out a gasp.
The letters spelled: “give me something else.”
She shuddered. Her baby’s sobs grew louder and louder. “I – I will give you whatever. Just stop the fire.”
The spectre stopped fanning out the fire, and it disappeared. Her house looked untouched, she thought, as her baby stopped sobbing. She breathed out a sigh of relief.
The spectre, this time an eerie purple, flew until it was a blot in the sky. She kissed her baby’s cheek.
It was cold.
She reached out to fingers to touch her child’s neck. No pulse.
Dread ran its hairy, spidery legs down her spine.
The spectre had taken her baby.
It was the mother sobbing now, clutching her lifeless newborn.
Author: Maryam Al Hammadi