A Childhood in Flames – FFfAW53

Below is a piece inspired by the prompt at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The key elements were the photo below and a word range of 100-15o (+-25).

**As a side note, I wasn’t going to participate this week because my work week got the best of me. However, I stumbled across an article written by British historian Philip Beck about the burning of Saint Malo, France, the city in the photo (looks like it anyway–if not, I’m just going to pretend it is!). I couldn’t get it out of my head, so this little piece is my homage to the burning of that city  in 1944. Please forgive the fact that my French narrator is speaking in English; my French is pretty miserable!

photo-20160215084213932

Photo courtesy of TJ Paris

A Childhood in Flames – 126 words

I was ten in 1944, the year ash rained down over the walled city of Saint Malo.

It was the first summer I didn’t spend down at the beach, poking at urchins in the tide pools and chasing my friends with ropes of seaweed tangled in my hair. I thought myself too grown up to race down the cobblestone path, trying to prevent my shoes from getting soaked as the tide returned, cutting our little island off from the French mainland.

Instead, I spent my days in Father’s library, blushing my way through Baudelaire’s poetry and flirting through the tall windows with the German soldiers marching through the streets below.

When the Americans shelled the city that August, I understood what a child I really was.

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