I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head. And how. What a fire. It wasn’t the first time I’d gone out somewhere because of a fire in my head. In the Old Days, I was constantly walking out somewhere or other to put out some fire or other that was burning in my head. One of my favourite places was the beach. Those waves put out the fire pretty quickly, if you walk straight into them: a bit like lava when it flows into the sea. Cooling to basalt with a fiery sizzle. But we don’t live near the sea any more, we live near the hazel wood. I’m not sure it will have the same cooling effect on my hot head, so I’ve brought some matches just in case I decide to make the fire burn brighter.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for dVerse
Tonight, Kim is hosting prosery and has asked us to include the lines “I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head” from Yeats’ The Song of Wandering Aengus. I couldn’t think of any way to make this not sound like a line from a poem, so I decided to use it as the opening to my flash fiction (which must be no more than 144 words, according to the rules of prosery).
The photo is of Kilauea volcano flowing into the sea from the Big Island of Hawaii. I’m lucky enough to have seen this sight for myself once, though I took this image from Pixabay (I don’t have digital copies of my Hawaii photos.)
I resonate with this. So many ways to put out the fire in your head, but there’s already so many fires. 😁
Yes, too many 😅
Love this! I resonate strongly with; “One of my favourite places was the beach. Those waves put out the fire pretty quickly, if you walk straight into them.” 💝💝 I find that one is most in sync with the heart and its inner-workings while near the ocean.
Thank you Sanaa! I too love the calming effect of the sea, but I’m not about to set fire to any trees 😅
Of course not! 😀
Oh dear….is this an arsonist at heart? Has she taken out those matches in other places that didn’t cool her off enough? I want to know more!
We did a lava walk many many years ago on the Big Island….stayed in a beautiful home in an area that is now completely covered by miles deep lava from Kilauea. We started the lava walk in the afternoon….could see the steam rising far off where the lava was cascading ever so slowly (at the time) into the ocean. Our walk back to the starting point was at night, with flashlights, and we could see the red dotting the landscape behind us and to the side of us, where Kilauea was slowly slowly slowly oozing out of cracks and fissures. We actually have our photo beside a red small pond of lava bubbling….I can’t believe that we did that now. It was a guided tour….quite amazing. Would NEVER do anything like that now!
This sounds thrilling! Did you stay in Kalapana? We flew over it in a helicopter and all that was left was a B&B called ‘Lava Jack’s’ and I believe that has been swallowed by the lava now as well…
This reminds me of David Bowie singing the song of Cat People— putting out fire with gasoline… once you have a fire in your head, maybe only more fire helps.
I saw David Bowie live in 1983, and that was one of the songs he sang.
That must have been a marvelous experience: a true legend!
Saw Bowie twice. Once on his Ziggy Stardust tour, and once on his Diamond Dogs tour. Two wonderful ecperiences.
I am officially jealous!
The MC appeared passionate and driven at first, but as the story wove on, they took on a sinister aspect. I wonder how many times she’s made the fire burn brighter? A lot is known about arsonists, but there’s much more that isn’t known. Excellent story, Ingrid.
Thank you Lisa 🔥
I can feel her pain, but I gasped at the end. I think with all the fires in California, and some we had in the Pine Barrens in NJ, it scares me to think of anyone starting a fire in the woods.
It would not be an action I would approve of, no matter how big the fire in the head!
A wonderful comparison. Pele must have had a raging fire in her head! You must have been to California last summer! Someone there carried matches also.
It was not me 😬
Oh, that is a relief! :>)
Adored your wondrous story, and I am a fan of Yeats, especially this poem ’The Song of Wandering Aengus’. , and the ‘Waterboys’ created a great song from the poem
Prosery is a pretty word, as is your piece, Ingrid! I love the heat of the opening lines against the soulful, cooling aura of the ocean.
Thank you Jaya 🌊
I think the prompt lines work really well as an opening, Ingrid, especially the words ‘a fire was in my head’ and, in your piece, they led to an effective monologue, a dive into a character’s subconscious. I love the simile ‘a bit like lava when it flows into the sea. Cooling to basalt with a fiery sizzle.’
Thank you Kim: observations of a slightly disturbed mind!
The put the words in the mouth of someone slightly unhinged is one of the few ways this line works. It does here.
Thank you Jane: this was where the words led me.
Yikes! This is something like a Stephen King scenario!
A little! Thank you Dora.
Like Stephen King’s FIRESTARTER, this tale dives deep into a fevered and disturbed psyche. It does work very effectively with the prompt line as well.
Thank you Glenn. I’ve never read it but I would like to now 🔥
Hope she dosn’t set the forest on fire. Shudder shudder
So do I! Thank you Gillena.
Oh yeah; prompt as opening line works very, very well, Ingrid. Enjoyed the read. Thanks/\.
Thanks Ron, pleased you enjoyed 🙏
Deftly done, Ingrid.
(Is it that comma after wood makes it tricksy?)
Blasted punctuation! Thanks Nick.
I agree with Jane. The boundaries are fragile here, and visceral at the same time. (K)
Thank you Kerfe – definitely a character on the edge of something.
thank you ingrad for reminding me of the beach. not seen the see in two summers you took me there and brougt a fire along to keep me warm.
Well I’m glad you enjoyed it, thank you.
I do hope she gave the matches a second thought!! Born in the midwest, I identify with putting out fires in the forest rather than on the beach. NEVER with matches, however!!!
No, that would be a very bad idea!
I heard Hendrix whispering. “Let me stand next to your fire”? What the hell that was doing in my head, I don’t know. But I do know, castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually. This had my mind spinning a bit Ingrid — sort of intoxicating, like a fire in the head! I saw towering beach piers, being washed away in tsunamis — I liked this splas and sizzle.
I like the Hendrix soundtrack: maybe it could be a movie 🔥
greatly composed Ingrid.. not sure I want to visit the Hazel Woods though. 🤣
Neither do I 😳 thanks Cindy!
lol… of course! ❤️
Ingrid, I enjoyed your story. The ending made me chuckle. When I was in sixth grade, I carried a humongous purse to school that weighed about 10 pounds. As a former Brownie Scout, I believed in being prepared! I shudder to think what a teacher today would do if they found a pocket knife and matches in a student’s possession. 🙂 It never occurred to me that you personally might set fire to the hazel wood, just as it never occurred to me that carrying a knife and matches to school. could have gotten me into trouble.
Have a great day!
Oh my goodness that is funny! Pleased you didn’t get into trouble for being over prepared 😊
This left me smiling broadly. I really enjoyed it –
I felt there was some humor in it 🙂
I believe there might have been 😉 thanks David!
I used to live by the ocean. Now desert. I built myself a fire pit so I could burn safely.
Very sensible! 😊
I love where you took this prompt. Very creative. Goodbstory & good writing!
Thank you 😊
I thoroughly enjoyed this, Ingrid. Having lived near the Atlantic, living now near the Cascades … I can say I love them equally for totally different reasons. I’ve also extinguished many a ‘head’ fire walking on the beach …. and on the mountain path. Brava.
Thank you Helen 🙏
This is very well done. I love the use of metaphor for fire combined with the subsequent scientific facts about geology (lava + water = basalt). This type of application of how I learn things. I bet I am not alone.
Thank you for your kind observations 🙏