The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
World on Fire
by A.F. Stewart
No one liked the painting.
Some critics called it derivative, a bad pastiche of Georgia O’Keefe. Some called it kitsch, and others too occult. Some even went as far as to label it blasphemous (possibly in a vain attempt to drum up controversy and a sale).
But no one understood the true meaning.
No one expected what was coming.
All they knew, all they felt, was that it disturbed them.
It began on New Year’s Eve, on the last day of the worst year the world had known in decades. The candle inside the painting flickered. Then it burned. Flames licked at the canvas, consumed the painting, then the gallery and the people inside. It spread along the block of shops, on to apartments, houses, government buildings. Country after country, continent after continent. Nothing doused the flames, nothing survived the fires.
Day after day, it kept growing. It kept burning.
Until the entire world was ash.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from A.F. Stewart:
Visions and Nightmares
Tragedy spares no one… and takes no prisoners.
In the twilight shadows, secrets are revealed past the whispers of madness.
Wander into the realm of the old gods with Elenora, where humanity and marriage are a prison.
Step through a looking glass of dark horrors with an Alice you never knew.
Join with Zenna to seek the truth as her death by magic grows closer.
Journey with Olivia as she crosses paths with a monster of the forest and runs for her life.
Watch Isobel summon the faerie to solve her problem of an unwanted husband.
Shiver as Doctor Killbride experiments with corpses to create life from death.
All that and more await within the pages.
Ten stories. Ten women.
Who will survive? Who will fall? And who will succumb to their inner evil?
Find out in Visions and Nightmares.
Warning: This book contains disturbing scenes that may be upsetting to some readers.
Bravo! A good example of how a very short flash doesn’t need explanation to carry a punch and make sense. Coming at a time like this, after so much bitterness and hate that you feel like it’s back to the 60’s, only with a Civil War glow to it and families split over politics as never before. The author need only mention “It began on New Year’s Eve, on the last day of the worst year the world had known in decades” –there’s your reason, and give us the Doomsday Painting!
Such a relatable piece with the feeling of a literal and figurative fire burning. The fire is a great metaphor for the different fears that assail us. Not a word wasted – as spare and beautiful as the image that inspired it.