Once upon a time there was a fire in a fireplace, but the man, who was a man from the city and not the country said I want that fire to be big. So he fooled around and the fire went out. Don’t fool around, said the woman, but the man said I want a really big fire, so he added more logs. What do you think? The fire went out. Stop fooling around, said the woman, but the man said I have to fool around with fire — it is my destiny. The next night the woman smiled at the man, as he piled log after log on top of the flames that tried hard to burn bright. He was going to make a really big fire, because he needed to know he could. The woman closed her eyes and thought of the hottest things she could imagine –burned waffles on the sun, and nuclear hot dogs. And of course the fire caught this time. Look said the man, it’s really big now. The woman smiled at the man. They watched the flames crackle late into the night.
Published by Stephanie Barbé Hammer
Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a magical realist prose fiction writer, novelist, occasional essayist, and a committed, intermittent poet, as well as a passionate instructor of writing. A 7-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize she has published work in Hayden's Ferry, Pearl, CRATE, Rhapsoidia, NYCBigCityLit, the East Jasmine Review, Apeiron, Inlandia, Literary Alchemy and the Bellevue Literary Review among other places. She is the author the fabulist novel THE PUPPET TURNERS OF NARROW INTERIOR (Urban Farmhouse Press), a novelette, RESCUE PLAN (Bamboo Dart Press), a prose poem chapbook collection, SEX WITH BUILDINGS (dancing girl press), and a poetry collection, HOW FORMAL (Spout Hill Press). Stephanie's new novel PRETEND PLUMBER is available for order from your favorite bookstore, and her poetry chapbook CITY SLICKER appeared in July 2022. Stay tuned for her novella, JOURNEY TO MERVEILLEUX CITY, coming out in 2023! View all posts by Stephanie Barbé Hammer