Foraged from Ashes

“Here’s something. Remember the big wildfire that was in the news last year?” asked Jim rustling his newspaper.

“Yup,” said Gladys rolling the pastry dough.

“Well apparently this young couple spent their winter months felling and milling lifeless tree trunks from their barren woodlot.”

“What for? That charred looking grove will be filled with beautiful pink fireweed this summer.” Gladys placed the dough over the pie plate.

“They’re using all that lumber to make keepsakes and furniture for their friends and neighbours who lost more than they did.”

“My they got gumption. I like that!”

“I knew you would.”


I wrote this in response to Charli Mills’ February 8 2018 Flash Fiction Challenge. In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes fireweed.  You can use it as a plant, a flower, a metaphor or as the name of someone or something. Go where the prompt leads.

Last year, British Columbia (B.C.) Canada experienced a record-breaking wildfire season. The smoke from the interior, like a blanket of murky fog, spread beyond its borders and twice found its way to my little community here on Vancouver Island.  On one such day, I wrote a short story about a wildfire.  It was in response to a Charli Mills’ Flash Fiction challenge.  You can read it along with a summary of some of the 2017 B.C. wildfire stats here: Wildfire.

I invited Gladys and Jim back to tell the story of a fictional young couple who through their actions are a metaphor for fireweed – creating beauty from ashes.

Gladys and Jim have appeared in my stories before. You can read them here: Christmas Spirit, Snow Day, and Meddling.



6 thoughts on “Foraged from Ashes

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    1. Thank you for your insightful comment. I had initially worried that my scene was one of ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’. I now see it from a perspective I hadn’t thought of before. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a beautiful heartwarming story, Kate, even if it is fiction, I’m sure there are many true stories just like it. Gladys and Jim are such a lovely couple. They always look for the hope in the fireweed too. I remember their previous story but enjoyed reading it again. Thanks for linking back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Norah! I do prefer writing about things that bring hope and make people feel good. I’m glad my message came through in the story. Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

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