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Fire Girl - Prologue

by Lia5Giba

The first time Ashley conjured fire, she was three years old.

She barely remembered the day, but she could recall enough. Tiny, slightly scrawny little Ashley was on the living room carpet, playing with those little stereotypical ABC blocks. Her then foster mother was in the kitchen nearby. Ashley couldn't see her, but she could hear her humming something above the sizzling of eggs on the stove.

Ashley hadn't felt any emotion, like anger, or sadness, or happiness. She had been completely calm, she remembered. She had simply stretched out her hands and clasped a wooden block between them, staring at it. And then she had thought (and Ashley remembered this very distinctly), How do I make something sizzle like an egg?

She had been concentrating so hard on that thought, pondering it and whirling it around in her head, that she didn't even notice the block getting smaller or the smoke rising into the air. In a few moments, the smoke alarm went off. Her mother, contently cooking in the kitchen, ran over to her foster daughter to check on her and gaped in horror.

Ashley didn't realize it then, but as she looked over the memory in her mind, she realized that her hands, her arms and probably the floor around her were all on fire. The alphabet block in her hand was just a stub of charcoal, crumbling away. Ashley could still hear her mother's scream: ear-shattering, utterly horrified. And Ashley had just smiled back at her, like everything was fine. Because Ashley, looking back, didn't mind the fire that much. Somehow, she had barely noticed it.

Her foster mother had put out the fire; that part of the whole affair hadn't been a big deal. But when her mother had carried Ashley to safety and examined her in the bathroom for burns, she found nothing. No burns, no scratches. Absolutely nothing that implicated that her child had been on fire not moments ago. And that, Ashley remembered, was when her foster mother had really gotten nervous.

Later that night, when her foster dad come home, her mother had shown Ashley to him and told him the entire story. He hadn't believed her story. When she begged him to believe her, to see that their daughter was "a demon child," he called the hospital. Not for Ashley, but for her mother.

That was the last time Ashley saw that foster mother again.

She wasn't exactly sure why she got kicked out of that home. Maybe she conjured fire again and that sent the father to the loony bin, too. Or maybe he just couldn't support her as a single parent. She couldn't remember.

Either way, she found herself back in an orphanage, waiting for the next young, unassuming couple to come and adopt her.

Over the years, she went through quite a few of them. A newly married couple wanting kids but not ready to go through with child labor would come to the children's home and see the cute little girl with curly ginger hair and beaming golden eyes, and they would just have to take her. And thus Ashley would go to a new home, a new neighborhood, a new environment--and then a few years later she would mess up, or spark a flame, or hurt someone, and she would be back exactly where she started.

It wasn't like she meant to. It wasn't like she asked to be able to create fire on a whim. In fact, Ashley hated herself for it. She would be in a nice home, live with loving parents, and maybe even have friends... and then her life, once beautiful and gleaming, would begin drowning in flames, one way or the other. And when her foster parents (if they were able to talk after what she did), who once looked at her with love, looked at her with fear, like she was possessed, a monster--

Ashley would gladly give up any special abilities if she could never see that look again.

Now, she was thirteen, once again locked up in a home for estranged, homeless children. Her orange hair was shoulder-length and wavy. Her eyes were as bright as the sun. And Ashley's constant mood was as dark as thunderclouds.

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52 Reviews

Points: 580
Reviews: 52

Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:21 pm
HGsomeone wrote a review...

A hoy hoy,

I like this, I like it a lot and it’s difficult to find anything outstandingly wrong with it because there isn’t anything. The most I can do is point out a word or two so here are some general comments;

1. This first thing isn’t really a big issue. All it is, is that by saying ‘foster dad’ it feels a little jarring (or at least to me) especially considering that you previously used ‘foster mother’ so the dad felt a little out of place and would probably work better with father. This is just a tiny problem though and you don’t even have to fix it.

2. With the very last line, the simile is great but I don’t think starting the sentence with “And” was the best word choice as this is a comparison of her sunny appearance contrasting with her sour mood. I suggest using either “but” or “yet” or something similar, OR if you wanted to be really daring you could leave the sentence as is and just cut out any word so that it begins simply with “Ashley”

3. This third comment is really more of a suggestion, just a little idea to spice it up. Currently each of the couples are faceless entities who at one or another took Ashley in before being thoroughly freaked out by her powers. They don’t exactly feel human and are more of at the moment a distant concept which you know exist but could be easily forgotten. The little idea I’m going to throw to you now is to perhaps, whilst she’s reminiscing, you could give some of the couples names. Do you kind of see what I’m saying?

I’ll give an example;

“Thinking back, there had been the Johnson’s, the Carter’s and the Roenfeldt’s with their funny little dog, Spike.”

That’s just and idea if you want it, but anyway; this story sounds interesting and so far you have a vary strong orientation which makes me wonder where this is going to go.

I hope you continue writing!

- HG

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38 Reviews

Points: 544
Reviews: 38

Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:42 pm
IamI wrote a review...

Hello. This is my review.

I promised that I l’d review your work and here we are. Let’s get on with things.

First, the negatives:

My largest issue with this are your descriptions later on in the piece. Starting with the most detrimental, we have ‘one-year-old married couple’ and ‘not wanting to go through child labor’; both of these are unintentionally quite amusing and prime examples of how bad wording can change your meaning the first of these two descriptions is saying that the married couple are both one year old. This can be fixed by rephrasing, something like ‘a couple married for one year’, this is a bit rough, but it still get the general idea across. The second of these descriptions isn’t really needed, but for the sake of it here’s my take on it: ‘who didn’t want to have children’. Moving on to the less important errors. The first of these is ‘stereotypical wooden alphabet blocks’ my main issue is the use of the word ‘stereotypical’ doesn’t really add anything and I would suggest that you simply remove it. Another is where you describe her thinking as the idea as ‘pondering and whirling around in her head’ the first part of this is fine, but I feel the second part, specifically the use of the word ‘whirling’ could be altered. Two more later descriptions I think could be fixed are ‘who looked at her in love’, which can be fixed by replacing the word ‘in’ with ‘with’, and ‘...Ashley’s constant mood was as dark as thunderclouds’ this one is really just cliche, so I’ll leave this lady one to you.

And now for the good.

For all my issues with your style, it is actually remarkably mature and your concept is also intriguing. Your execution was also technically very good, it does everything a prologue should. It introduces the world, the story, and the character, and makes me want to read more. I look forward to seeing more of this. Keep up the good work.

That was my review. Goodbye.

Lia5Giba says...

Thank you for your feedback! I really appreciate it. I'll definitely change some things in my story.

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20 Reviews

Points: 71
Reviews: 20

Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:14 pm
Draculus wrote a review...

Should you continue writing this story? Yes.
Why? Many reasons.
First, I already like it, because I like everything written so well and like when a story is read easily, without an effort, which matches your work perfectly.
Second, I like everything about interesting magic and magic in common, so you already got a loyal reader who'll be glad to say good and kind words after each chapter.
Third, magic in our world, described and told about with intelligence and talant, has many chances to become popular, and this is all about you, dear author.
So don't stop writing, just don't.

Sincerely yours,

Lia5Giba says...

Thank you for this, really! I'll start developing it more.

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43 Reviews

Points: 431
Reviews: 43

Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:50 pm
silverquill12 wrote a review...

Ok. Wow. That last bit was amazing. I love the visuals and contrast you create with those words, especially the "bright as the sun" to "dark as thunderclouds." I see some irony there too, because thunderclouds are kind of the opposite of fire. You put such a twist on superpowers with this prologue. This is giving me Incredibles vibes with Jack Jack, but that's a good thing. I think your dramatic shift when you go from saying "Her foster mother had put out the fire" to "That was the last time Ashley saw that foster mother again", creating this tone of sorts, where it enforces that her families kind of blur together, and that she's been through this whole process of being shunted from house to house. One thing I'm wondering is when exactly this takes place. However, this isn't really important, because it's only the prologue, of course. Also, when you say "One-year-old married couple" it makes it sound like the people in the couple are both one year of age. I'd suggest maybe changing it to newly married or just one year married. Overall, this is a stunning piece. I'm in awe of all the feeling and emotion you put into this. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Lia5Giba says...

Thank you so much, really! I am aglow with all of this praise! And thank you for your comments, I will definitely take them into account.

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173 Reviews

Points: 2925
Reviews: 173

Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:25 pm
JesseWrites says...

I think you should write more! The amount of detail was great. I'm glad you separated with a (. Many writers are sloppy with that. You did good.
~S.M. Locke~

Lia5Giba says...

Thank you, really! I don't really get what you mean by I separated with a ")". Could you explain that a bit?

JesseWrites says...

In the past, i had an encounter with a writer who didn't separate their thoughts. It was a horror to read. I have a respect for people who are neat.

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5 Reviews

Points: 155
Reviews: 5

Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:39 am
Cloudthing wrote a review...

I really like this! I thought it was really interesting.
The first paragraph was a bit weird because I thought Ash was a younger sibling or something from the way it was written. I'd change it a bit to make it clear that it's all about one girl. Also switching from Ash to Ashely later on confused me a little bit too. Maybe you can add a line about how she preffered to go by Ash now.
I really really liked the ending!! I'd love to see more of this story.

Lia5Giba says...

I will definitely take your suggestions into account. Thank you so much for this!

Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.
— Roy T. Bennett