Novel Excerpt: Great Fires

Aravis was remembering a scene of building a fire with her father in her younger days. The logs had all been dry and rough to the touch, and the pile had been taller than her.

‘Is this gonna be a great fire?’

Growing up hearing Spanish, Jinni, and later English all at once had made the languages bleed together. Apalachee, which she’d heard only rarely even in her early years, had been blotted out almost entirely. It caused experiences that she’d lived in one language to be relived in another, a distortion she wasn’t overly comfortable with because it made her wonder how many other details had been or would be distorted with time.

‘You cannot tell what type of fire you will have before it is set,” her father had said, “only after it has gone out. If it burned hot and consumed only what it was meant to, it was a good fire.’ He’d paused, examining her the way he examined a river when he was unsure of the best way to cross. ‘I worry that you will never know a truly great fire.’

She hadn’t given a verbal response, just mirrored his examination face with a smaller copy until he’d explained.

‘A great fire flares up and reminds you that you are one day going to die. It cannot do that for you.’

 

Excerpt from my manuscript History in a Hurricane.

8 thoughts on “Novel Excerpt: Great Fires

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  1. David, this is such a great excerpt. It’s gorgeous writing. The writing of a talented person but of an expert too. It bring upfront a lot to think about. Almost philosophical in nature.
    “A great fire flares up and reminds you that you are one day going to die”

    “she’d lived in one language to be relived in another, a distortion she wasn’t overly comfortable with because it made her wonder how many other details had been or would be distorted with time”

    Perfect. You are the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G, I hardly know what to say. You know how much I value your praise, and this is truly the highest praise anyone could ask for. I needed that right now. Thank you.

      Incidentally, I voted for you and your poem on Spillwords this morning. Wishing you all the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. David, you deserve every bit of praise. You are an exceptional writer. Do not give up.
        If I may: if in the story that you have, a story which is beautiful, intriguing, and enchanting you can introduce several passages like this one – a little philosophical bite here and there – and I know you can do it – I think the writing will be enhanced. Don’t take me the wrong way. Your writing is exceptional the way it is. This is just my humble opinion. I could be wrong but…

        Thank you so much for voting for me David. Please know that your help means the world to me.
        Have a lovely evening.
        G.

        Like

        1. G, I appreciate you taking the time to give this advice and am grateful for your help and feedback. I don’t think you are wrong at all. In fact, I think this is another thing I needed to hear and be mindful of as I revise. Those additional philosophical bites would give the work more meaning. I won’t let you down.

          You’re welcome for the vote. You deserve it as well.

          You have a lovely evening, too.
          David

          Liked by 1 person

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