I wrote the flash fiction and commentary below, 10 days ago. The smoke cleared between then and now, but this morning it was back with eye and nose-burning vengeance. I sympathize with those on the other side of the mountains where the fires still burn.


Her nostrils flared and flamed with fiery rage. Eyes sizzling with acid tears. The skies a dusky orange, choked with smoke. And only the tiny red disc sun observed her searing the landscape, scorching all in her wake. Leaving the charred remains of her Eden. Burning.


Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and British Columbia are all on fire. The smoke was so intense in our yard here in North Bend that my husband woke me up at 4:00 yesterday morning alarmed, thinking there was a fire in our neighborhood. He had been outside and the temperature was over eighty degrees – unheard of in this place at night at this time of year.

We closed up the house and turned on the air conditioner. People scurried all day from home to car to workplace to car, trying to avoid breathing the air outside. In our so fresh mountains, the world had become a dry, brittle, acidic place. Our Eden was a scorching, choking place to run from.

Both photos in this post show mountains less than a mile away on days free of clouds. The haze is all smoke. The first photo’s in the morning and the second in the evening. It didn’t get any lighter all day. I tried to capture the red sun, but I couldn’t get the right setting and didn’t have a filter. It showed as white instead. The actual color of the sun was like a light red rose petal. It appeared as a flat disc and was so obscured you could look right at it.

Blessed rains are on the way tomorrow and forecasted to stay for a week. We will all breathe a cool sigh of relief.



About sherijkennedyriverside

Left brain, right brain, I can't decide. After many years of successful visual arts pursuits, I'm working on my other creative inclinations. For the past 8 years, writing has been my second full time job, and it's worth every sleepless night. Sheri J. Kennedy grew up mostly a city-girl coasthopping from Seattle to rural Pennsylvania, Miami and back to Seattle. She currently resides on the banks of the Snoqualmie River in the scenic Cascade Mountains. Her heart has found its home.
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5 Responses to Burning

  1. Clare Pooley says:

    My goodness! What a horrid time you are having! The news broadcasts have told us of the terrible fires but your description really brought home to me how toxic the air is! I hate it when a neighbour burns a few things in his garden; I can hardly imagine what it must be like to experience what you are going through. My God bring the rains quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. winneyb says:

    Back to raining! Those fires we’re scary!

    Liked by 1 person

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