Into the Closet

Photo copyrighted: Rochelle Wisoff Fields

Photo copyrighted: Rochelle Wisoff Fields

Peter please take the axe,  then go down to the cellar and fetch some firewood back. But mum Rawhide is on the TV. Can’t it wait. No, your father will be back soon, and it would be good to have the fire lit in the front room.

Down four flights of stairs, muttering went the boy, then into the Victorian panelled cellar, where the axe swings with gusto into the panelling. Multiple coloured stars explode around the boy, before darkness descended upon him. The fireman’s axe had cut through a wood panel and the electric supply to the fire station.


In this story the boy was locked in a cupboard for safe keeping until his father calmed down, for the fire station and its phone links were put out of action. That day the boys father was in charge of managing the county’s fire services.

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    Even with the footnote, I’m feeling a bit lost. Doesn’t sound like a great home life for the poor boy.



    1. Michael Humphris

      I can understand that Rochelle. My muse is taking me on some tangled routes at present. This story is somewhat historical and factual, however the boy did have a happy homelife. Sorry that the link to the closet is rather tenuous. The building in which the fire station is situated was built in the early Georgian period, this boy and his family live on the top floor. Fortunately for the boy the axe was heavily insulated, sometime prior to this period, firemen could die if their uninsulated axes cut into a mains electric supply.

  2. Iain Kelly

    I have to confess to being slightly unsure too, although it certainly sounds painful for him.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Hi Iain, sorry my writing is quite tangled at present. Although the axe was insulated, the boy received quite a shock. His mother put him in the cupboard whilst she calmed his father down. The story is set in the late 1950s

  3. neilmacdon

    Once I worked out that they must be living in the firestation it all made sense

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sorry Neil, I was to close to the story.

  4. pennygadd51

    This reads like a true story. That was one lucky lad!

    1. Michael Humphris

      You could be on to something there. Thank you for commenting Penny

  5. James

    If “Rawhide” was on TV, this must have happened a long time ago.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Definately some time back. Thank you James for commenting.

  6. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    I can see the truth, a strange happening… poor boy.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The margins of survival in life can be slim, the boy was alright.

  7. Sandra

    I see it now, I just hadn’t understood they lived at the fire station. Poor family.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Sandra, living above a fire station can be exciting.

  8. Liz Young

    It’s a bit convoluted. I hope the boy was eventually forgiven.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Liz, I agree this story did not work as well as intended. The boy was forgiven very quickly.

  9. Dale

    Reading the comments helped. Sad story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Dale, I will try and learn from this story, which did not read/work as I intended.

  10. yarnspinnerr

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

    1. Michael Humphris

      At time that is so true. Thank you Yarnspinnerr, I will try and learn from this story, which did not read/work as I intended.

  11. granonine

    Your explanations cleared this up for me–poor kid. Got more than he bargained for.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you granonine, I will try and learn from this story, which did not read/work as I intended.

  12. Sarah Ann

    This has such strong imagery and emotion in it. I hope the boy wasn’t too scarred by the stars and blackness

    1. Michael Humphris

      Briefly at the time I was, Thank you Sarah.

  13. subroto

    Lucky boy, could have taken a turn for the worst. Is this autobiographical Mike? Did you do this 😉

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Subroto, you caught me out, it could be exciting living above a fire station.

  14. Susie Clevenger (@wingsobutterfly)

    Poor boy…I bet it is something he never forgot.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That’s true, thank you Susie

  15. Dawn M. Miller

    I’m sorry Michael, this story is confusing. It could do with an edit or two, maybe.
    Some punctuation like quote marks, paragraph separation, etc.

    I appreciate the effort you take to let the story tell itself but, and no offense here, this feels like more of a free write than an exercise in flash fiction.

    Remember the guidelines: 100 words, a beginning, middle, and an end.
    I hope you will try again. I do believe you have a story here.

    1. Michael Humphris

      You are right Dawn. I do sometimes let my writing rip. It was a bad week in many ways. So responding to several prompts was one of my ways of coping with other difficulties.

      1. Dawn M. Miller

        Well writing does help, I think. I hope your week this one is better!

        1. Michael Humphris

          Thank you Dawn,

  16. patriciaruthsusan

    I also had a little difficulty figuring out the story at first, but the explanation helped. Good descriptions, Michael. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Suzanne, in part I was to close to the story. I sometimes need to give myself more time. It was good to get feedback

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