We are learning to make fire

The Write On Wednesday Rules: Get creative with the writing exercises – there isn’t a right or wrong. Please do try to visit the other members of Write On Wednesdays and leave a comment of support and constructive criticism. 


Write On Wednesdays Exercise 23  Write the words of Margaret Atwood at the top of your page “We are learning to make fire”. Set your timer to 5 minutes. Write the first words that come into your head after the prompt. Stop when the buzzer rings.



The boys looked up.  They couldn’t believe what they had just heard.  Did they really hear the words come out if the old man’s mouth.  Yes, he had said “We are learning to make fire.”  What did he mean?  The boys were excited.  They didn’t know what to do, what was going to happen.  They knew only that their mother was going to kill them and that the old man was promising them something exciting.  

Looking around the dark cave, watching for any glimpse of their mother, the oldest boy repeated the man.  “We are learning to make fire?” 

“Oh, yes.  It has been outlawed way too long.  Few remember the way, not many know how it is done.  I, I am one of the few.  I am old.  When I am gone, so too shall be the knowledge of man’s fire.”

“Mother says fire is a fairy tale.  She says man has never used fire.  She says it is dangerous.”  The younger brother responded to the old man.  He was very nervous, and very excited.

“It was outlawed right before I was born.  My father taught me, despite the law forbidding it.  I have no sons.  Now, I shall teach you.”

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10 thoughts on “We are learning to make fire

  1. Oh, this was an interesting take on fire – on fire being near extinction because it has been outlawed. Very interesting – I'd like to know more about a reality where fire has been outlawed and is passed on from old man to young boys in hidden caves!

  2. I loved your take on the prompt. You masterfully wove an entire world with its backstory in just a fw paragraphs. And the text jumps elegantly back and forth between the facts –the boys are learning to make fire– and the fiction they have been told (for instance, when the younger brother says "Mother says fire is a fairytale.").I second Sif! You could easily turn this into an absolutely great story./ Rain

  3. Very interesting piece! I also wrote on a similar theme, of the idea of fire being something not allowed. Love the line "Mother says fire is a fairytale.". You could make this a wonderful short story, I think! Thanks for sharing your writing with us!

  4. Kathy Martin says:

    This story Must continue! If your mother will kill u for it(heehee) but a loving patriarch type is willing to share it then i must see how they use this soon to be newfound knowledge…! will they hide it? or save the world somehow? Must know!

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