My new short story, Fireproof, is up at SHIFT magazine as part of its fifth edition. Check out the whole magazine! And if you like what you read, or prefer to read hard copy, please get this issue as a digital download (beautiful magazine layout) or sign up for an annual subscription (6 issues).


Fire photo Courtney Schoenemann

Jeez, look at that. There’s fires up ahead as far as you can see, some of them right beside the highway! I wonder if this is part of that combined mega-forest fire they’ve been fighting for a month now. Awesome.”

Rafe took his cap off as the four of us stopped our bicycle ride home to survey the flames running along the ridges ahead and to the right of us, on the far side of the highway our trail paralleled. He looked frightened and awed by the sight. There were dozens of fire trucks with flashing lights along the highway, and several helicopters hauling water from the river to the fire sites. Smoke blew across the highway and the bike and hiking trail beyond.

(Read the rest at SHIFT.)

(This is a work of fiction. The characters are invented, and build upon the characters in the stories Flywheel and Distracted. The painting is real, and awesome. And the fires were real. Fire photo by Courtney Schoenemann. Artwork “Burden of Guilt” is by Rogene Manas.)

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2 Responses to Fireproof

  1. Paul Heft says:

    Good story. Implicit in the ending is that a lot of awful things will happen–many of which we won’t experience directly, but we’ll notice at a distance. We must be learn to help each other through plenty of sorrow, and perhaps frustrated anger, year after year. Part of being resilient together will be accepting those feelings without letting them turn us toward guilt or despair. (Perhaps we can learn to grieve together, as a means of accepting the feelings.) The future won’t match the pretty pictures painted by our ideals, but as you say, there will be discovery, learning, love, and joy.

  2. Paul Heft says:

    I perused the rest of the 5th edition of SHIFT Magazine. Dave, I liked your story best, but I also appreciated “An Alternative Long Shot” by Theo Kitchener, another way to look at how people can collaborate with each other to navigate through a more difficult future:

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