Brushfire Madness

Her fingertips crackle with spent fury. Her tears sizzle and steam when she swipes her eyes.

It was not her intention to kill, only to destroy. One thatched cottage, not two dozen. But bitter ash-rain devastated the homesteads; those who survived the burning horizon would starve come winter.

“You’re stronger than you know. I told you that,” he says. “But I also told you, you lack focus.”

Fresh rage sparkles over her skin. “I won’t make any more mistakes.”

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodFor Friday, a short challenge. Below are three fairly generic passive phrases. Your goal is to make them active in a short scene, either fiction or non-fiction. You can choose one, two, or all three to play with, but you only have 100 words.

  1. [he/she/I] was devastated by […]
  2. [feeling] was experienced by […]
  3. [person/thing] was possessed by […]



  1. Pingback: Red Writing Hood Link-Up: Active Voice | Write On Edge

  2. I’m not sure of the use “swiping” in this instance, but other than that I think this was positively brilliant! Well done!

  3. This does rage well. I can feel it myself. Static electricity…

  4. I love the line that says, “It was not her intention to kill, only to destroy.” I think it speaks volumes. The active voice really makes this a strong piece and I am very much intrigued!

  5. wow, good use of the active voice!

  6. I love the bit about her lacking focus…two dozen instead of one? I’ll say she lacks focus!

    This is great stuff Cam! The kind of writing I’d be darn proud to call my own:)

  7. The active voice here certainly lends momentum and drama! I love it.

  8. I love how active this passage is even though it takes place after her destruction. I love how cold she is, worried only about controlling her power, in the midst of what I imagined searing heat.

  9. ah a mentor , a pyro mentor, I love it.

    it’s brilliant, really, to have her feeling remorse and yet be so determined in her quest to not mess up again, (there will be an “AGAIN”) is chilling.

    I feel lucky to just read your words. WOW

  10. Really liked this. It says a lot for being so few words.

  11. Oh, I like this. Love a supernatural coming of age….I’m a sucker, every time.

  12. Oooh! Intriguing use of the prompt–I feel like there’s a whole novel waiting in those words!

  13. What a scene! I can picture her standing, overlooking the devastation and her mentor observing disapprovingly. I can smell the burnt grass, feel the gritty ash.

  14. Love this. It could be either futuristic or ancient – I like that.

  15. Very descriptive piece, and the active voice is alive and present.

  16. Very creative take on the prompt. Intense!

  17. A couple parts I loved:

    The dichotomy between not killing, just destroying – that speaks so much to someone in the midst of coming into power, trying to wield that sort of fury but not wanting to actually hurt anyone.

    “Fresh rage sparkles over her skin.” – I just like how visual that part is :)

  18. Very vivid and reeks of untapped and uncontrolled magic. Nice, lady.

  19. “bitter ash-rain devastated the homesteads” – an excellent example of devastation! Great scene, great world! :)

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