A Campfire Yarn: 99 word Flash fiction

They sang kookaburra sits in the old gum tree followed by  Kumbaya then waited, the flickering flames illuminating their fresh, expectant faces.  ‘Bunyips’ll be out tonight’ Hank said. ‘I saw it crawl out of the swamp. Part emu and crocodile with a platypus bill which ended with a thing like a chainsaw. Huge claws. It picked Veronica, sat next to her. We relaxed whilst the bunyip hugged the breath from her.’ As if on cue a blood curdling scream came from the bush, drowned out by the children’s screams. “Mythical am I?’ The Bunyip slithered toward them.  

Many a campfire I’ve sat around roasting marshmallows, singing songs, all of which I could probably sing off by heart still. As the nights wore on the singing slowed and the scary stories would come out. Sometime we would light black boys flower spikes(An Australian plant which probably now has a politically correct name) and we would head off in single file searching for Bunyips, an aboriginal mythical creature. When Charli posted her prompt for this week all these nights came flooding back. Did you sit around campfires singing?


© irene waters 2016


© irene waters 2016

The prompt for this week:

November 17, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is told around a campfire. It can be a bonfire, burning trash can, a fire pit, something flaming outdoors. It can be a prop, and you can tell the story of anything — ghosts, ancients, jokes. Who is gathered and listening? Note the extended date (Happy Thanksgiving to US writers; may turkey take our minds off the one about to enter the White House.)

Respond by November 29, 2016 to be included in the compilation (published November 30). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

To all American writers and readers I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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15 Responses to A Campfire Yarn: 99 word Flash fiction

  1. Miriam says:

    Nothing beats sitting round a campfire telling stories in the ultimate outdoor cinema.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Norah says:

    Ha! Love those songs, and the way the songs lead into the scary stories. The songs around my flash campfire led into somber personal revelations. I think the politically correct common name for the trees is now grass trees. The uses that Australian Indigenous Peoples put them to was/is amazing. What inventive peoples.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is funny how those songs stay with you (and also ones we used to sing around the piano when my mother played) where for most songs since I would be lucky to be able to get out the chorous on my own. Thanks for giving me the correct name. The indigenous peoples knowledge of the land is indeed vast.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deborah Lee says:

    Those mythical beasties are the best, and they’re never better than by a campfire.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great memories but I love the flash, Irene. 😀 Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sherri says:

    Love your campfire memories Irene. I too have many happy memories of sitting around the campfire singing, especially Kumbaya (Girl Guides lol!) but I’ve never heard the Kookaburra song (it’s cute!) or of the Bunyip. Great flash…I can see the wide-open eyes of terror and hear and screams from here! Love it! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, that is the perfect campfire story! It starts out with everyone having fun, doubting the creepy tales and the final fright at the end! I recall the stories from around the campfire. Some were funny, like “when the log rolls over we’ll all be dead” and some were creepy myths, like Tommy Knockers from the bellows of the abandoned mines. But I don’t recall singing. I don’t think we were particularly musical unless crooning to cattle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your campfire stories but you don’t know what you were missing without the singing. One of my favourites I recently discovered was sung to the tune of the Battle hymn of the Republic. I can still sing it all. It started He joined the paratroopers on the 29th May. I probably liked the singing more than the story telling as it was a bit like church where you could let forth with gusto and it didn’t matter that you were not in tune.


  7. Pingback: Fires are Burning « Carrot Ranch Communications

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