Chin Li

 

 

 

 

Fire

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to learn to sing like fire.  She sat in front of the fire continually, mesmerised by its rhythm, its high notes and its pianissimo.  She was wondering, could this be my life?  She knew it’d be impossible for her to catch the spirit of fire, let alone its essence.  She didn’t want to ask her parents how to do it because, she was sure, they would say she was mad.  One morning she saw a burning bush high up in the mountain, and felt gripped by an irresistible sense of destiny.  She trekked up the mountain path, thinking that if her little finger was singed by the burning bush, she’d be able to sing like fire.  But when she got to the top, there was nothing.  She only saw the skin of her left thumb beginning to crack.

 

 

 

 

Chin Li was brought up in Hong Kong but has lived in the UK for many years.  He has published short fictional works through the Gnommero project, and in Glasgow Review of Books. See also: https://glasgowreviewofbooks.com/2014/10/24/cooking-for-one-a-short-story-by-chin-li/ 

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