United Arab Emirates

Heyo! I’m Lauren, a high school sophomore who loves reading too many fantasy novel series, listening to music, and eating a probably unhealthy amount of ice cream.

Message to Readers

Is there anything I can revise or improve? Please let me know, I really appreciate it! Also, if you'd like a review back, feel free to comment a piece.

When The World Was on Fire, We Kept Laughing

October 6, 2020


When the sirens blared, we knew it was time.

We dragged out the chairs and sat at the dinner table, with our shoulders hunched and our faces cold and sunken. My sister was sobbing silently, and the tears ran down her face in translucent drops. We pretended not to notice, slumping over the tabletop and staring at our reflections in the glazed wood. 

When the power flicked out, we sat in the darkness. 

My father slammed the table, and we jolted like marionettes yanked by invisible strings. Quietly, my mother wrapped her thin fingers around his arm. 

        "Martha, I'm sorry," he said, with the rough edge of hysteria in his voice. 

The sirens wailed on. We were used to hearing them on the rare broadcasts we got through the melted radio, but never this close. This time was different. 

In the distance, the screams began. Then we heard the fires. A crackling, visceral roar, accompanied by snapping wood and splintering glass, exploding into the atmosphere. 

The room was getting hotter, and the sweat rolled down our faces in a distinct parody of sorrow. We dared not look out the windows, but we knew what we would see. Skies vanquished of blue, awash with the sickly flush of rotten oranges, suffused with the choking billow of smoke and ash.

When the yellow light spilled across the table, we began to laugh. Hyena shrieks cascading endlessly, mirroring the sirens echoing outside. When the gingko tree in the front yard went ablaze, we laughed. When the door fell in with a whoosh of flame, we laughed. When the rose-patterned wallpaper crinkled and smoked, scorched in pungent curlicues, we laughed. And when the fire roiled across the floor and rose to greet us, we laughed, as it swallowed our limbs and consumed our lives. 
Title inspired by Lana Del Rey's "When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing." Story inspired by the U.S. wildfires. My heart goes out to all the lives lost, and all the families who have lost their loved ones, their homes, and their livelihoods. 300 words. 


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  • October 6, 2020 - 5:51am (Now Viewing)

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  • Minvra

    It's chock full of emotion, I feel overloaded. Then again I recently read your quarantine piece as well.

    3 months ago
  • mirkat

    oh my god this is so emotional! i love the whole idea of this piece and i love the title. however, i think the ending is so tragic! i get that is what you were going for and all, but wow. keep up this wonderful writing skill! <3

    3 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    Woah this is chilling... WONDERFUL piece!!!! <333

    3 months ago
  • acrosstheuniverse28

    Woah, this is so eerie and really well written! Praying all the forest fires will end soon!

    3 months ago
  • Mia2004

    RE: Thanks for the review!! It is not going to be a romance :)
    I am really bad at grammar, so thank you :P

    3 months ago
  • AJ - Izzy

    wow, extreme goosebumps. I'm probably repeating a lot of the previous comments, but the vivid imagery, the wording and flow of the words, it just seeped into my head and I could see everything happening so clearly. Amazing, absolutely amazing, kudos to writing such an amazing piece

    4 months ago
  • Anlee

    such a powerful piece <33 the diction is so chilling and i seriously got goosebumps all over while reading and rereading this

    4 months ago
  • Stone of Jade

    oh wow. For such a short story there is so much much imagery

    4 months ago
  • Emi (Revival Year #NEWYEAR)

    This is such an amazing piece! The vocabulary is gorgeous; you really portray the fire as almost a living, vengeful creature.

    4 months ago
  • Bhavya's Treasure

    WHAT??? This was so painful yet your language was so vivid and cool in total contrast to the blazing fire.
    Still in shock!

    *sniffs and claps*
    I don't want to laugh like them ever. You have a magic with words!

    4 months ago
  • Book Kitten

    This is really good!!

    4 months ago
  • A. Penderwick

    This is a really powerful piece. There's so much emotion in this sotry, even though it's very short. Great job!

    4 months ago