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Sunfire This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The postman came early the morning Jack Cromley found out the sun was on fire. He was dropping off a Sports Illustrated and a phone bill when Jack came running out the door, leaving the postman with a bagful of letters and a mind full of confusion. He watched Jack’s frenzied run with an open mouth and the forgotten mail dropped to the pavement.

Jack had woken up that morning with a headache. It wasn’t until he was reaching into his medicine cabinet for painkillers that he remembered what was wrong. My God - somebody had better put the fire out! He dropped the aspirin back into the cabinet and ran downstairs, grunting as his bare feet hit the floor. Then he ran out the door wearing nothing but his boxers. His wife didn’t wake up for another 35 minutes. By then it was too late.

French toast had been a staple of Jack’s breakfast for 12 years. On any normal morning, he would have stopped to make himself some, but there was no time for that - not this morning. Fire wasn’t likely to put itself out. That was Jack’s job, and there was no time to waste.

The grass was cool and damp beneath Jack’s feet. He bounded across streets and over fences, almost unnoticed as hardly anyone was up yet. The rolls of fat jiggled on his husky frame, but Jack didn’t mind. He was busy making up for years of work, sleep, and eat - the old rhythm. His eyes looked toward the sky; he didn’t notice the landscape he was catapulting past.

He ran east, always east. The bright morning sun sat idle in the cloudless sky, patiently awaiting his arrival. It beckoned, and Jack’s legs eagerly answered its call. He galloped through and finally out of his suburban neighborhood, arriving in a forest that would be developed soon, but at that point, it was still a reminder of an earlier time.

Leaves and sticks cracked under his feet. He was panting now, but he was sure he could last long enough. There were trees all around, large and dark. If Jack had been given time to reflect, he might have felt that the wood was enchanted. This morning, he was in too much of a hurry.

After what seemed like a lifetime, Jack made it out of the forest. He was in a glade now, a large one with rocks strewn about. It was one of these rocks that Jack stumbled over. His toes hurt like fire; his ankle dug in and twisted. His knees hit the ground and sank, planting him in the dirt. He turned as he fell, landing on his side. The right side of his head hit another, smaller rock. His blood spilled onto the ground, greeting the spring morning.

The sky was an open book to Jack’s glazed eyes. His sweat-drenched body was caked in mud; scars lined his chest. Somewhere along the way, he had lost his boxers. None of that mattered. Jack looked up and the sun was there. It was on fire all right - but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He reached up to the sun, and call me a liar if he didn’t touch it. Call me a liar if Jack Cromley didn’t hold the sun in the palm of his hand. Naked and scarred, Jack had never been so like a god.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 22 comments. Post your own!

Rosehawk said...
today at 11:27 pm:
This is fantastic! Kept me on the edge of my chair the whole time.
 
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Bella13This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 29 at 12:36 pm:
Wow! I thought this story was unique and really good! Keep writing!
 
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RelativetoWriting said...
Aug. 5, 2013 at 9:31 am:
I love your descriptions! I haven't read anything like this before; this is so freshly original. The world needs more stories like this one! Spectacular work!
 
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CurlyGirl17 said...
Mar. 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm:
That was great! It made me go, "Whaaaaat....?' but in a good way. :)
 
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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm:
Well, this was a story unlike any that I've read before. I loved it and I feel sooo happy inside! Nice job! Can you comment and rate some of my work? I would really appreciate it :)
 
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Aduke9 said...
Dec. 29, 2012 at 11:51 am:
Was Jack crazy? I loved the story, but was on something? Was this some kind of epiphany? Did he die? Five stars!!
 
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johnLennonfan said...
Nov. 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm:
I...LOVE..IT.
 
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DynamoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 18, 2012 at 2:24 am:

WIERD but absorbing

 

 
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TheSorcerersStone said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm:
Awesome story!
 
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Twinkilicious said...
Nov. 30, 2011 at 8:36 am:
I didn't really understand this story. Did he die in the end or what? And he was freaking out about the fire needing to be put out at first, but then it said he wouldn't have it any other way, so did he change his mind or what? I'm just confused.
 
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Whats a screen name? said...
Nov. 30, 2011 at 8:35 am:
This was a very odd story...it was okay, wasn't my favorite.
 
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CrazyKid56 said...
Jan. 3, 2011 at 7:37 am:
This story is well written and I like the choice of words you picked. It was wierd in a way but, that doesn't matter, it was still good, keep writing!
 
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Mgymnast This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 2, 2011 at 12:19 am:
I love this !! It's really good! Especially the ending! it ends the story well!!! :) I also like the whole idea of the story. And your word choice is amazing you must have worked so hard on this!! :) Also can you please take a look at my writing- The cul-de-sac and The watering hole (That are published on this website) And please rate and comment on them?? It would be greatly appreciated!! THANKS!!! :) :)
 
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animelover said...
Jun. 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm:
Besides that in the end he was naked, I really liked it!! Good job =3
 
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genrejunkie said...
Mar. 23, 2010 at 8:30 pm:
i didn't really understand it but it was very well written
 
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eviegirl4000 said...
Dec. 3, 2009 at 10:05 pm:
Really unique! I like!
 
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Rockstar said...
Dec. 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm:
This Story is very ODD But I liked it :-) Bell 12 years old
 
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ihunt said...
Nov. 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm:
i liked this story very odd but good. good job better then anything i could write... ha
 
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hawkfire said...
Nov. 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm:
I agree with you guys
its pretty wierd but still a good story
 
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Anj16 said...
Sept. 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm:
haha i love this. i just gave it 5 starts. keep working
 
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