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 24 comments. Post your own now!

hawkfire said...
Nov. 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm
I agree with you guys
its pretty wierd but still a good story
 
Anj16 said...
Sept. 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm
haha i love this. i just gave it 5 starts. keep working
 
Chelsey J. said...
Apr. 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm
Weird,But I like it.
 
Schubster replied...
Sept. 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm
I agree with Chelsey J....it is kind of odd, but very unique and original in a good kind of way :) it's really nice to read something that's different than the usual on Teenink. Keep up the great work!~
check out my work?
 
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