I'm back from a great vacation in Ontario and Newfoundland. In Ontario, I finally got to see Niagara Falls (and the awesomely quirky town around it), and in my hometown in Newfoundland, the insane amount of icebergs and whales in the area were like something from a tourism commercial. Still, after three and a half weeks living out of a suitcase, we were all looking forward to coming home to Yellowknife.
The forest fires had started before we left, we heard about them on the National news while we were gone, but still we hoped they'd be under control by the time we returned. Alas, when we stepped off the plane it smelled like a campfire. Driving past Frame Lake, we couldn't see the cityscape on the other side, as we normally can. Our windows have to be closed. Just walking to the mailbox my eyes sting. It's costing about a million dollars a day to fight them and forests here take forever to regrow.
Summers in Yellowknife are normally beautiful and can almost make up for the ridiculously long and cold winters. Not this year.
On that note, I figured I might as well embrace it and look for a short story about forest fires. I found Jennifer Elle's "Orange Forest," a flash fiction story about a forest fire which manages to work in a love story, or a love story that manages to work in a forest fire.
I wasn't wild about the way it started. There's such an abundance of adjectives and figurative language in the second paragraph that I almost lost track of reality. What's describing what?
However, the story goes in an unexpected direction and there's such a strong taste of regret in the wrap-up that I could almost forgive the first half.