Flash Fire

I glanced down at my hands, watching a red line march across my puffy knuckles. My feverish fingers rested on the keyboard burning through the keys. I was mesmerized by the rapid swelling; I lifted my arms and gazed at overstuffed marshmallows dangling off the end of my wrists…

I woke in the morning, creaky and sore, but without the inflamed swelling that usually greeted me. I got on with my day, thinking it was going to be a good one without the constant presence of the old lady. Around noon, a hot tingling flushed through my hands and my fingers swelled – I was aware of their bloated sensation as I typed. February brought cold wet weather that hovered just above freezing. The dampness seeped into my bones causing flash flares; like a sleeping volcano, they lay dormant ready to erupt at any time. The inflammation ignites, and like magma flowing over the hills of the earth, the heat surges through my blood, blowing its fiery breath into my extremities, blowing them up like a hot balloon.

The light from the computer lit my hands like a firefly; I watched my veins pop up beneath my skin. I believed I could melt metal with one hot touch. I removed an ice pack from the freezer and crushed it between my hands, hoping to extinguish the flash fire pulsing through my knuckles and fingers. The hiss of hot meeting cold fizzled out into the air. The chill seeped into the inferno, shrinking the flames with its glacial touch. I watched my hands contract, the red line across my knuckles fading away like daylight melting into night.

No Comments

  1. Alison on March 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    The description of your pain is so poetic. I can see your hands and hear the sound of the ice bag meeting hot hands. I love the way you write. Take care my friend.

  2. Irma on March 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Gosh, J.G., Your description is so vivid I feel the pain. A flare is like a flash fire. Must contain the dragon, and the volcano. Take care. – Irma

    • J.G. Chayko on March 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you Irma. I hope you don’t have many “flash fires” to contend with.
      Stay well,

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About me

J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.