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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Isobel Smith


Updated: Sep 20, 2023

In which Autumn Isobel Smith writes a story using a single word as a prompt.


People are made of stories. Every single human on earth has a thousand and one tales to tell. Some of us keep our stories to ourselves, but not me. I am here to share with the world my stories.

I am Autumn Isobel Smith: author, craftswoman, and all-around cool person, if I do say so myself. This is the start of a new chapter in my life, in which I seek to hone my writing craft and share my works with all of you. Most of my writing has some element of strangeness to it. I dabble in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and the occult, as well as sharing my own life experiences, however embellished they may be in blog form.

I will say here that my stories tend towards being dark, and there may be triggering subjects in them that are not suited for everyone. While I will keep language and explicit content to a PG-13 level, some stories may be fear-inducing or sad. That being said, I hope everyone enjoys this new blog.

Lean forward and scoot towards your monitor a little more. I want you on the edge of your seat!



They left me a candle.

One candle and a single match. Clever. Diabolical, really, since they know what will happen if I light that candle.

I'll die.

Oh, nothing quite so gruesome as what you're thinking. I won't burst into flames, and they haven't pumped my veins full of lighter fluid. I'd be even more dead then. No, this is slower. Gentler.

It doesn't matter whether or not I light it. I'm going to die either way. That much, I've accepted. They made sure of it, the Parwood family. Well, not the whole family. Not little Cassie.

All it took was one well-placed candle, a match, and a summer breeze to flutter the curtains over the open flame. With the amount of dust in the house, it's a wonder it didn't go up sooner. The drapes caught nicely. By that time, I was safely across the street where I could watch.

How was I to know there was a baby asleep in its nursery? It had been months since I had seen the Parwoods in person. I couldn't have known their adoption had finally gone through. And truly, was it my fault that Mrs. Parwood chose her career over her child? She left her baby with a nanny, and a poor one at that, for she ran from the home seconds after the fire alarm rang out.

By the time the firemen arrived, it was too late. The house was in cinders. Three stories, five bedrooms, and two baths reduced to rubble and ash. I hid in the hedges, awaiting the delicious moment the Parwoods returned to what used to be their home. And it was delicious indeed. The wailing and weeping was a divine psalm in my ears. It was only later that I learned of their true loss.

Is there a part of me that regrets my actions?


They deserve every ounce of pain they felt. And any child of theirs would be just as evil. I have no regrets.

No, not even getting caught. I knew they would find me eventually. They had to know it was me. I was their oldest and most persistent enemy. And this time, I won. Even in death, I have won. I took away something they can never get back, no matter what they do to me.

Apparently, their doorbell camera caught me slipping from the upstairs window after planting the candle, though it did not see what I had done within the home. It was easy to access the garage from inside, easy to find the many gallons of gasoline Mr. Parwood saved, "just in case."

I knew my time was up, even months later, when men in dark clothing surrounded my car and dragged me from its depths into the frozen night. They bound and gagged me and took me to a secret spot deep in the forest. I knew then that it would be my final resting place, and I was right, wasn't I?

The Parwoods were there in the clearing. He was red with anger, and she was pale from shed tears. I'll never forget her eyes though. They burned with the same rage I had when I lit their lives on fire.

He asked me "why," as if he didn't already know. I laughed in his face. That's when he showed me the box and the hole in the ground.

But I had nothing more to say. Only laughter.

And here I am, alone in the dark, entombed beneath the earth for all eternity. So, what do you think? Should I light that candle?


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