Fire on the Water by Buckskin

March/April Challenge of Lancer Writers ‘Every Picture Tells A Story’
Thanks to Sandy for her help


Blazing reds, yellows, and oranges flared out over the surface of the water as if it burned. The sun, nestled between the mountains, slowly gave up its hold on the day and bid the land goodnight. But before it disappeared, it held one more minute of spectacular beauty. One more flash of dazzling splendor as it reflected a perfect image on the water. 

Johnny found himself holding his breath. The memory burst to the surface in his mind like an explosion, long buried, forgotten, until this very minute.

“Juanito, look! The water, it is on fire! See how beautiful it is!”

And young Johnny quickly turned to where his Mama pointed across the lake, where the colors seemed to scorch and change the water to flames. Juanito stared, not able to take his eyes from the near blinding lights. He’d never seen anything so mesmerizing before, and it held him captive. The colors so bright, they hurt his eyes, but he couldn’t look away.

A star, mi hijo! A star trailing over the fire! Oh, how beautiful!

Johnny remembered as she enveloped him in her arms and pulled him close, and, at that moment, Johnny could smell the delicate rose scent she wore all those years ago. It was as if she was sitting next to him, watching the display as it played on the water; it shimmered and sparkled and slowly disappeared before his eyes, taking the memory of her with it. 

He wanted to call it back and feel Mama’s embrace one more time, feel the security of those arms around him again. Just one more time. But that memory would be with him forever and, never again, locked away, and he smiled.

“Do you want to share, son?” Murdoch asked as he watched his son, wondering what was going through the young man’s mind. With Johnny, you never knew.

Johnny sighed as he turned to his father. “Just a memory.”

“I hope it was a good one,” Murdoch whispered, wishing this memory was one to be cherished, treasured. Much of his son’s past brought nothing but nightmares.

“Yeah, Murdoch, it was. It sure was…”

With one last gaze across the water, Johnny settled back with coffee in hand and watched the fire die out. Above the sky darkened and the stars awakened and blinked to life. One light faded, another flickered on with exquisite splendor, and both intensified the memory of a mother and her son. A memory that Johnny Madrid Lancer would cherish as long as he lived.

March 2021


Thank you for reading! The authors listed on this site spend many hours writing stories for your enjoyment, and their only reward is the feedback you leave. So please take a moment to leave a comment.  Even the simplest ‘I liked this!” can make all the difference to an author and encourage them to keep writing and posting their stories here.  You can comment in the ‘reply’ box below or email Buckskin directly.


12 thoughts on “Fire on the Water by Buckskin

    1. Thank you, Charlene! I’m glad you liked Johnny’s sweet memory! We tend to vilify Maria in our stories and I wanted Johnny to remember something good about his mother. Thanks for commenting!



    2. I love stories where Johnny mama is not a horrible mother. No explanation really was ever given about why she left. Even in the “ kid” when he talks about his step father it is nit said with venom. Glad you gave him a good memory.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi! Thank you for commenting. Yes, Johnny needed something good to remember about his mother. I would like to think that she had her moments as a warm and loving parent. How could she not cuddle that precious little boy?

        Again, thank you for reading and commenting.



    1. Hi, Jill! The good memories were far and few between, but Johnny did have then about his mama. Far and few between, but tucked in his heart forever.

      Thank you for reading!



  1. Beautiful story. Agree with the other posters, it is nice to read a “good mother” story about Maria, and that maybe all of Johnny’s childhood wasn’t bad.

    Sue L

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sue! With all the hardships Johnny endured, even the most simple interactions with his mother had to be special. She had her faults, but I believed she did love him, as much as she was able.

      Thank you for your kind words.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: