Short Story: Out of the Woods and into the Fire

On Thursdays, I host a flash fiction challenge on twitter at the #PhotoStoryPrompt hashtag. The rules are simple: write a story based on the photo prompt, and follow that week’s challenge (today, the challenge was to include a shovel in the story, and have your main character say the words, “it has to”). This week’s photo prompt inspired me to write a longer story: One of my writer friends, Thomas Norman (who doesn’t like to go by “Thomas,” but too bad, since this is a formal introduction), is writing a fantastic novel, and we decided to challenge ourselves even more…