Barn Burner

“I love the smell of it.   It smells like revenge.  You know, that feeling you get when you’ve gotten one over on some jerk.  Yeah, I let the horses out, whatever animals are in the barn.   I’m not a creep. Some burners will set fire to a barn and lock the animals in. Even people. People take a long time to burn.  It has to be a really hot fire.”   Keynote Speaker for the 1965 Barn Burners Reunion, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Present Day

“I’m gonna burn you out, Lloyd.  Burn your barn and everything in it.  So come out Lloyd ‘less you wanna burn with it.  I’m givin’ you two minutes to make up your mind.”

Larry Wilder doesn’t know it, but Lloyd Cartwright fell and broke his hip.  Larry is going to try to set fire to the barn, but nothing will burn.  Wherever he goes, flames die.  He can’t even light a cigarette. People will run from him and the authorities want to talk with him.   A fireproof life is only part of the story for Larry Wilder.

There is nothing wrong with your laptop, ipad, television, smart phone, or other device.  Do not attempt to adjust the screen.  We are controlling transmission.  For the next 7 minutes sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear.  We repeat there is nothing wrong with your device. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to The Outer Twilight Zone Limits.


“Dang it.  I can’t get these matches to light and my Zippo is outta fluid. I knew I shoulda bought lighter fluid.   Hey, Lloyd, you got any matches or a Zippo?”

“If I did, Larry, I wouldn’t be givin’ them to you . Get me an ambulance, will you?”


“I fell and I think I broke my hip.”

“Too bad, Lloyd.  You gotta burn with your barn.  I gave ya two minutes and it’s long gone.  I just gotta get me some workin’ matches.”

“Now thems not the rules, Larry. I broke my hip and that prevented me from leavin’ the barn.   Now, you burned me out three years ago. There are no more barn burners, Larry.  You’re the last of your kind.  Give yourself up to the Police.”

“This has been a shit day all round.  First my Frigidaire stops working.  I can’t cook on the range cause the burners don’t light.  I’m just havin’ a shit day.”

“You know what’s happening, Larry?  You’ve burned out.  You are a burned out barn burner that can’t even light a match.  Time to retire, Larry.”

“I ain’t burned out.  It’s them matches–they’re bad, I swear, Lloyd.”

“Okay, okay, come on in and I’ll give you my matches, Larry.  You’ll see what I’m sayin’ is true.  You won’t be able to light a fire and burn my barn.”

Larry slowly walked into the shadowed interior of the barn.  He didn’t see Lloyd and he called out to him.  But Lloyd dragged himself near the double doors and was hiding in the shadows with a shovel. Larry called out to him again and Lloyd half stood and smacked Larry with the blade of the shovel right in the chops.  Larry went down and didn’t get back up.   Lloyd killed Larry.  The end of the barn burners, thought Lloyd.  There were only a couple of barn burners left and they all  burned out.

We now return control of your device to you.  Until next week at the same time when the control voice will take you to — The Outer Twilight Zone Limits.



Acknowledgments:  Television series Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits
Inspiration Monday:  Penquin Flight School @ Be Kind Rewrite
Prompt:  Burned out
Photo Credit:  unknown
Word Count:  600
Many thanks to Stephanie Orges for hosting Inspiration Monday



When I was a kid I wanted to be an "atomic" scientist. Not anything my mother expected of me. Well, I became a scientist, just not an atomic one.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Barn burner, fiction, humor, inspiration monday, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone
14 comments on “Barn Burner
  1. Doobster418 says:

    Where do you come up with these strange stories?

    • Lucy says:

      What strange stories? My imagination. I am strange. What’s so strange about barn burning? Used to happen in the South. Oh, do you mean the outer limits and twilight zone? Lucy

      • Doobster418 says:

        I mean barn burning and a barn burner who can’t light a match and a guy with a broken hip using a shovel to kill a bumbling barn burner. Where do you come up something like that?

      • Lucy says:

        Burned out. Barn burner. Burned out barn burner. Burned out barn burner can’t make fire. Lloyd has to be the voice of reason and have a broken hip.Oh, I don’t know how I come up with these things. I wrote at least 4 stories using different prompts. Hated them all. Wrote this in like 10 minutes. I’m strange, always have been. Lucy

  2. Kate Loveton says:

    I love the way your mind works! We need to stay up all night and tell scary stories over a glass of wine. 😉 I enjoyed this take on the prompt very much.

    • Lucy says:

      Oh, just a strange thing I felt like doing. It was either that or a French private detective who has to wear the lipstick in a lipstick camera and he’s a guy. Double homicide, extortion, incest, baby switching, you name it. All under 1000 words. it was just too much. So, I did this. Lucy

  3. Juan Zung says:

    Heh heh, very amusing story.

  4. “The Outer Twilight Zone Limits.” That’s just hilarious.So is the idea of a burnt-out barn burner. But I think my favorite part is the excerpt in the beginning – getting to see into the motivations of the barn burners. It makes me want to burn something, and that’s kind of chilling. 😉

    • Lucy says:

      Have you got a fireplace? A fire pit outside, maybe? An oil drum? When I lived in New Mexico all those years I had a fireplace and would burn anything just for the fun of it. I burned old bills and papers from college and cardboard boxes. That was fun. You don’t need to invest in a paper shredder. I;m glad you found it amusing. Lucy

      • My brother has a fire pit, and we burn stuff when I visit him every week or so. We also used to have “homework barbecues” when school got out every year, tossing our old study notes, etc., in the fire. Very cathartic with some Pink Floyd playing in the background.

      • Lucy says:

        Yes, it is cathartic. Unfortunately I was burning everything from my grad school days. A neighbor stopped by and said someone was using their fireplace and it smelled really funky. I had to slow down. I had data of the Kodiak Islanders and its private so I didn’t want to toss it in the trash. I went to a Catholic girls high school and after I graduated I burned my uniforms. My mother freaked. The shoes just would not burn! Green shoes. Can you even imagine green shoes? Lucy

      • I liked the way the colored notebook covers and bluebooks changed the color of the fire. Fortunately, we never had neighbors complain.

        Green shoes??? I don’t blame you. I’m surprised they wouldn’t burn. I bet my dog would eat them, though. He recently ate twelve felt ukulele picks in one sitting. And he loves shoes even more.

      • Lucy says:

        And they were expensive leather, too. who would want dark green shoes? They were very comfortable though. Then we switched to brown shoes. Brown shoes with green knee socks, green shoes with brown knee socks and brown blazer. Green blazer with the brown shoes. It was pitiful. Lucy

Seriously, tell me what you think

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

Carl Sagan

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 153 other followers

Follow Sapient Chronicles on
Follow Sapient Chronicles on
Copyright Notice

© [Lucy Conrad] and [Sapient Chronicles], [2015-2016]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Lucy Conrad] and [Sapient Chronicles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

June 2014
« May   Jul »

100 POSTS 9/08/14

Follow Sapient Chronicles on
Blog Stats
  • 4,372 hits
Legal Stuff

Creative Commons License
The Sapient Chronicles by Lucy Conrad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at


Where your words matter.

Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained-Author Adrienne Morris

Books, Art and the Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

Mrs Reckless Writes

Fiction, Almost-Truths & Not-Poetry


A fine site

Habitat for Heavy Hearts

Small, Thoughtful Moments

Claire Fuller

Writing and art

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Notes Tied On The Sagebrush

Writing About Life


Debra's Excellent Adventures in Reading and Travel


reflections on a passing life

Hangaku Gozen

For we cannot tarry here, We must march my darlings

Anne Higa

Out-of-this-World Fantasy Author


write unto others as you would have them write unto you

This is Another Story

About life, fantasy, and everything in between


The work and activities of a writer/bargee


Just Fiction and other things that seem fictitious.

Odyssey of a Novice Writer

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?

First Night Design

Art, Design, Theatre, Literature, History, Food, Laughter ...

The Zombie Blog

Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma


Some mistakes are too good not to share

Ben's Bitter Blog

"We make bitter better."


Simple Living

Leaning on the Son

Inspired by Faith, Hope, Love and Him

Flamingo Dancer's Blog

If I am a goddess why are my feet stuck in the trenches?

Ned's Blog

Humor at the Speed of Life

Adventures in Wonderland

a pilgrimage of the heart

The Brantley Blog

In the eyes of the law, we reach adulthood the day we turn 18 years old. God help anyone who actually believes that.

Pouring My Art Out

Ripping out my guts for your entertainment

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Mostly Bright Ideas

Some of these thoughts may make sense. But don't count on it.

A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

Thain in Vain

Mind the Glitches

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: