Laura stood at her window in the forest hut, watching a jaundiced sky. The bats and the crows flew in uncertain directions at dusk. There was ablaze over the tall gum trees. Laura couldn’t figure out what it was. The telltale sign from the yellow sky suggested the end of time. The blaze continued to grow high, then higher. The creatures of the forest, the possums, and the dingoes, and the Tasmanian Tigers ran amok around the bend deeper yet, into the forest. The stifling air made Laura cough up phlegm. Distant cries of human voices carried distress. All Laura could see was an engulfing fire. Fire which overwhelmed her and the bush rapidly. Trees and houses and the animal habitat burnt to a cinder in this inferno. It burnt for days on end. It burnt without ebb. It still burnt, a permanent haze descended from the sky; it darkened the forest. There was no reprieve, no lights, but all-consuming darkness of fire sparks like ubiquitous fireflies.
A critically acclaimed writer, Mehreen Ahmed has published flash fiction, short stories, novels, historical travelogue, academic reviews/article and journalistic write-ups. She has published with Routledge: Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge journals Language Teaching, Language Learning and Technology, Straylight Literary Magazine: University of Wisconsin-Parkland, English Department, Storyland Literary Review, Wordcurd, Story Institute, Cosmic Teapot Publishing, The Sheaf: Campus newspaper for the University of Saskachewan and the Dawn blog. The Midwest Book Review, has reviewed one of her books, The Pacifist. Two of her short stories, The Anomalous Duo has been translated in German, Familie (er)zählt: Selection of stories completed; Sammlung abgeschlossen, (In press) and The Black Coat, in Greek: ΤΟ ΜΑΥΡΟ ΠΑΛΤΟ, published in Nyctophilia.gr. She has an MA in English Literature, Dhaka University and an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia. She was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but lives in Australia.