Mother, there's a fire outside



Mother, there’s a fire outside


Mother, there’s a fire outside!

Don’t worry, my child. 


But, it’s coming closer...

It’s a good one, I tell yah. 


But, the fire

No, child, it’s the white dress I fear.

Like the fairy tales -

for one day of your life,

you’ll be a princess. 


Mother …

That ring on your finger? 

Those bangles around your wrist?

Gold-plated shackles, my child. 

Just goddamn shackles. 



Mother, there’s a fire outside

He may call you his most precious, 

his jewel, his treasure, his charm.

Always his, and his, and his. 

Never yours, yourself. 


The fire’s licking the door  

It’s a good one, I tell yah.


I ‘m scared, Mother. 

Never ever again, my child. 


The fire …

It’ll burn the house, melt the shackles.

You’ll be you and I’ll be I.

Nobody else’s ever again,

just us and ours. 



Mother, there’s a fire outside

Open the door, my child. 



Vahida Berberovic


Vahida Berberovic is a storyteller who works full-time as a teacher of English and Communications at UTS College, Sydney. She is a refugee from Bosnia, and her writing investigates big themes in the small details of the lives of people like herself.  She has written two novels, two novellas and several short stories.


  1. Love this! The last lines gave me goosebumps!! Xxx

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