All the Things I Lost
Fire has held a primal, almost mythical fascination within all cultures
from the first humans to the present day. With barely any exceptions,
all religions hold fire to be sacred, or at least use it in their
ceremonies. Some races even cut out the middleman and worship fire
directly. Purging, cleansing, all-consuming fire…listen to me talk.
You’d be forgiven for thinking I was a pyromaniac who wanders around
muttering to himself and flicking his lighter. The truth is I am not
anything of the sort. For the longest time, I hated fire. It bordered on
a phobia, an obsession. I lost the rest of my immediate family to fire,
It was a mundane house fire, although really, whatever the event is, if it leaves you as the sole bearer of your surname it isn’t “mundane” in any sense. My brothers, my father, my mother, and my uncle who lived with us because he refused to get a job. They said the fire was started by him in fact, likely when he tried to stub out a cigarette in a potted plant. Did you know the soil used in those things is highly enriched with minerals and chemicals, to the point it can even burst into flames in the right conditions? My uncle didn’t. Well, now he’s dead. Life goes on. For me anyway.
As for you, sitting bound in that chair, heh, in this warehouse with the scorched floor I use for all my sacrifices, you will fulfill the same purpose as my uncle. You will be a sacrifice to the unending inferno. The way it dances is admittedly beautiful but that is not why I will immolate you. Like I said, I’m no pyro. Fire and flame are my Madonna and Christ, conflagration my God. I don’t get a sick thrill from incinerating people. I do it because it must be done. The flame is sentient, and it is using me as an extension of its own will.
I know you don’t believe me. Well, notice the match I’ve lit here? I’m about to place it over your heart, where it will ignite the jellied gasoline I’ve bathed you in not unlike low-grade napalm. But before I do, look at the flame dancing at the tip of the head. It is alive, just as much as you and I. Your death will be spectacular, giving birth to the mother of all blazes and her innumerable spark-children. You see, your death will have meaning. All the things I lost will briefly flare to the surface, so to speak. I see my brothers, my father, my mother, and the prophet that was my uncle in every inferno. Fire, at its most basic, remakes and renews. This is what both suffering and rebirth is. This is my way of moving on.
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