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All the Things I Lost

By ShackleSoul All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

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, in fact.

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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Shannon Rohrer: This is probably one of the most imaginative stories I've come across in a long time. You have hooking down to a fine art; every chapter has been as engaging as the one before it, the story unfurling in a way that is easy to follow and paced perfectly for each round of events or backstory. Lookin...

duggsy: This kept me intrigued, I only intended on reading 1 chapter but couldn't stop until I'd read the whole thing. The only let-down were a few spelling mistakes hence the 3 stars but otherwise a great read.

Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.

E_W_Hemmings: First of all, sorry this review took so long: I've had science mocks recently and then when I came to read this, I made notes to put in the review like I usually do... but then I deleted them. Well done me. As a result, this review is a bit more general than most reviews I write, but hey ho, let'...

Trahelion: While I started this tale hoping for an actual Anthropophagi monster story, I was quickly reminded that humanity is by far the most frightening beast. The reason being, we're real and there is not much we haven't done.Great work here, and at the end, I was expecting the lady narrating to be lying...

shadowmaven: At first, the word "Dagon" threw me, making me think that this was going to be a story based on one of Lovecraft's, and was pleasantly surprised--no, make that thrilled--when it wasn't (honestly, I like your mythos more). Your writing is so lyrical, deftly capturing this tiny village and the rela...

Deleted User: This is an artfully-written horror story which deals with the most frightening monsters in the entire history of the macabre: teenagers. Indeed, the author captures the speech, relationships, and general highly-charged, petty, and competitive atmosphere of high school so well, that you would swea...

Frank Pilato: I wanted to be sure to comment on this, as I did not read the whole story through, but I am impressed with you.....very impressed. ......................................................................................................................................................................

Kat Paul: I know you mentioned thinking of making this into the introductory chapter of a longer story... What you have so far definitely intrigues me! My favorite bit is the twist about poor Bergen giving the creature the inspiration for its identity. What would interest me the most in the rest of the s...

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Tobi Doyle MacBrayne: I was so impressed with this piece. The slow degradation of the main character into a dark and crazy place is beautifully written. I liked that the characters physical descriptions were not described because it gave me a sense that it could be someone I know or love. The grief that breaks the m...

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