We were born and raised, in a summer haze
-someone like you, Adele.
The last dregs of kerosene seeped through the age old planks, the air was heavy with the scent.
He sent up a prayer to still the winds, he couldn’t afford to raise an alarm.
He tossed the last jar into the piles of wooden furniture that would light up at a spark.
While stepping outside, his gaze caught a picture, of Emma holding onto his neck. It was taken on the beach last year, her hair was in short spikes that were poking into his nose while they posed for the camera.
He could still taste the salt spray on her freckled skin, the shutter falling amongst laughter, and her ring gleaming in the sunlight.
In a sudden hesitant thought, he took the frame off the table, rubbing the heavy drops of oils that specked across the glass, a reminder of all that they had lost.
The house creaked under its own weight, as he stepped out in the yard, looking at the beach cabin his great grandfather had built.
The walls bucked inwards, the darkened windows and broken shutters reminding him of an old blind man with wrinkles on his skin.
From the pocket of his dirty trousers, he fished out a silver lighter, with the word ’emma’ engraved on it with care.
Flicking his thumb over the top, he lit up a shy flare, tossing into the kerosene dripping house.
For a moment nothing happened, the lighter seemed to be spluttering and dying.
But he still stood, his hands buried in the pockets, waiting.
After what seemed like an eternity, the kindling he had lined around the house began to catch fire, one after the other, the stuffing on their old couch, the kitchen where Emma and he had their first kiss, everything began going up in raging angry flames.
The fire kept growing, blooming and bursting like blood from a gunshot wound to the heart.
The heat was unbearable, but he didn’t care, a sense of exhilaration ran down his skin, as he felt the burden of all his memories burn away. The smoke was thick, a black monster that was rising off the building, choking his tears as he pressed his sleeve to his nose.
The air popped and the wood splintered and creaked. The pillars swayed with a tremendous groan. After an age of trembling and buckling, the roof collapsed inwards, and he closed he eyes.
So it was over.
All the memories, gathered like the seashells washed upon the shore, washed away in the tide of an angry red inferno.
The scene before him seemed perverse. The air was thick, roiling black smoke accompanied the distinct sizzle and burn of painstakingly gathered valuables. The fire was said to be a cleanser, but as it writhed through the shirking memories and buffeting curtains of heat, they looked more like molesters groping an old sad woman with treasures in her heart. The flames danced like a choir of devils in red, their whip like tails slashing down pillars, their three pronged spears goading the heart of the fire, the silver lighter with letters that glowed- a branding iron that had seared pain into his soul:
He felt not a tinge of regret or fear, as he stared at the beast he had unleashed in order to ruin his own home. He found a strange solace, in seeing the connections he had to his past burn away, not even slightly discomfited, at the leery eyes of fire that seemed to have opened a pit into hell itself.
The heat rose off the house in waves, buffeting his face; as if the house was emanating fear at its masters madness.
The vanity mirror crashed out of the window, shattering into a thousand fragments, each setting off a reflection of the mad fire that danced in his heart.
The scene took on an unearthly appearance, it is in places such as these, Amidst such deep unbelievable sorrow that true evil rises.
If you caught the reflection of the man in those broken shards of glass, seen the frenzy in his fevered eyes; you’d know a true madman had been born.
The man stood still, clutching in a death-grip the photograph he had salvaged from his own doomsday cleansing. He stood, unmoving, almost worshiping the fire through the night.
In the morning, when there stood nomore than burning embers and a gaping hole of horror, he finally saw the true image of his soul.
In the black ashes, and the dust that remained suspended around him, he felt a manifestation of his anger and grief.
Just like Narcissus was drawn to his reflection,this broken man was drawn to the destruction he believed to truly reflect his soul.
As he began to walk back to his truck, in a euphoria he would later wish to replicate more and more often coursed through him.
As he placed the picture of his wife by the steering wheel; he felt a sense of hysteria grip him.
He laughed and laughed, till his ash-lined lungs begged for reprieve,
Then he wiped his eyes and pondered
If he should burn Emma’s new house down next.
As he geared his truck and wove back away from the destruction of his old home, ideas snaked through his head.
Maybe while the blissful new couple sleeps inside, that would be fun.
Does human flesh burning smell like barbeque?
He was feeling hungry again.
The flame in his heart needed to more fuel.
PS. The title of the piece is named after pink Floyd’s album: A momentary lapse of reason.
No copyright infringement or offense was intended.
another sign of madness