Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Arson

     The sky opened up above me.  One droplet of water struck the sleeve of my flannel.  The rain grew colder and thicker by the step as I strode along my sidewalk.  Not the best conditions.
     A bus stop materialized as I rounded a corner.  Its black cage of a sanctuary would do well to keep out the storm.  I took a seat on one of the benches beside a young girl and her mother.  The girl smiled up at me.  My lips curled in response.  They’re oh so naïve at that age.
     The bus paused, its engine stuttering just a tad.  I motioned for my bench mates to board first, with a tip of my ball cap, and came on myself.  My wallet felt heavy as I drew out a five and handed it to the driver.  “Keep the change,” I said with a grin.
     I strolled almost to the back and grabbed onto a strap hanging from the ceiling.  The bus lurched forward.  My heart fluttered.  Almost time.

*    *   *
     The house before me looked a lot like a miniature barn.  The tin roof formed a simple peak with no gables.  The main construction was wood, painted a garish red.  There weren’t any windows, at least not on this side of the house.  The front door looked hand-crafted from some dark maple.
     I double-checked the address in my smartphone.  Everything matched.  Time to get to work.
     I wrapped on the door three times.  No reply.  Twice more.  Nothing.  Good.
     The lock clicked nearly the moment I plunged my pick into it.  I stepped inside.  There were shoes everywhere, some sitting on metal racks, the rest thrown haphazardly.  A perfect fire hazard.  Chuckle.  So soon?
     I scanned the room for an outlet.  No need to make this any less “natural” than it needs to be.  I found one against the right wall.  A lone Nike Air sat beneath it.
     I slipped my hand into my right pocket and pulled out a plastic case.  Inside were a dozen metal instruments.  I took out a short metal rod like a toothpick.  From the other pocket I drew out a green rubber glove.  Slipped it on.  Took a euphoric breath.
     I jabbed the metal rod into the outlet and set the other side down on one of the shoe laces.  It took only a moment for the spark.  Then smoke.  Then flame.  I blew life into the fire.  It blew cash into my pocket.  Mission accomplished.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Patrick,
    Ooh quite a nasty chappy.
    Looking forward to the rest of your A - Z.

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  2. Hi Patrick! I'm visiting some of the blogs on the A to Z challenge and came across yours. I, too, enjoy flash fiction...in fact I post a flash fiction picture every Friday on my blog and begin a story I encourage others to finish...;~)...lovely post!

    Good luck with the challenge! I participated last year and had a blast!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks. My usual flash fiction comes out on Sundays (although not this month, obviously).

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  3. I have never heard of flash fiction, but your piece totally defines it for me! Loved it! Look forward to the rest of the month with you :)

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    1. That's basically what flash fiction is. I've written a whole lot of it, so I've sharpened my skills in that area. Most of mine is 300-500 words, although it can be from 100-999 give or take. Thanks.

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  4. Great piece that leaves me wanting more. Enjoy the challenge!

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  5. Wonderful flash fiction piece. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z Challenge" and I look forward to visiting again!

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks and thanks a lot for the follow. #20

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  6. Enjoyed your story. But how did the arsonist get cash into his pocket?

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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    1. Thanks. It was meant figuratively. I was trying to get across that he was a hired arsonist.

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  7. Looks like this one's going to be fun. I'll be back to see where this goes.

    Dropping by from A to Z. First year participating and very excited.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

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    1. Thanks for coming. I missed the challenge by a month and a half last year, so this is my first one too.

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