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.


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

  2. Hi Patrick! I'm visiting some of the blogs on the A to Z challenge and came across yours. I, too, enjoy flash 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

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

  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 :)

    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.

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

  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!


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


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

  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

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