Flash Fiction- “Smokey the Boy”

Maybe he meant to burn it down. Nobody ever thought of it like that. Everybody assumed it was an accident. Here is the thing, he learned fire safety at school, his family organized an escape plan, he knew not to play with matches. What did he do? He went home and got the old carton his parents kept under their bathroom sink. He ignored his little sister’s want to play. He was unphased by the ensuing look of hurt and her wobbly bottom lip. He went to his room and overturned the beaten box. The emerald flecks in his caramel colored eyes flickered with excitement as the small wood sticks fell in the center of his duvet like heavy rain. The scarlet tips stared at him, they tempted him, they practically begged him to ignite them. He lifted one up quizzically. As he held the untapped source of burn in the center of his twelve year old palm, he extended and retracted his wrist to let the forbidden item flip and slide in his hand, daring it to jump. He bent down to retrieve the box, the one he had absentmindedly cast to the ground. He bit his lip slightly, unsure of the source generating such thrill, as he matched the two objects, so foreign in properties yet both would be pointless without the other. He liked the slight creak rubbing the end against the worn sandpaper made. He liked the tricky bend of flexibility in the wood as it dragged into a vibrant flame. He let the heat radiate up the stick until it torched the grooves of his fingertips. He dropped the blaze beside its peers. He watched. He considered if he would rather go have a glass of chocolate milk or watch his home turn to soot. By now he had gotten a taste. How could he stop, even if a cold and creamy quench of thirst was at stake? He lit another because he was not supposed to, and another, and he wondered why it was called playing when they were not like any of his other toys. Then the bed was aflame, and so were the curtains. Everything was hot to the touch, but he still did not use the back of his hand as he was taught, and he was bored with the idea of stopping, and dropping, and rolling. He liked the way the fur on his sister’s stuffed animals melted, he liked that the dark smoke swirled around him like a swarm of bees that only stung his lungs, he liked alot of it, but most of all he liked the screams.