The Last One You'd Ever Suspect of Setting the Fire

He stands on the edge of the scene as the fire trucks pull in, sirens blaring in sharp contrast to the still silence of the night.

Tomorrow morning, Connie will ask him where he got the sunburn, and he will tell her that he was out walking on the bridge again, like he always does. And in her eyes, he will see that she doesn’t believe him. But she won’t question him. She never does.

Men dressed in dirty layers of fireproof yellow stand on the sidewalk. The hose unravels and the water pours out, destroying everything he has worked so carefully to create. Little by little, water replaces fire.

He watches on the edge of the scene, but in the commotion, nobody seems to notice him standing there with flames in his eyes.

No one would never think for a minute he was responsible. Not even if he were covered in gasoline.

The fire trucks leave in what seems like a convoluted whirlwind of time – has it been seconds or years since he lit the match?

He stays, savoring the thick scent of burnt wood.

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