A Short Story: Rainy Days, Cozy Nights and the Exploration of the Mind
Here is a post about another short story I have cooked up a while back on a rainy day while exploring through the corners of my mind.
I hope you enjoy.
” And I Stood There,
Watching As I Let Everything Burn”
The footage I had seen of houses on fire bore little resemblance to the real thing. TVs also showed a cold miniature version. In real life, the radiant heat was intense, scorching my skin. More than anything else, it was like a colossal campfire, casting its yellow glow into the night. There was a very putrid smell that took over the whole neighborhood, like a bad barbecue party gone horribly wrong.The smell dominated every breath and the crackling of the burning wood louder than I expected. Flames seemed to roar as they consumed what was once a fine home.
Fire licks around the house like it means to play, burning the grasses bleached yellow by the summer sun. Before five minutes have passed scorch marks appeared, the heat so intense that all moisture is driven sky bound. The walls too, were soon alight and the smell of burning cedar is blown clear over the valley toward homes yet to evacuate. There was fire everywhere; the roof, the doors and windows, it was even coming out of the house through various openings, looking like a fire-breathing dragon was inside the house, puffing away vicariously.
I stood a safe distance away, and made sure that I was obscured by the trees around me. I didn’t know how long I stood there for, but it wasn’t until I heard the loud siren that I snapped back into myself.
One after another, fire trucks raced down the road. They were followed by at least half a dozen police cars and ambulances. I gazed at the burning house,a silent on looker as various men in red suits started shouting orders, and scrambled to contain the flame.
I could still hear their desperate screams. Them crying, begging for help. I looked down, only now realizing that I had fisted my hands unconsciously, causing my nails to bit into my palms. Taking a deep breath, I forced my hands to relax. Before me, I watch as the firemen relentlessly try to extinguish the fire, knowing full well that they wouldn’t find anything of use once they were done. I had made sure of that.
Just like my mood, the air was foul. I coughed and looked down at the watch strapped on my left wrist. It was time to leave. I grimaced when I realized that my body was covered in soot and grit.
There was blood on me too, although I wasn’t sure if it was mine or theirs.
I stood there, watching, waiting. Sweat drenched my skin, soaking the clothes on my back like a map of some foreign land. I could feel it trickle down my face, I reached up and wiped it away before it reached my eyes. My heart was thumping wildly against my rib cage, as if prepared to jump out of my chest at any given second. I curled my fingers into fists, dug my nails into my palms. This time, I welcomed the pain. I let it ground me, anchor me to the present.
It went on a loop in my head like a broken cassette. Screaming. Crying. Begging.
Blood, so much blood. So much fucking blood.
Somewhere around me, I heard a choking sound followed by a gasp. Before I realize what was happening, I was already on the ground, biting down on my fisted hand to kept silent as tremors rocked through my body and tears streamed down my face.
Weak. Pathetic. Useless. Stupid.
I squeezed my eyes shut and pressed both my hands to my ears, biting down on my lip so hard I tasted blood. Blood.I killed them. I killed them. They begged me to spare their lives, and I killed them.
A sob escaped my lips, and then another, and another. Guilt was eating at me, pestering me. A fire burned in my mind and throat as remorse hit me like a sledgehammer. Fear tortured my guts, churning my stomach in tense cramps.
Again, I forced my eyes to peel open and stare at the firemen still trying their best to extinguish the fire, risking their lives in order to save others. I chocked down another sob, wanting to tell them to stop trying, to just gave up. Because at the end of the day, there would be no survivors. I made sure of it when I put the bullets in their heads.
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