Ash (short piece – 120 prompts)

It only took one match to watch it all go up in smoke.

She didn’t mean to strike that match. She didn’t mean to drop it into the puddle from the spilled cooking oil. She could only stand there as it flared on the floor and the oil splashed onto the wall, flame dancing along with it. Lissa stared, her hands folded against her chest while her knees shook. She looked around slowly, trying to figure out if she should just run. She turned toward the kitchen door, picking up the pace. The smoke detectors blared so loud. Why did they leave her at home alone? She couldn’t be alone! Being alone scared her! Being alone meant she had to cook her own food and wash the dishes after herself. All she could do is sit there and cry.

“Mom’s going to kill me. Our house is on fire.” She picks up the phone, shaking as she calls the fire department. All she can hear is the buzz of her mind telling her how horrible she is, how terrible she is, and how she will never be anything other than the burden living with her parents at twenty five.

She does not see the fire appearing in her footsteps. She cannot hear that she is the source, that everything she passes begins to burn. She is the fire, and she has ignited. Too much strain, too much pressure, too much of everything.

And all she can do is weep and hope that maybe someday, the fire would go out. Out before her parents told her she was dangerous.

Out before she could realize what she was.

Out before she ended up consumed by her own fire.

“Drench me.”


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