It started as a spark when the wheel of the cheap plastic cigarette lighter rolled over the small stone flint. As the spark ignited the escaping gasses a flame of about ten millimetres in height was produced.
I was oblivious to the world around me, it did not exist it was just me and that single flame flickering at the top of my fifty cent lighter.I stood there looking at the flame only centimetres from my face, mesmerised by it, starring in a trance like state as it danced slowly in the gently breeze. The white orange tip gently swaying it’s way down to the blueish base where its movement was almost impossible to see.
The cigarette lighter, cheap, disposable, yet holding nearly as much significance to occasion as everything else in front of me. It was because of you this simple yet effective flame maker was retired, it was because of you I no longer needed to use it multiple times every hour of the day. It is a reminder of a simpler time, a time were we talked, a time where you participated in life and a time where your actually cared about all life not just your own. It seems somewhat fitting that this single useful item should now become the instrumental tool for the next part of my life.
As I bend down on crouched knees the flame flickers and threatens to blow itself out, I move slower but to no avail the flame dies away. Damn! Instinct alone drives me to place my thumb on the wheel to strike another spark. The wheel is hot, the seconds the flame has been burning heating it up to an almost untouchable hot surface. Damn! There is no gain without pain, I strike the flint and flame once again spurts to life.
I lower the flame to the small puddle at my feet, the fumes rising from the puddle barley visible but I know they are there and I know what will happen when the flame ignites them. I hold the flame close but not close enough for mere seconds, not because I am afraid, not because I am frightened but because it’s the anticipation driving me.
I lower the flame until the bright orange tip licks the small puddle. In the blink of an eye the puddle is ignited, but I have no time to glory in the small prize that is a burning puddle for a trail of flame is now rushing forward and the larger prize is about to be unveiled.
The flame moves quickly away from me and before I can count to three there is a burning trail leading away from me along the dirt and extending more than ten meters. The flame disappears into what at first glance appears to be a discarded pile of wood. It’s hidden for only a short time before an audible whoosh can be heard and small explosion of flames begins to take hold from beneath the pile.
If one was too look close they would realise the discarded pile is not just wood, the wood is mere fuel to keep the fire burning longer. Amongst the timbers, much of it treated pine off cuts, which produce a beautiful greenish tinge in the flames as they burn and put off harmful chemicals, there is items which will soon be indistinguishable. Books, clothes, ornaments, knick knacks, all manner of stuff that no longer serves a purpose, all flammable and all quickly being engulfed in flames.
Even from my position I can feel the heat beginning to radiate from the growing bonfire. With ample fodder to fuel the fire the two metre high mountain of discarded human waste items quickly become a towering inferno of flames.
There is few sounds in the world quite like it and I relish in the sound of the flames as they flicker, crackle and burn. But what I relish even more is the sound of your screams as the flames begin to lick at your bare feet.
Tied to the stake at the centre of the huge bonfire you knew your fate was sealed before the flame was lit, but now as the hopelessness of your situation settles in your mind screaming is one of the few things you have left. You’ve tired pleading, you’ve tried begging and you’ve tried bargaining, the only thing you haven’t tried is apologising because in your mind you have nothing to apologise for.
But it’s too late for any of that now, you’ve had your chance and now as the flames creep up your legs, burning flesh and blistering skin as they go there is nothing you can do. The words you scream are falling on deaf ears, they could be the right words, the could be the wrong words, it wouldn’t matter because even if I could stop the inferno I wouldn’t.
As the flames rise past your waist screaming is all you have left because words refuse to come out no matter how much you try. I don’t know if you can hear me over the crackling of burning timbers, the sizzling of burning blistering skin and the whooshing noise of the flames as they rise towards your ears but the only person whose words matter now are mine and whether you hear them or not makes little difference.
“Your treatment of me has not been far short of abuse.”
“You controlled me, you manipulated me, you ruled with an invisible fist”
“It’s the injuries not seen, the injuries you know you caused that hurt the most.”
“The bruises may not be visible and the cuts all internal but the savageness of your mental blows will always remain evident.”
“As I stood before you a broken person you laughed, you relished in my pain and you thrived on my agony.”
“As I lay beside you, the barbed hooks you made me swallow tear at my insides, you care not about what you’ve created.”
“It was your plan from the start, build the castle then burn it down when you’d had your fun.”
“Now it’s time for you’re world to burn around you!”
“Good night sweetheart.”