TITLE: The Fishermen
GENRE: YA Contemporary Dark Fantasy
Starting the fire had been more satisfying than I expected.
Flames wave out from the dumpster, a fiery demon drowning in garbage, signaling for help. The putrid wafting of lighter fluid, melting plastics, singed paper products, fish, and dank rot of uneaten salad billows out. The breath of the garbage beast. The blue metal containing it groans under the intense heat, flares glowing from the rusted-out holes near the edges.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Pulling my gaze from the crackling fire, I glance over my shoulder. Jeff, my ex-boss in all of his self-righteous, holier-than-thou glory, stomps across the back lot towards me. The sickly pallor of his face makes his sweat-stained polo appear white. For once.
“What does it look like?” I brush a flake of cigarette ash from my own polo, still damp from the orange juice flung on me earlier by the irate Mr. Soren. All it does is smear the grey into the tangerine stain. Jeff’s eyes bulge out of his head as he stops beside me.
After his mouth opens and closes like a gulping fish, Jeff spins toward me. “What the hell, Derry? Don’t you know how dangerous this is?”
I take a long drag from my cigarette with the determination of a little boy enjoying a Slurpee. The final puff billows inside me, coating my lungs in a warm blanket of toxin before rushing back out as I exhale.