TITLE: WILD FIRE
GENRE: PARANORMAL SUSPENSE
He blended into the cool October night dressed all in black. Puffs of his breath rose like smoke. He stood still, very still, in the shadow of an old, twisted Mesquite tree.
The tip of his cigarette glowed orange within his cupped hands. He held it carefully, drunk on the knowledge that a fire so small could flare up into a dragon within seconds. The dry brush underfoot would catch that spark. Within minutes, goaded by the wind, the fire would run wild. Every bit of dry grass, brittle branch, and dead leaf would smolder and burn.
Fire, the great purifier, the equalizer, turned everything in its path to ashes. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” he whispered into the dark. How poetic. How just. He rubbed the ring on his finger – the only inheritance his mother left him—and stared at the flame. The fire would avenge.
Every time he smelled the acrid smoke, felt the primal heat, his mind reeled at the possibilities. How hot would it blaze? Which direction would it lunge? How far would its sooty claws reach?
He eyed the stone cottage that stood dark and quiet, peacefully unaware. He’d scouted it earlier and noticed the woodpile by the backdoor, the wood railings on the porch, and the dead rose bush clinging to the walls. He could’ve easily started the fire there-- throw some accelerant on the wood, followed by a lighted match, and the dragon would rise again.
The woman who lived there was an artist herself. He imagined her screams.