I AM THE GOD OF HELL-FIRE AND I BRING YOU – FIRE! Arthur Brown sang into Travis’s ears as he lit the fuse with his lighter, and then took two steps back. He quickly turned and made his way across the stained concrete floor of the dark and derelict factory. Outside, Travis crossed the empty road and turned a corner.
I GOT A BAD DESIRE – OH, OH, OH, I’M ON FIRE, Bruce Springsteen rasped as Travis carefully opened the door of an empty office block and made his way up the stairs to the office that overlooked the factory. It was a meticulously selected vantage point from which to watch the factory burn. He stood in front of the boarded-up window and peered through the large hole he had drilled into the wooden sheet the previous day, in order to ensure a good view of the fire. And from where he stood, the view was better than good – it was wonderful.
BURN BABY BURN, DISCO INFERNO sounded in the stereo earbuds as Travis saw that the factory was burning inside every window. At the moment, the fire was on the ground floor only, but Travis knew it would spread quickly. Read more…
R J Dent says: ‘Fire! has attracted a fair amount of adverse criticism because of its supposedly ‘controversial’ content. I originally wrote Fire! because I had the central idea of a man obtaining sexual gratification by masturbating as he watched fires (that he’d lit) burn. The metaphor of a burning building seemed to be the perfect way to describe sexual gratification itself. I combined the two ideas for Fire! One person who understood the story perfectly was Calum Kerr, who offered to publish it in Word Gumbo magazine, which he was editor of. An earlier version of Fire! appeared in the ‘Light’ issue of Word Gumbo Vol 1, Issue 3 – Oct 2011. Thank you, Calum, for giving my story its first chance.’
Fire! (500 words)
Copyright © R J Dent (2016)
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