Playing with Fire

A small flame danced in the darkness, throwing strange shadows around the room and eerily illuminating the metal casing from which it sprang. It's light was mirrored doubly in the eyes of the one holding the flame in the air, and even in the flickering light it was easy to tell from said eyes that their owner was concentrating with incredible fervour. However, nothing seemed to be happening.

A sharp series of knocks interrupted whatever it was that was going on, and a muffled female voice asked if it could speak with Kevin. The flame was abruptly smothered, and its owner called out, in a voice that sounded unused, "He's not in."

"Kevin, open the door! I know it's you in there; Bethany told me you scared off your newest roommate last night."

Kevin sighed and pocketed his lighter, enjoying the nearly scalding warmth on his leg. He loped over to the door and leaned into it, lowering his already quiet voice even more. "I didn't scare anyone off. He left of his own accord," he said, almost defensively.

"Oh yeah right, Kevin. I know you better than that."

"Then why do you have to ask me your insipid questions?" Kevin pushed himself away from the door and flopped onto his bed, the dark hindering him about as much as the light hinders plant growth.

There was silence from him for a moment, and Kevin almost convinced himself that she had given up and left until he heard a click and glanced at the door, only to find it slowly opening. "So you're a locksmith, too?" he quipped. He didn't seem altogether too bothered by the fact that the girl had broken into his room.

"Well, a good journalist has to have a few tricks up her sleeve," the girl said, entering the room in a shaft of light from the hallway. "Shield your eyes." When Kevin didn't move, she sighed and flicked the light switch anyway, only to find out that it didn't do anything. She sighed again. "What are you, Kevin, a vampire?"

"Is this off the record? Yes. Yes I am, you caught me. You'd better go before I get hungry." Kevin spoke directly upward, at his ceiling, as if the girl standing in his doorway was not who he was conversing with.

The girl rifled through her oversized purse and pulled out a recording device, hitting play before speaking into it. "Journalist Piper Lee Evans interviewing Kevin White, son of oil tycoon Charles White, for the Thrush Daily. Kevin keeps to himself, hiding in a dark room in a remote corner of the Golden Thrush, avoiding contact with others at all costs, coming out only to attend classes and eat meals. And yet, he is undeniably one of the smartest people on board, as well as one of the most influential. Today I hope to find out the reasons for his anti-social behaviour---"

"Asocial," Kevin interjected.

"Whatever. Don't interrupt. ...his 'asocial' behaviour. Hello Kevin."

Her only greeting was that of silence.

"...Kevin, why is it that you prefer to keep to yourself?"

"..."

"Were you teased unmercifully as a child?"

"..."

"Do you possess some sort of hatred toward the world? Would you rather everyone just leave you alone?"

"..."

"...was your life at home tainted by abuse? Did your father ever hit you?"

"Get out."

"What?"

"Get. Out."

Piper looked like she would protest until Kevin stood up and walked toward her, the figurative fire in his eyes much more dangerous than the literal fire from before.

Piper skittered out of the room, and the last thing she heard before the door slammed behind her was Kevin saying, "My father is a good man," in almost a growl.

She stood outside his door for a minute, the 'conversation' ringing in her ears. She'd blown it, she knew that. There was no way she would be getting an interview with Kevin White any time soon. She had no idea he was so touchy about his father.

Professionally, she had blown it.

Personally, she was afraid she'd lost a friend.

The End

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