This is a story that I've started that follows the butterfly effect of what a single action can accomplish, destroy, and change.
No matter what burned, there was always an element that arose with which Marcus felt a longing connection. Such a connection that he felt a kinship with that he couldn’t describe, or even begin to understand. Marcus sat there on the ledge of his window, staring down at the short single story drop to a dark alley. His view from the small apartment lacked the extravagance of his Wisconsin cabin, creating a short-lived nostalgia for a home that lay on the far side of the country.
Unlike the millions of Americans that blamed a chemical, Marcus only blamed the smoke. Between his forefinger and thumb rolled a white cylindrical gathering of tobacco. Temptation to ignite the three matches loosely gripped in his hands came to the forefront of his thoughts. He didn’t fight the temptation, only attempted to reason with the emotion. Try and try again as he would, there was no reasoning for emotion because in the end emotion held no voice other than his own.
At last he gave away the voice of reason, striking the volume down with the three red ends of matches. Flames ignited to life, consuming the tips and providing the tool with which he would give a reprieve to the temptation. Squeezed between his middle and forefinger, Marcus brought the cigarette to his lips and gingerly held the flame beneath. Reveling in the ectasy of sweet, poisonous smoke, he inhaled.
Satisfied with the first wisps of smoke that creeped out from his nose and teeth, he smiled. Softly, he reached out of the window and extended himself as far out of the window as he could without falling. In turn, letting the matches burning feverishly as they fell away to the ground. Plummeting, the rush of air failed to exterminate the flames and instead hastened the wrath with which they ate at the dry wood. In an old trashcan half-filled with old newspapers at the top and moist clothing at the bottom two of the matches found their home. The third fell harmlessly into a pool of murky water.
In that dark alley two men argued fervently over a transaction of significant monetary value, their hands waving in the air. Two feet away the trashcan sat, the flames continuing to feed their hunger. The argument quickly escalated as the short stubby man, bald from years grown beneath his belt, shoved the tall lanky guy backward. Against the trashcan his backpeddling led, stirring space and more importantly oxygen between the papers that were burning at a steady pace. Blinded by fury, the tallest of the two lashed out with a reach well beyond that of chubby lad. A closed fist struck home against the shorter man’s cheek causing his descension to ground to be a quick trip.
Wisely, or so he thought, the lanky man turned away from his partner in crime with a final curse.