Jason Larson smiled a smile that didn’t fit his face at all as he bent over the porch, can of gas extended in his hands. The night was dark, the only light he had was from the moon’s pale light, the house was black, and the gasoline smelled good. He stepped back on the dry wood, not worried about any signs he was leaving behind. He poured gas over his muddy foot prints, and takes a step towards the house, splashing gas on the walls of the building. He fumbles a book of matches out of his pocket, dropping the can of gas. He looked up, and the glass glinted. A sliding door. Easy to break, and probably not alarmed. Jason stood still for a moment, weighing his decision. He could leave now, never lighting a single red head, or he could shatter the door. Beyond would be combustible living rooms, flammable kitchens…


He picked up the can of gas and threw it at the glint. The door shattered with a loud noise, and Jason held his breath. He looked at the neighbouring houses, which could be mistaken for abandoned. Nobody looked out, and no lights turned on. He was okay. Jason reaches in through the gaping hole and finds a small lever. He flips it and tugs on a smooth metal handle. The door slides soundlessly. Jason smiles and steps inside, his black business shoes patting down the carpet.


He retrieves the can of gas, and flicks on a light. He squints for a moment or tow,, examining where he was. The room has a large couch, soft carpet, and a TV system with an admirable selection of game systems hooked up to it. On the far side of the room, next to two wooden doors is a large foosball table. On the wall across from the door is a mirror, with a cute note hung above it reading ‘WIPE YOUR SHOES’. Jason looks like a mess. He’s pale, black hair greasy from lack of a shower, and a layer of stubble covering his chin. His tie is loose, red and black pattern covered with pine needles acquired from when Jason leaped through a hedge to reach his jackpot. His office attire is slicked with mud, and his shoes are covered with smears of gas. Jason casts nagging doubts out of his mind and begins pouring gas onto the couch…


Jason ran out of gas after the living room and the hallways, so he raided the garage for more ‘supplies’. After pouring various liquids out of various cans all marked with ‘DANGER: CONTENT FLAMMABLE’ onto the floors and furniture of the dining room, master bedroom, boiler room(which, unbeknownst to Jason, contained a large cylinder filled with roughly five hundred gallons of heating oil) and something that looked like a palace converted to a walk-in closet, Jason fled back out onto the porch. He sniffs, detecting an odd musk under the odour of gas. He realizes it’s the smell of paint-thinner, emanating off him. It’s what he drenched the master bedroom in. Four empty cans of paint thinner lay discarded at the foot of a wooden staircase, numerous empty cans of gas scattered throughout the house, and a few empty cans of 10W30 oil piled on the maple table in the now oil-soaked dining room. Jason snickers, think, ‘The Saudi’s should come and plant a few wells in their dining room.’ He fishes the tattered book of matches back out of his pocket and draws out a single wooden stick. He draws in a shaky breath.


Why was he doing this? He had a job, a nice apartment, and didn’t normally like lighting things on fire in the earliest hours of the morning. He had just been walking to his car when he had spied a nice looking house, and the thought, ‘I wonder what it would look like on fire.’ had flown through his mind like a hurricane. He had looked the driveway, and there were no cars or recent marks. He figured they were on vacation, and before he had even completed the thought, another had popped in. This one was, ‘Just a little fire. Just a little one…’ and Jason had decided he had absolutely no business lighting anything on fire. Jason’s mind threw up a few counter arguments (which Jason, for the life of him, couldn’t remember now) and before he had known it, he was standing on the porch clutching a can of gas.


He sighs, wondered aloud what the hell he was doing, and struck the match. He drops it onto the dry wooden porch and began to run. He feels alive.

The End

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