I loved the way it danced, perfect in its imperfection. Alive and so hungry, a dance of joy and consumption.
I loved the way it smelled, especially leaves. Burning leaves smelled almost sweet. Wood was thick and heavy scented, but comforting.
When certain metals were lit, they made colorful flames. Blue, green, purple, in contrast to the reds, yellows and oranges of its normal palette.
I loved the way it sounded, soft and crackling, or roaring and angry when it was very large, strong like a lion, or a train.
I knew it was dangerous. It could hurt me if I let it get out of control. But I didn’t. I learned to control it. I fed it and it grew. I cared for it like a pet, a very hungry and fast growing pet.
I found it more food and watched it grow. When there wasn’t any food left, it would settle down in it’s dark black bed and die.
I would miss it, and watch the Fire Marshall crawl all over its burial, defiling its final resting place. And I would get angry and seek revenge.
I would do it again.
“Honey, turn on the news.” My Mom was ever the sweet angel. She had a hard time raising her voice. Even in an emergency, she’d be like, ‘call 911 dear, and I’ll get some towels, that poor bloody man.’
I turned on the evening news. I was greeted by a charming aerial shot of the most perfect roaring orange flames. I stared. I didn’t even hear the words of the reporter as the camera shots changed, displaying all angles of the inferno. The only bad thing is that television can’t capture the small details, color changes, nor the whole dance of the fire’s life in a few camera shots. It was really disappointing. It left me wanting more..
“So terrible.” Mom interrupted my thoughts.
“What?” I questioned, ready to defend fire’s brilliance and power if need be.
“It was an arson. At least it was an abandoned house. Imagine if someone was living there! It would be terrible!”
She walked away, to stir something, but her words resonated inside me.
Next time I’d have to be more careful.