-FIFTEEN-Mature

The corridors of the lower levels were nearly entirely stone, a medium through which fire would hardly travel. Brida was forced to wait until she was walking through the upper levels, which contained rather impractical amounts of wood. The whole place would go up in flames; the only two residents locked away in the lower levels were Brida and Shale. Brida was now free of the bars which had once so mercilessly kept her locked away, and Shale had a key, though Brida had no hint of a clue how her friend had managed to get it. All the rest would be easily able to flee to safe ground.

And even if they weren't, at least the asylum would be destroyed, thus preventing any other souls from being coerced into its unforgiving walls. Brida would be doing the world a favor, or so she told herself.

The unfair truth was, she was bitter of heart, and the only remedy she saw was to destroy the object of her hatred.

Desiring to save the lives of as many as possible, Brida determined she would begin the fire in a secluded room, as far from life as possible. It would grow, and it would spread, and it would devour, but not too rapidly for the residents to be freed. The whole place would burn to the ground, becoming nothing more than a vague nightmare in the history of her life. Brida's heart pulsed with the excitement of knowing that soon, she would be the means through which so many beautiful minds could be untrapped.

The warden plodded on, so unaware of Brida's destructive plans.

Precious few residents knew Brida, but those who did raised their hands and waved feebly, soft smiles on their faces. Though communication was stilted in the asylum, everyone who had lived there for more than a few weeks had learned to recognize the signs of a resident being set free. Brida observed both joy and jealousy in their eyes. Well, jealousy would last no longer, for Brida would soon be their heroine, their savior! The thought of it all increased Brida's speed. Waving back with gusto, she returned the smiles of her fellow prisoners. I will free you; don't be sad any longer!

The warden continued. Closer. Closer. Closer to the designated room they walked, Brida's heart pounding relentlessly within her chest. Only a few more moments, and she would unleash the wrath of her soul. Only a few more steps...only a few more thoughts...only a few more seconds of this joy-stealer...

Brida stopped suddenly in the hallway, allowing the emotions of her soul to well inside her, threatening to burst forth at any moment. "Warden," she said, and she heard the bite in her tone. "Warden, wait. There's something I have left to say."

All her emotions, concentrated into a brutal force of energy. All the feelings she had never been allowed to express, all the fears and angers and frustrations, just biding their time, kept under wraps only because of the knowledge that they would one day be poured out. They all swarmed, teeming with anticipation, pumping the blood in her veins and the adrenaline in her very soul.

Brida crushed Shale's letter against her chest. "Warden," she called out, taunting, and the whole place erupted in a terrifying, thrilling vat of red. Fire.

The End

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