In the still of an Autumn night, the young man slunk menacingly towards the old tree. The moon and the stars hid their faces from him behind a soft veil of clouds. That was just as well; few took notice of him in the light of day. Now, the humid night descended completely, no human eye marked his progress across the common area and up among the welcoming, unknowing roots of the hefty oak.
In all his adolescent vanity he sneered at the silly old thing, whethered and old. Time, he considered, did nothing but bring decay, rot, and the fetid uselessness of the dying. This was not for him, nor did he feel it was for the world at large. Life, in his mind, was meant to be consumed in a blaze of glory, a streak of brilliance to illuminate this dull existence to sear itself upon the collective unconscious.
Nearly giggling with glee at his own irony, he hummed 'Heart of Oak' under his breath as he fumbled with the purloined bottles of lighter fluid and the book of matches from The Carriage House Inn & Suites. The song, sung frequently enough by his Irish immigrant grandfather, seemed both tauntingly amusing and befitting the occasion. After all, what old sailor didn't deserve a good funeral pyre, even if his staid and sullen parents had insisted on a traditional, demeaning funeral, with its morose open casket and lilting flowers.
"This one's for you, gramps," he muttered, suddenly unsteady fingers fumbling with the plastic safety seals on the bottles of accelerant. Nature stirred from her sweltering slumber to send a heavy breeze through the branches overhead. They called down to the young fire bug, beckoned him to pause and look up. The tree, in its gentle voice, told him all he needed to know of life, death, and the space inbetween.
don't you cry
go to sleep my little baby. *
_"Oddest thing, that kid's been less moody and less, oh what's the word? Emo? Was he emo? I don't know, but he seems almost normal now, hasn't gotten in trouble at school or destroyed anything. You never can guess how a kid's going to respond to loss, can you?"_