Man Made of Fire (a.k.a. Tonight my house will burn to the ground. Tonight I will die. I just want you to know that it was not your fault.)

YouTuber PsykoSimon kindly provided a narration of this story.

By the time anyone reads this I will likely already be dead. This is not a call for help or attention and this is not a suicide note. This is just a goodbye and, maybe, a warning to others.

If you hear about my ‘suicide’ tomorrow please don’t dig into it. I will share this message with my Facebook friends and maybe some of you will understand what happened – but I still ask you not to dig into it. I just want you to understand that I didn’t want to die and that it wasn’t your fault.

You might have read about the high number of fires we had here in the last two or three years. And maybe you are also one of the few individuals to whom I confessed that I witnessed one of them; that I saw a man in the second floor window. His body was on flames and he seemed to be screaming – and then disappeared in a wall of flames.

If you were one of those people then you might remember that I felt guilty for just standing there. I didn’t know what else to do. I thought I should have helped in one way or the other – but my body was frozen in place, and then he was gone too fast.

I don’t feel that guilt anymore. I understand now that what I saw wasn’t a dying person.

I read a few conspiracy theories online, that there is some arsonist or that the city is setting the fires because they want to redevelop the area, but just like most others I didn’t think much of the fires; I read a few of the articles out of curiosity or boredom or maybe just because they were there.

After seeing the man on flames I just couldn’t get his image out of my head anymore. I had nightmares which consisted just of a dark room filled with a burning man and his screams.

Originally I just wanted to know more about the man that died. I read every article about him that I could find – and a few of them mentioned that there was a “series” of fires.

I began to read about the previous fires – I didn’t believe any of the conspiracy theories, they just made me feel a confused mixture of amusement and anger.

Then, in mid-March, I found the comment that matched exactly what I saw.

I would swear that it was online, but it is gone now. The blog where I read it was poking fun at the conspiracy theorists – and among one of the comments a woman complained with the same emotion I felt.

She signed the comment with “Shelby,” but I couldn’t find any information about her online. She was angry about the blogger’s jokes because she felt it was insulting to the victims of the fire and could hurt their families. And then she wrote a paragraph that I just can’t get out of my mind anymore.

I was at one of the fires. I know that will be hard to believe because you think this is all just funny, but when I close my eyes I still see the image of a man, completely on flames, standing in an open window. I saw him standing there for nearly half a minute, and then he was taken by the flames.

Shelby wrote a bit more, something about the guy being disrespectful with his jokes.

I should have saved the post somehow, but I didn’t. And I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist myself, but since then there were several more fires. One of those fires killed a woman and her husband. They were called “S. and M.” And then, a few days later, there was another fire. That one was big on the news because a blogger died which previously had made fun of the conspiracy theorists.

His blog is gone now. I don’t know what happened, but maybe they took it down or just nobody paid the bills anymore. I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it just seemed too coincidental.

That’s why I went to the graveyard. That’s why I looked at all the new graves. That’s why my heart skipped a beat when I saw a double grave with plenty of flowers and the name “Shelby” etched into the left side of the wooden cross.

I talked to a journalist but he thought I was crazy. And he said that I should tell “my wife” to stop calling.

Apparently a woman has been calling him for the last three months. She kept telling him that she saw a man on fire walk out of one of the houses. He didn’t believe me when I said that I don’t know her, I think he thought she had told me to call. Still the journalist gave me her number.

Her name was Hailey. Was.

We talked for about 20 minutes and she was astonished that I believed her; she nearly got euphoric when I told her that I too saw a man on flames.

Hailey had seen smoke coming from a window, a few minutes before the fire was visible. She called the firefighters and rang the doorbell and hammered against the door. She heard voices inside but nobody opened – and so she ran around the burning house to get to the back door.

She said that she saw two men behind the glass door. One looked human and scared, but the other was just flames. For a moment Hailey thought that she had seen it wrong and that the man was in flames, rather than flames – but then she realized that she was able to see through his body.

The human was kneeling and begging, but the man made of flames touched his shoulder and then the kneeling man screamed and begged louder. Hailey saw him sinking onto the floor, still screaming and moving, and then his body burst into flames.

The man made of flames walked through the room; he touched the furniture until much of the room was on fire. Hailey ran back around the corner to hide; then the man ran out – through the glass door. In the garden his body fell apart into smaller flames that set part of the grass on fire. Then he was gone.

Hailey and I arranged to meet on the weekend. I was excited and at the same time worried to see her. The thought that who I saw in the window wasn’t a dying man somehow made me feel better and also somewhat scared. I thought that I could finally sleep soundly.

Instead I had even more vivid nightmares; this time the man made of flames didn’t scream anymore. Instead he walked towards me and I was kneeling on the floor.

That same night there was another fire.

The newspapers only had a small article on it and they didn’t say a name. But since then Hailey’s number was dead.

I waited for two days; maybe I shouldn’t have waited. I guess I really didn’t want to believe it.

When I called the journalist and told him that I thought it was her that had died I heard a cup slamming on the table. He seemed genuinely shocked and worried. He promised that he would research into it.

You’ve probably seen the articles. The news were plastered with his face. Journalists always write longer articles when they write about their own.

Suicide. Set his hotel bed on fire while he was lying in it. Colleagues said they didn’t notice any signs that he would ever do such a thing.

I talked to three different journalists, but none of them wanted to listen. They said I shouldn’t talk like that about him and that I should go somewhere else with my “voodoo stuff.”

So, here I am. I’m pretty sure I talked to too many people about it. All of the fires happen at night and right now it’s getting dark outside.

I will stay in the shower and I have buckets of water ready, but honestly I don’t think I have a chance.

As said, I just want you to understand that mine was not a suicide. And still, please don’t dig into it. Maybe the fires will end if nobody speaks about them anymore.

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