Tag Archives: fire

Tonight I Must Die

On Tuesday morning, around 10AM, I heard the first glimpse of eternity. It was my second holiday day. I was standing between cereals and pickle jars and somewhere above me a voice tried to convince me to buy slabs of steak that I had seen and that looked unhealthily red. When I saw those steaks a sick cramp formed in my stomach. Humanity has degenerated to the point that meat must be pumped with salt and chemicals to look red as we have grown so accustomed to colored food that we don’t even know anymore that flesh, after being drained of blood, is gray.

I picked a pack of sugared cereal off the shelf and it began. There was no warning. Just one voice stinging through the normal bustle of the shop. It sounded like a young screaming child that quickly ran towards me. I looked around to see the child until I heard it right in front of me but still could see nothing. Then, one after the other, more voices joined in, a choir of pained screams that grew in number and loudness by the second.

My forehead was slammed repeatedly against cold linoleum until one of the clerks did the last nice thing anybody will ever do for me. She pushed a pack of marshmallows between my head and the floor. I slammed my head into the pack rather than the floor. My hands were still pressed on my ears and I kept screaming for the voices to stop. Continue reading

The Fire Sings

“It’s going to be nice,” says my mother.

She stood up, grabbed my hand and led me out of the hut.

Walking down the dry path we already saw the crowd setting wood in its place.

We walk around the site one, twice, thrice.

“It’s the tradition,” says my mother. “It keeps us safe.”

A girl sits on the floor, not far from the wood. Her mother feeds her the special leaves and the root.

“Chew well,” says the mother.

The girl cries. Continue reading

Smoke of Death

Every night the smoke comes back. I tried everything and still it somehow manages to squeeze under the door and into the room. It waves around the room as if driven by a strong wind. Then it collects right next to me. Always right next to me – always right above her.

For three weeks I’ve been watching her sleep. Her chest falls and the smoke inches away. Neshay’s chest expands the smoke inches closer to her face. And I lie there, next to her, and stare.

I don’t know when it started. I often wake up in the middle of a night with hunger pangs or tickling legs. Maybe that’s just the stress, maybe it’s the early signs of some sort of disease.

Three weeks ago was the first time I saw it but that doesn’t mean it started that night. The thought that the smoke could have been there for weeks or months, silently hovering right next to me and above her, drives cold sweat on my forehead. Since I know that the smoke is there I can’t really sleep at night. I fall asleep on the bus and in the office but at night my brain is frozen into a constant state of panic. Continue reading

15 Years in the Woods

It was more than fifteen years ago and still I feel guilty. Still I sometimes cry myself to sleep. Still I wonder what in heaven I could have done differently.

It was a hiking trip. Laney loved the outdoors and I wanted to help her love it more. Laney was already in the girl scouts and loved that too but our local group wasn’t very active. I felt like it was my fatherly duty to grow my daughter’s passion for nature and exercise.

Just for the long easter weekend. I carried the tent and sleeping bags and Laney proudly carried our cooking utensils in her small dark green backpack. My then wife wanted to do the family tour with our two year old son.

I think that’s why we broke up – because she couldn’t look at me anymore without seeing Laney. She couldn’t look at me without blaming me.

The first two days everything was wonderful. We hiked mostly along a small river and sometimes through stretches of wood. Along the way I taught Laney about edible mushrooms and how to recognize fresh bear tracks and how her mother had always hated hiking. Continue reading

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. Continue reading