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Open your eyes...



Iím a touch groggy as I coax myself into opening my shaken tired eyes. I blink more then twice and try to sit up, thereís a tug at the base of my stomach. Itís to dark to see what it is so my hands handle the work. I trace my fingers down my chest and to the source of the tension. My fingers wrap around something round and wet, but its nothing of mine. This is point where nausea sets in and my eyes close again. Iím not really that sure if I even let go. The pain comes in slow pulsing waves, my body clinging to some foreign object, my mind trying to stay focused on something good and pure and real.

Itís so dark I cant tell what Iíve crashed into but it doesnít matter, this whole night was about liberation, being a hero, becoming the martyr. all in the name of self glory and eternal remembrance. my eyes blink with tears, and Iím crying aloud in agony. Without thinking, without knowing, Iíve reached into my pocket and shoved two cigarettes into my mouth. my hands are separate from my body, just trying to speed up this painful process of dying.

no lighter.
no matches.
no fire.

profanity doesnít quite do the job when youíre mutilated and dying. I spit out the wasted cancer and start to remember.

everything was perfect, the setup, the plan, the reason. gallons and gallons of gas, a master key, a blaze a block wide, a fire that would level the school, that would destroy the county. this destruction, this burning of Eden, would be the greatest adventure of my life. It would have been my silent claim, I would sit and laugh as the local and maybe national media poured out theories and suspect lists, I would help the charities that would offer to help. I would sit in my room each night in silent reverie as to what id done. Iíd be the proud destroyer, the lonely arsonist, the god of vandals.

Id planned for weeks, buying an extra gallon of gas every few days, procuring the master key from an old janitor who lost himself years earlier in a horrible accident. But who can turn away a local tragedy? every detail was set it stone....

blood surges from my cracking lips, the blood mixes with the tears and travels slowly down my chin. This is the part where things get dim and dull. my senses slow and I can actually hear my heart beating, slower and slower...

I had taken my lovely fathers truck and put the gas cans in the back, id waited until almost three to do this. I rode in the car listening to some easy jazz, I smoked half a pack. i chewed some gum.. the adrenaline was mounting this was the most amazing night of my life. I carried in the gas cans one by one got a ladder out of the storage room and crawled into the rafters, I was amazed it was working.. everything going according to plan. I had just enough room to stand and pour the gas. when id poured enough gas to soak the insulation I reached into my pocket and produced the light. the fire. the bringer of destruction. I clicked on the lighter and started down the ladder.

My hands, those separate little devices, theyíre starting to shake and Iím wondering if the heat Iím feeling is just my body dying or the fire.. Iím to scared to open my eyes and Iím to tired to try...

Halfway down the ladder, I lost my footing. I slipped. fell. How far? Who knows. Itís one of those slow motion feelings you get when you realized youíve just lost everything. When you reach down and feel a pole in your stomach. Itís times like those you wish there was a plan B.

Iím not sure what my hands are doing... but in my mind theyíre trying to make me stand up, theyíre begging me to glide up the pole despite the pain and run. Run far and fast. But when I summon enough strength to open my eyes, its already over. The school is golden all around me.. Things are falling all over. The fire around me isn't as hot as I thought it would be. But maybe that's the whole dying thing for you. I reach into my pockets, grab one last smoke, and crane my head into a near flame..
Breathe in.
exhale.


I close my eyes again.....






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