Night had only recently fallen and the moon had begun to show its face. One by one, the belongings began to pile up on the front yard. She was forced to make several trips seeing as the items were far too heavy for a girl of her stature to carry any more than one at a time. It was the punishment she faced for something she had absolutely no control over, but tonight, the most magnificent of punishments would be laid upon another. She had managed to find a way into the house through the basement window. It was left unlocked and although it was no bigger than a few inches in height, it was enough. Once inside, she unlocked the front door and it was through this very door that she proceeded to haul out item by item, memory by memory. By this point, the girl’s actions had become less of a pre-conceived consensual idea and more of a habitual instinct of sorts. The rage that boiled inside of her had taken over. Any initial grasp of motive or reason had slipped away and the actions that were in the midst of being committed became entirely systematic. The seconds turned into minutes as the minutes turned to hours. Item after item. Memory after memory. Eventually, everything that she could lift and that could fit through the front door now lay on the front yard, and she was once again in control. The house was on a quiet street so the possibility of being pestered by curious onlookers with empty questions was highly unlikely. She couldn’t answer such questions. She had never answered such questions. Answering such questions would most definitely bring her back to the one place she would give anything to get away from. Bring her back to a dark, dark place; the place where she spent a great part of her life in. ‘Great part’ as in the chronological sense: truthfully, those days were anything but. Eventually, physically, somewhere along her path to womanhood and the enlightenment to come, she found her way out of this place. Emotionally, she was often forced to return. Interrupting her stream of consciousness, she regained a grasp of her foremost intention and proceeded with its manifestation. She took one last look at the now towering heap. She began having second-thoughts. She was not a bad person. Breaking & entering and property damage didn’t suit her, anybody who knew her could attest to that. She caught herself before making any valid points and potentially rendering all her effort in vain. From this moment on, nothing was stopping her. It may as well have been written in stone, not that it would give the idea any more credibility. She stepped up to the pile and took a small cardboard box out of her pocket. That was when she remembered that she had forgotten something. She turned around and ran back into the house. She was getting restless and it was getting late. She ran up the front steps and into the house, being extremely careful of her footing. She had made a terrible mess in relocating the house’s contents to the yard and any slip in her foot-eye coordination could send her flying. She ran up the stairs, skipping every other step. The stairs were old and rickety and although most would feel uneasy at the mere sound it made, still she ran. She had other things on her mind. After reaching the top, she made her way into what used to be her room, or rather what remained of it. Her jog came to a halt when she spotted it. Face down on the ground. Its fur was disheveled and dirty and you could hardly tell it was once white. Anyone who laid eyes on the thing could tell it had been around for a while. Without giving it much thought, she grabbed the stuffed bear and made her way back to the front yard, stopping directly in front of the heap. She leaned over and placed the bear in front of it, but she did so gently, like a bucket of water full to the brim whose water you are taking great care with so as not to spill any of it. Anybody watching would have thought the bear to have some sort of sentimental value to the girl. Truthfully, it did. But it wasn’t the kind of sentimental value a photograph of a deceased loved-one has to an ever-mourning spouse or the kind of sentimental value that a high school yearbook has to a reminiscent middle-aged man. No, the kind of sentimental value this bear held was more of a symbolic one. This very bear, this lifeless, synthetic piece of fabric, had been with her through it all. For years and years, those artificial eyes had watched and watched as the very man that had partaken in the creation of her life had beaten the very life right out from her. The bear was helpless, and so was she, with absolutely no chance of retaliation. The thoughts of the past that were flooding her mind brought her to the dark place she previously feared so greatly. But this time, she took comfort in the fact that what would soon follow would surely light up the darkness. She stepped back one last time to admire her work. She took the orange container she had brought with her and emptied it onto the stuffed bear and the great mountain he seemed to be guarding. She pulled a matchbox out of her pocket and from within it she took out a match. Without hesitation, she stroke it against the rough surface on the side of the box and the flame was born; in all its glory, bright and yellow. With the self-assurance of a satisfaction that was surely on its way, she dropped the matchstick. She watched it fall. The anticipation was magnificent. Before the match even made contact with the recently soaked teddy bear, the petroleum ignited in what can only be described as a moment of bliss.
and we'll spit on the ashes of what's left
June 26, 2011