Firebug By Alisia Faust

August 24, 2015 Comments Off on Firebug By Alisia Faust

Mama set fire to the curtains. She watched the flames travel up the yellow cloth, consuming everything in its path. It hopped onto the pea plant I brought home from school, and she just watched it burn. Papa came home to Mama standing in a ring of fire, a pack of matches in her hands, and the flickering flames reflecting in her eyes.

“He told me it was the only way,” she said.

Papa said she didn’t know what she was doing. He said The Devil whispered to her and that once she let God back into her life, The Devil would be kept at bay. The doctors gave Mama some pills.

Papa said it was divine intervention.

Mama didn’t say anything, but I know the real reason why The Devil leaves Mama alone now. It’s because he talks to me. He tells me all kinds of neat things. Like all the new ways I can tease the kids at school, or where Papa keeps his holiday fund so I can buy candy. He even told me the best way to see what was inside of a turtle.

Today he asked me if I knew the secret of fire.

I didn’t know. I could remember the heat on my skin, the sweat tickling my neck, and my brain screaming at me to run, but my legs had grown roots in the ground. I couldn’t understand why Mama had continued to drop match after match.

Now it’s me, watching the flames crawl up the curtain. The fire hops onto the cactus plant. It eats at the walls.

I think I can see something within the flames, but it flickers away. I drop another match. An orange wave licks at my feet. I still can’t see it clearly, so I drop another, and another as laughter surrounds me, echoing in rounds.

Then I see him.

I drop another.

He looks so familiar, flames reflecting in his eyes.


Now do you understand?


© 2015 Alisia Faust

Alisia Faust is primarily a flash fiction writer, mostly because it caters to her ever-shortening attention span. More of her work can be found at  or you can follow her on twitter @eurasianflavour

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