fiction

Fire

what do you do when the fire grabs a kitchen knife on the countertop and threatens to cut its throat. yelling for salvation, in an ironic attempt to survive. you scramble for stories that would pass as logs to feed this hungry, desperate beast and you find nothing but poor, ill-fitted sentences.

there is a mother holding her infant on the street, waving her hands at strangers. her hunger a good three days old. a boy with a walking stick holds his mother’s hand, an injury that took form after a joke, and at 3 am along the highways of Colon, there’s Peter, a forty-five year old father of six who lost his other eye to some fight beside that dimly-lit parking lot in the corner. Peter is a sorry man, and he says it again and again, his only eye an eternal window of regret.

You tell all these to the fire without effect. the decision was made. Blood is to be shed. what do you do when fire grabs a kitchen knife on the countertop and slashes its throat? you get a kool-aid and pop it into your mouth. the kitchen knife hisses, lost among the grips of hell, its atoms scatter as it takes the form of bellowing smoke. The metal lights up, trapped in a glowing amber of steel and high Kelvin.

the mother picked up the five-peso coin dropped by a woman holding a boy with a walking stick. she heads to the nearby bakery to buy some spanish bread. Peter gets back to his merchandise, his story now irrelevant, hidden and buried among a potpourri of clay pots and tin cans.

there’s an object in the corner, cylindrical and inviting. you approach it and pop the nozzle. there’s a label declaring it as a tool; to you, as a weapon. you face the fire and it looks back in horror. you have played this game more than you wanted and you decided you are tired. it’s time you both retire.

the mother savors the bread while the infant feeds from her bountiful glands. the boy stumbled, fell, and cried. Peter explains the art of pottery to an oblivious mother holding a sobbing child with a walking stick.

the kitchen knife fell on the floor. you pick it up, its heat gnawing at your flesh. you inspect your own wrists.

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