Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Entry #74

The Fire
by Scott Simpson

When Evan stood before fire he felt the shame of three generations.

There glowed his father’s shame- the grey hotness- like embers of a burnt-down house.

There danced his own shame- the gas-soaked burning of couches and curtains.

And there… there wafted the future shame that would cling to his young son, permeating all nearby good things like the befouling odor of burning-garbage smoke.

When Evan looked at fire he saw far too much red- anger from within was a fire that desperately needed out.

When Evan looked at fire re re-saw raw burning flesh that fried like common bacon with its fat feeding the larger flame ala candle wax, tossing out pennants of pure yellows and oranges.

When Evan got near fire he’d raise a shielding hand, warding off the implications fire imposed, protecting himself from its raw and puerile honesty.

Fire could destroy pain if it were hot enough.

Fire could act as an elemental cleanser.

Transmutation occurred by immersion in a great fire.

Fire was the final judgment.

An adolescent angry hand had lit the fire that burnt it all away and a repentant hand desired often to reach into the flames and pull out the father who once beat Evan so badly his bruises melded with old bruises until all history of every hand-strike became unreadable on the torso and face.

“You weren’t supposed to be home,” Evan chanted, cried.

If he could reach back into the flames…

The memory was hot enough to sizzle.


Aimee Laine said...

The memory was hot enough to sizzle A strong end thought. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. There is a lot of raw emotion portrayed here. It was the line about the bruises that got me the most.

Catrina said...

Wow. Well done. Loved the first three lines especially, since they really grabbed me. But overall, it was quite good.

You should be proud.

Unknown said...

I'm wondering who was home that shouldn't have been? Mom, Dad?

Nicely done, made me think.

Dottie :)

SzélsőFa said...

Dottie, i think it was the third generation, his son :(
(that is how i read it)
raw, filled with lots of emotions... no wonder the memory is still sizzling...

fairyhedgehog said...

So he (or his son?) set the fire not knowing his Dad was in there, and now he wishes he'd pulled him out? I'm not sure I've got the details right but the emotion was there.

bluesugarpoet said...

I like how you've played with the idea of a son coming to terms with the family "sin." ~Jana

Old Kitty said...

Powerful! The killer ending just wraps this fiery story very nicely!! Thank you! take care

Michele Zugnoni said...

I love your use of metaphor. Great look inside your narrator's head.

Thank you for sharing!

Richard Levangie said...

Scott: A raw entry, brimming with emotion.

Anonymous said...

Foreshadowing first line - excellent all through.

JaneyV said...

Scott - I think you have brought together the anger guilt and shame of Evan very well here. I have the utmost of sympathy for him. Perhaps his father deserved his death but Evan certainly didn't deserve to be the one to inflict it.

Anonymous said...

What a powerful story of guilt. I felt the character's suffering. Solid writing. I especially liked the pacing and storytelling.