The Arsonist

An old man wearing a white undershirt and glasses runs
down from the big hill that he lives atop of and runs
into town. His leather sandals snap loudly under his feet as he
runs past the familiar residential buildings and storefronts
on the main street. He runs past the two story, red
apartments with the terracotta roofs,
the canary yellow house with big white steps
leading up to it, and past the butcher's
and the tailor's shops. This is the fastest
I've run in some time, the old man thinks to himself as he
passes the jewelers, the wind moving through his gray hair.
He'd walked through town plenty of times, while shopping
or enjoying a leisurely stroll, but he'd never actually run
through town before. It doesn't appear strange, however,
as he's in very good shape.

He reaches the busy town circle. There's a fountain in the
center surrounded by vendor stands. Strung from the top of
the fountain to the roofs of the vendor stands are lights and

The old man can feel the back of his undershirt soaked in
sweat. After catching his breath for a minute, he addresses
the townsperson nearest him who is a man pushing a cart
full of pears. "Excuse me, Sir." The man stops. "Yes?" he
answers. "I need some help," the old man says. "There's a
fire in the forest by my shack. It's small now, but it could
get big, as it's been a dry season. Need to clear all of the
dry brush and dead trees around the area. Figure it'll take a
few of us to get it done. We could even use your cart.
What d'ya say?" The man, staring into the old man's eyes,
pulls a golden lighter from his pocket. He flicks the lighter
and a giant flame shoots out. The man smiles deviously,
puts the lighter back in his pocket, and walks away,
pushing his cart.

About the Author

William Sandberg graduated from Flagler College. He lives in Sunny Florida. He loves his wife, PC gaming, and watching sports.