Forest Fires

by Anonymous

When I wake up, in the morning blue, the cups and plates are upside down. My feet stick to the cold back step, the dog sniffs the same rose bush, the flames start somewhere deep in my chest.

 She took the worst of me, left me with the burning embers. I’m on the precipice of doom, eternally teetering on the cliff at the end of the world, and the wind is only getting stronger.

 Set fire to me, let the ashes cling to my lungs.

 Set fire to me, my bloodied feet, my wrists, my knees – someone took the time to carve into my skin, that I’m alone, that I’m living in sin.

 They scream on the street that my heart has grown cold, that the chambers don’t work anymore; but there’s a forest fire growing, igniting my throat and bristling against my bones.

 Quiet sobs and reserved huffs of air echo through my mind, the wailing of the widows haunting my dreams. I fear there is no escape from the howling that lines the tips of my fingers.

 I hit my head against a cloud, drowning my daydreams, bruising my sight.

 There are no demons inside of me, there are no hounds of Hell gnashing behind my words – there is no one here, just gnarled thoughts caught between my teeth.

 I lay alone in bed, whispering one, two, three: something about counting wolves and running from sheep.

Mayor Findley has soft hands, he thought, wiping the blood from his nose. Great, another nosebleed.

 It doesn’t take too long, to loosen the hands surrounding his neck and to position the body onto the cross, crudely drawn in chalk. Mayor Findley’s chains clatter against the floor and he slowly picks them up, setting them against the still chest.

 He grabs the hammer from his duffel bag, holds the spare nails with his teeth and doesn’t blink as the bones splinter under the pressure.

 He can feel the power waning somewhere in his veins, the last vestiges of magic he stole from the Curtis’ kid. He frowns as he looks out the window. A great streak of sparks fly out of the woods, green, red, blue.

 A smile breaks out across his face, he can already smell the blood. He slaps Mayor Findley on the leg, checks the nails in his wrists, and follows the light into the trees.

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