It's been a while since I've participated in Angry Hourglass. Here's this week's entry.
Pine ash smelled the best. In the quiet hours after his parents were asleep, Elliot would reach up under his bed and remove his glass vials, examining each one.
He imagined himself in a movie of his life: twisting the lids off of each and sniffing the trophies within. His eyes would roll back in his head with the smell of the sooty remains of each conquest. That’s how villains were depicted and he didn’t disagree with the portrayal.
He took his pen out and re-labeled one of the vials that had smeared after months of handling. The masking tape on each was clearly noted with the date he’d set each fire. Some fizzled out after he’d fled the scene, but most got the job done. The land was cleared and progress could be made. It was much easier, and cheaper to clear burnt trees from the land with a bulldozer than pay a whole team of loggers to do the same. The feds were less inclined to fight to keep the burnt remains of their preserves.
His parents used to fight. Now they didn’t. Elliott solved that. They were an odd couple that the local press loved to profile. The Park Ranger who fell for the land developer. The better they got at their jobs and the more promotions they received, the more obligated they were defend their employers positions at work and ultimately at home too. Dad used to take his work home with him, complaining that mother’s company was pushing too hard to cede too much from the preserves. Mother fought back that he had more than enough land to share. Every night ended in a yelling match even after Elliott retreated to his room.
Take your children to work day changed everything for Elliott. In seeing each of his parent’s work first hand, he’d come up with the solution: Fire. If he noticed their tensions flare up he’d sneak out and make a solution.
The pit in his stomach ached, so Elliott sniffed the vials again easing the pain. He’d practiced his story again and again with his parents for tomorrow’s deposition with the fire marshal.