The Best Way To Go

Prompt Day # 18: Describe a house fire from the viewpoint of a person (or ghost?) trapped within the burning building.


The Best Way to Go


I burned down our first house when I was five. My mother blamed my alcoholic father’s lack of proper supervision but the truth was, I snatched the matches from her purse and lit fires daily. Some days she was there “watching me” and other days my dad was. It just so happened that on that day, it was my drunken father. The police chalked it up to a five year old playing around. They had no idea how obsessed I was with fire. My mother used the insurance money and bought an old farmhouse in the country. She thought getting my father away from the town bars would stop his drinking. It didn’t of course. It got worse. That’s when the beatings started.

I have to write this quickly. I only have a few more minutes at most before I go down and this letter will burn up. I want whoever finds it to understand my reasons. When my dad started beating my mother regularly, she began sleeping on the couch. When she started sleeping on the couch, dad started sleeping with my sister, if you know what I mean. She was only eight and I wanted to kill him for it. But at twelve, I knew I couldn’t take him. I haven’t heard my sister crying or screaming. I hope the smoke got to her while she slept. That would be for the best. I heard Mom and Dad screaming and yelling, they deserved it. They brought this on all of us. I hope you understand. I’m coughing more now. It’s so hot and hard to breath. My chest is aching with every breath and the sweat keeps dripping in my eyes. I gotta get this finished.

After Dad started messing with Katie, she changed. My sweet little sister started swearing and sneaking out to smoke cigarettes. I hated to see her like that. I hated Dad for doing it to her and I hated Mom for letting him. I know she knew what was happening.

My skin feels like I just spent the week in Florida without sunscreen. It really hurts. I wonder if maybe I am dead already and I am in Hell. I don’t think so, though. If I was, Dad would probably be here beside me. I’m lying on the floor now. There is so much smoke. I wrapped my shirt across my mouth and nose so I can finish up. So my dad is an incestuous, alcoholic wife beater and my mom is the chronic victim, she takes it and takes it and turns a blind eye to what is happening to her kids in the process. Haha, I just realized I am talking about them like they still exist. I know they don’t. I heard their screams get higher and higher pitched. The higher the pitch the worse the pain. I know; my own screams have started getting higher. I can see a few blisters on my arms. I can’t get any lower to the ground.

Tonight, my dad came home and did a number on my mom. The worst I have ever seen. I thought maybe he killed her but I checked on her after he went into Katie’s room and she was still breathing. Her eyes were swelled shut, she may have been awake. I don’t think so though because I told her then I was going to kill him and she didn’t react. That’s when I heard Katie start to scream, over and over. I couldn’t take it, but I knew if I tried to stop him, he’d kill me. I went to the shed and got the gas cans and waited.

Oh my God, this pain is indescribable. It feels like thousands of knives slicing into me and the heat makes it so much worse. If I can get this finished, I’ll stand up and just take a few deep breaths of smoke and be done. So, anyways, I waited for dad to leave Katie’s room. While I waited, I made her a nice cup of hot cocoa (the idea of hot cocoa makes me want to throw up. I want ice water so bad though). I put a few of Mom’s sleeping pills in in and made sure they dissolved real good. She was still crying when I took it to her. I saw the blood on her bed and I could see some on the back of her nightgown too. I didn’t say anything to her. Just took it in and left it on her night stand. She whispered thank you to me though and I told her not to worry about it and to get some sleep. Maybe the sleeping pills did her in. That would be nice. Whoever finds this letter, maybe you can check on that with the fire inspector or whoever decides that stuff.

I’m not going to make it. I can’t stand this. I should have taken some of mom’s pills too, but no, I had to write this real quick and plus, Fire is so beautiful. I have always wanted to see it from the inside of the flame, feel what it does to skin. It’s the most painful experiment I could do, and yet, it’s the best way to go as far as I’m concerned. It’s just so painful. The flames have burned my door down and they’ve eaten up all my posters and my curtains. They’re munching on my bed right now and creeping close.

I heard dad’s piggish snoring. I went downstairs and splashed the gasoline all over. Mom never moved. I wish I had checked her pulse again. Maybe he did kill her. (Check on that with the fire inspector guy too maybe). I even splashed her a bit when I got the couch. I ran a line of gas up the stairs and then poured a bunch in front of each of our rooms. I threw a match over the balcony and watched it fall. It was like fireworks in reverse and the moment it hit, it spread out in a beautiful tsunami of heat and flame. That’s when I thought of writing this confession/why I did it letter. And the why of it is, that none of us should have to live this way. Mom and Dad don’t deserve to live after what they’ve done to this family. Katie will never get over what they did to her; I’ve seen too many movies. She’ll end up like mom or even worse, Dad. She’ll hate herself and wish she had the strength to end it. She is ruined. That leaves me. The only one able to stop this. And the best and most beautiful way I know how is with fire. My pants are melting to my legs; I have to get this letter in the box before I pass out from the pain. The blisters on my arms are meeting up with each other, they are banding together into one large subcutaneous lake. I wonder if it bursts, if it would put the fire out once it starts on my skin. It’s only a matter of seconds.

I did al I culd. I hd 2 tak car f Kate. 4gv me. Bst I cn do.