Happy Thursday, everyone!
In honor of the release of a paperback edition of my five-story collection IT’S A CRIME (complete with free ebook version!), this week’s free fiction is “Firebug,” one of the five stories in the collection. Enjoy!
Copyright © Annie Reed
Me and Bobby, we started a fire yesterday in that empty house on Colfax, the one with the ugly puke-green Realty Masters “For Sale” sign in the front yard. We got in through the patio door, real easy like. The guys working on the inside, fixing up the place, they don’t always lock up when they leave. I guess they think nobody notices, but I do. Even I know better than to leave a house open like that. Just asking for trouble.
We were outside the AM-PM on Fourth and Garnett, hanging out in the shade, when I came up with the idea. Me and Bobby, we went to AM-PM for drinks just like we always do. I had a Mountain Dew with lots of ice. I like lots of ice in the summer, crunch it between my teeth like candy. Bobby was sucking down AM-PM’s lame-ass version of a sour berry Slurpee. He stuck out his tongue every now and then just to gross me out, like a blue tongue is all that gross. I’ve seen grosser.
I’d slipped a lighter in my jeans pocket when the AM-PM cashier wasn’t looking. The lighter was clear orange plastic, the kind where you can see the fluid inside sloshing all around. I almost forgot about it until I did that little jump-skip thing I do over cracks in the sidewalk, and I felt the lighter poking hard against my hip.
“Wanna see something cool?” I asked.
I took the lighter out of my pocket and showed it to Bobby, and all of a sudden, just like that, I had the idea.
(read the rest of the story here)