Fire Starter

Contributor: Kristina England

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Jamie lit a cigarette and leaned up against the wall of an old warehouse.

"Hear about the mailbox bandit?"

Billy shook his head. He looked at her lips as she casually brought the ciggy up and parted them.

"What's the deal with the mailbox bandit?" He said, trying to pry his eyes from her mouth.

"Some kid, or maybe kids, has been going around taking out mailboxes. Cops think the weapon's a bat."

"What does your father think?"

"He's a fire fighter. They fix the issue. They don't solve it."

Jamie pushed her hair out of her face and turned to Billy.

"You want a taste?"


Jamie's lips curled.

"The cigarette, man. You want some?"

Billy blushed and shook his head.

"You need to live dangerously, man. That's what the mailbox bandit is doing. He's living life on the edge."

Billy shook his head. He hated when Jamie got like this. So what if he didn't drink, smoke, or get arrested every Tuesday night. There were better risks to take than living in the shadows.

"The bandit is faceless... He's no more a man than me. If anything, he's less of one."

Jamie rolled her eyes.

"And what would you know about being a man?"

Billy pushed himself away from the wall. He looked up at the empty warehouse. Its walls seemed to shudder with abandonment.

"I know a man doesn't need to commit a crime to be a criminal"

"Oh really? And what kind of criminal are you?"

"The kind that wants to start a fire."

Jamie looked at him.

"Don't even joke about that."

"What? I thought you liked dangerous men? And who said I was joking?"

Jamie examined his face. She took a puff of the cigarette and exhaled.

"So, Mr. Fire Starter, where would you light a match if you had the guts?"

Billy walked up to her. He took the cigarette from her hand.

"I was thinking right here, right now."

Jamie looked up at him. Her eyes widened. "With my cigarette?"

"No, with your lips."

Jamie's forehead creased in confusion, but before she could reply, he leaned in and kissed her.

She pulled back a little, then leaned into him.

Billy broke away from the embrace and put her cigarette out on the warehouse.

He smiled. "I've got to go."

"But we were just getting started."

"I know," he said.

Billy pushed Jamie's hair over her left eye, winked, and walked away into the smoke-filled night.

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Kristina England resides in Worcester, MA. Her writing is published or forthcoming at Extract(s), Gargoyle, The Story Shack, and other magazines. For more on her writing, visit
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