When they set the bed on fire the first time, it skittered back--motored by their shimmying motion--toward the closet, over some strewn-about candles she asked him to light to set the mood.
“Saints alive!” he blurted out as flames flashed, not knowing from whence that exclamation came.
He slipped out, grabbed the burning blanket and beat it on the floor until the embers died. He dashed to the kitchen, snatched an orange juice carton and doused the charred fabric.
“Honey, it’s okay.”
“Dear, you can’t be too careful. One little lingering cinder can reignite a fire. A huge blaze could snuff us out while we sleep. The smoke, that’s what gets you.”
After that, the candles went into hibernation in the hall closet.
The second time they set the bed on fire, the reintroduced candles were again the culprits. They drifted off into the arms of Morpheus in their joint embrace with the wicks still lit. One somehow toppled off the dresser.
Nostrils thick with a smoky stench, he soon had every last candle in the apartment cinched in a trash bag.
“Hell,” he thought as he stood before the dumpster. “I hope to hell this doesn’t symbolize a thing.”
Joseph S. Pete
Flashes of War