They get to me. All of them.
“Andy’s really on fire today,” Bill Hardy commented from across the boardroom table.
We were waiting for our boss, a piece of work, too.
Earlier, I’d gained control of the boardroom and started the meeting, just so that I didn’t have to listen to their mouths running. But they’d gotten out of control.
“More like his ass is on fire,” Grayson Smith muttered back to Bill, glancing sideways at me. “Have you smelled him today? It’s like he hasn’t had a shower in a week. All that sludge must have spontaneously combusted.”
I pretended not to listen. I had always been known as the smelly kid; now as an adult, the smelly guy. It was the overactive sweat glands.
As I watched the room, I noticed that they were all whispering, and looking at me as they spoke. Talking about me. I had more years’ experience than half of ‘em, but there they were, talking about me.
They get to me.
Do it, the voice whispered.
I shook my head.
“Why’s he shaking his head?” Grayson whispered to Bill. “I really think this guy’s nuts, man. Who’s he shaking his head at?”
Do it. You can do it. Burn ‘em all, Andrew.
“Can’t,” I whispered back, looked down at my notes.
Think of how easily that paper’ll go up in flames, Andrew. Think. So easy.
“Hey man, who the fuck are you talking to?” Grayson flicked a pencil my way. It smacked the side of my head with the sharpened end.
I might have ignored it any other day, but now they were all watching me. Jaws open. Watching.
“Shit, man, sorry,” Grayson said. “I didn’t think it would…”
Burn the fucker.
But you want to.
Do it. Burn the asshole. Burn all of ‘em. Even that stupid blonde bitch with the eighty’s hairdo. Get rid of her, too.
“No problem, Grayson,” I murmured.
The occupants of the room went back to what they were doing. I reached into my pocket and found my lighter. Shook it. Full. Perfect.
I stood up and meandered towards the window. Holding the lighter out of view, I held the lit wick to the curtains. And then the next window’s curtains. Within seconds, flames were licking up the thick fabric. Next, I approached Grayson and I crouched down beside him.
No one seemed to notice the fire, yet.
I held the lighter to Grayson’s pants, watched them catch. As I lit his shirt, he felt the heat and backed into Bill with nowhere to go. I lunged, lit his hair. While he and Bill tried to bat out the flames, I dashed back to my seat by the door. Lit up my notes. Threw them into the garbage can, where they set more paper afire.
I left the boardroom and pushed the closest desk before the door. They were pounding on the windows, shouting, screaming. I could see them.
Sometimes people get to me.
© Lindsay Mawson 2011
A.S.S. on Flames Recipe
1/2 oz amaretto almond liqueur
1 splash 151 proof rum
1 splash 151 proof rum
1/2 oz DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
1/2 oz Southern Comfort® peach liqueur
First layer the ingredients starting with the Amaretto, then Sour Apple Pucker, and Southern Comfort. Next float the 151 Rum, light it on fire and shoot the drink.