Martin Hooijmans | Lars de Ruyter
Phil was the kind of man who loved fire. He loved the way it looked, the way it felt, the way it crackled. He couldn’t get enough of it.
Over the years, Phil had set fire to countless things. He had started with mailboxes and garbage, quickly moving up the ladder to focus on cars, and later houses. His attempt at lighting up the public library had seen him in prison for a little while, but the look and feel of burning books had been worth it. Phil had never enjoyed books, unless they were about fire.
One day Phil, fresh out of prison, decided it was time for something new. His cellmate, a renowned pyromaniac in his time, had suggested it. So jerrycan in hand, Phil snuck up on the neighbor’s cat. He unscrewed the lid and readied himself to start pouring, when the cat, surprised by his sudden appearance, lashed out and ran off, hissing and growling.
Phil hit the ground, dousing himself in gasoline. Looking around, dazed by the fall, he noticed the zippo lighter that had fallen out of his pocket. He picked it up, overcome by a desire to see the little flame.
He flicked open the lid with great skill. One spark hit his gasoline-doused finger, which ignited instantly. Phil was a fireball.
Screaming, he ran down the street, all the while thinking setting himself on fire was the most magnificent thing he had ever done.