Weekly Challenge #813 – ARSON



“The rich are burning the planet! Burn them!” screamed the speaker.

“Burn everyone!” someone shouted. I glanced at my partner in the unmarked truck.

“Just one crazy in the crowd,” he said. “Besides, ‘everyone’ isn’t a race. Incitement to exterminate everyone is protected speech.”

“Burn the bankers!” the speaker continued. “Burn the politicians! Burn the Americans!” The crowd enthusiastically repeated every slogan.

“Got them!” I said. “If ‘American’ counts as a people these days.”

He briefly spoke with Control over the radio. “Confirmed, incitement to genocide, they’re officially over the line. ‘Any means necessary.’”

I started warming up the flamethrowers.



Take my advice and never let yourself fall for an arsonist.

When she came into my life, she was a spark that kindled a flame, that in time turned into a blaze of passion.

My desire for her burned fiercely: A fire that only intensified as our relationship blossomed, and consumed me completely, body, heart and soul.

But, unknown to me, her passion smouldered for another.

And, at the end, the embers of desire cooled and died.

Then, she snuffed me out, leaving me, burned out, charred, blackened and broken.

Hope, love and joy: Now cold ashes to the touch.


NO UNIFORMS IN OUR HOOD demanded the black spray paint scrawled on the siding of the luxury student housing still under construction in the informally, lovingly, appropriately named student ghetto.

When the message got scrubbed by the city’s Office of Community Beautification, the punks turned up the heat.

When the inferno scorched the developer’s dreams, the first responders doused the Molotov cocktail’s agenda.

The complex rebuilt, more law enforcement cruisers cruised, and some punks visited the other punks serving sentences for arson.

Twenty-five years later, the student ghetto is unrecognizable under its layers of regularly maintained postage-stamp yards and Ring Cameras.


The box sat on the floor. Everyone was quiet, imagining the potential level of devastation it could cause.
“I thought we were torching the place,” said one of them. “These are… well, ammunition for whatever war weapon. We don’t have that weapon, do we?”
The question made them snort.
“We could get it,” another ventured.
“It must cost a fortune.”
Everyone mumbled. Destroying the place for the insurance was far more complicated than they had anticipated.
“I don’t understand… Why don’t we torch the place? Done.”
Yep, he was done alright.
Let’s face it. Simple solutions aren’t always the most fun.


He used to laughingly refer to my cooking as arson, poking fun at the meals that I’d slaved over in the kitchen all day long, proudly presented to him for his evening meal.

Burnt offerings, he called them.

Before grabbing his phone and ordering pizza.

Apparently, I couldn’t hold a candle to his mother’s culinary skills, and no matter what I served, he always found fault.

Too spicy, too bland, too boring, too tasteless.

Well, maybe I couldn’t hold a candle to his mother; but I could certainly hold a candle to his bed sheets.

Perfectly cooked, to a crisp!


It was fall of ’81 as I sat in the club office going over the books. People were starting to say disco was dead and by the numbers in front of me I had no choice but to agree.

Outside I heard the DJ spinning The Tramps, “Disco Inferno”.

Just a few years ago the club was filled every night with foxy ladies and well-dressed men, all dancing and having fun. But that was then. Tonight I’m in over my head unless I can do something drastic. The music begins to mix with my thoughts.

“Burn that mother down…”


What Could GO Possible Wrong 013

With Molly draped across his chest Ford keep a steady eye on the company. He racked his brain for the where-s and why-s he had stored away on the man. Round-head motivation was pretty simple: Round-head smash. Quick and brutal, but the guy shooting dagger at him was a bit up scale. A thinking man’s round-head: a man with a plan. Wait … this fellow would later server in Parliament. Yes, he was the mastermind for the “More Incident”. There was a famous quote about that, what was it? “With comes fire”. Arson was the name of the game. Damn.


Billbert didn’t believe Sabrina. “You say you brought us here. We came to Eureka because our house burned down. Are you saying you set the fire?”
Sabrina shook her head. “We are not into arson. We only took advantage of the situation brought on by Nuclear Fusion. She started the fire. We influenced those in command to send you here.”
“You mean, to have my parents here,” Billbert tried to clarify.
Sabrina shrugged. “Yeah. Well. You wouldn’t have come here, if your parents hadn’t been relocated to this local office. But, it’s you we need to have here, not them.”


WC 813: Arson
Unintended Consequences and Loopholes

In order to curtail witch burnings and other criminal acts of conflagration, they declared by law any intentional fire was Arson. A couple centuries later, enforcement was revived to curtail cross-burning and other racist terrorism. Recently, some crooked folks started targeting their enemies by prosecuting them for having barbecues. We added an exemption for cooking fires.

Claude’s butcher shop wasn’t doing well, so he put plates and utensils on a table outside. He used charcoal and lighter fluid to fuel the fire, and served up the inventory as it cooked. He sold the cooked meat and got the insurance payout.

WC 812 Unsure
Uncertainty Abounds

We didn’t know why she was in such pain.

They found a tumor and abdominal abscess. They started chemo.

She developed a fever. They found the abscess returned. They also found out the cancer had spread into her bones. They didn’t know why the chemo hadn’t worked, but they tried another approach.

She thought her back pain was from her improvised work-from-home-station. We bought an office chair and a portable desk. Then she thought it was her 20-year-old mattress, so we bought a new one. It persisted all the same. Now we are waiting for a kyphoplasty in three weeks.



The city is beautiful and old,
But the buildings, well, they’re all replicas.
The original buildings from centuries ago were all destroyed in the war.
After the war, rubble was cleared, and new buildings were built.
All replacements of the originals, based on the original blueprints.
Well, they did make small changes to allow for indoor plumbing, and electrical outlets and conduits, and air conditioning and central heating.
But they didn’t allow for another war.
The city was leveled again.
They’d have rebuilt it again, but everyone was killed in the war, and there was nobody left to rebuild it.

3 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #813 – ARSON”

  1. I really love how creative everyone is and how one word can make everyone go in different directions! Thank you again Simon for letting me play along…especially since it caused you more work on this lovely Sunday! Have a happy week everyone!

    1. Me? I am wonderful.ooking forward to the holidays and loving stretching my creative mind. I hope you and yours are well!

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