Fire dances for the first time as he strikes a match under his father’s watchful eye at seven years.

Fire dances again when, at fourteen, he joins the schoolyard fun of cheap Bic lighters and spray deodorant.

Fire dances a third time at university, spiralling through his veins in a haze of euphoria. It is vivid and delirious and terrifying. The burning never goes away.

Five years later, and fire dances as he lights the spark that will send the old weatherboard villa up in flames.

Fire dances in the eyes of the police when they find him afterward, silhouetted against the sunrise peeping through the blackened frame of the house. Behind their anger is pity, and subdued understanding.

They know why he did it. He’d been there when they found the bodies in the cellar.

No one wanted the memories. Or the house.

Now they are ash, swept away with the wind.

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