Light flickers in the small room, the shadows dancing away from the biting glow. The fire in the small fireplace crackles contently, flames licking the small pieces of wood. Red flames dance exotically, yellow and orange twisting throughout her. The brightness of the fire reflects into a young woman’s gaze, who stares vacantly into the warm, welcoming flames.
Her eyes, at that point, are dry, and watering to try and hydrate them. Even though it burns, she doesn’t close them. She watches the flames weave into provocative dances, flaunting their untouchable bodies. The Yellow jumps away from Red, though they join together again in a blissful embrace.
She sighs, dragging the breath out long and loud. Her body shivers once, shudders running down her spine, her nipples hardening. The nineteen year old woman forces her aching body to stand from the second hand rocking chair, reaching into her fuzzy robe pocket, her fingers closing around the silver lighter.
Her scarred wrist, the scars from just a few years before, rubbing against the soft fuzz as she draws the small rectangular lighter out. She rubs her thumb against the smooth texture of the back, her finger rubbing over the engraving on the back, always a reminder that somewhere, someone cares for her.
“For my Baby Girl, From Daddy” The words read, straight and bold. It must have cost so much. She moves her feet, her lower stomach and back still aching from the previous costumer that had visited her less than an hour before. He had been a new one, young with light hair and light eyes, though already his features are fading away into a sea of others.
For the past year, men had visited her bed as many nights as there had been days. She faintly remembers the first man, who had pale hair and dark eyes, tanned skin. He had given her the most anyone has yet to hand her, nearly three hundred dollars. He had known she was a virgin, and intended to pay well.
She moves to the fireplace, her hands twisting the lighter in her hands, the flames mirroring off of the reflective silver of it. The flips the lip open, pressing her thumb down on the rotating cylinders, flicking them back, pressing down on the small red button. The small flame bursts to life, joining the fire in its dance of life.
Her hands move to the lever on the side of the fireplace, cranking it down. The flames flicker, weakening. She stares at the flames as they wilt, falling. Soon, the orange fades along with yellow, leaving red to weep alone, mourning her partner and son. She wilts lower, flickering, before disappearing.
She sits up, mourning the heat that had spread throughout her old, disgusting RV. Her body is already cold, even through the fuzzy robe, the cold air that permeates the small room, flowing through her broken screen door.
She moves towards it, the cold air sweeping through hr robe, hitting her bare chest and her short skirt that accents her ass. She pulls the threadbare rope and ties it, tightening her rope against her.
She grabs her cigarette box, staring boredly at the few left. She can go through a few boxes a day, easily. Taking out one, she puts the end in her mouth, lighting the lighter. She lifts the flame against the end, taking in a soft breath. Taking the lighter away, she draws in shortly, breathing out through her nose.
She breathes in shortly a few more times, before taking in long drags, the embers rolling closer and closer to her mouth. The urge to cough snaps through her as the smoke curls into her lungs, making them feel tight. She keeps the cough down, instead inhaling more of the cigarette.
Closing her eyes, she feels the smoke dancing on the back of her tongue, slipping down her throat and into her lungs. She relishes the feeling of warmth that blankets her lungs, The taste of cigarette sliding over her taste buds.
She drags in more of the intoxicating smoke, holding it in as long as she can, before taking the cigarette in her pointer finger and middle finger, pulling it away. She breathes out, pushing the warm smoke out into the night.
She feels light, and slightly dizzy, like she’s tipsy. She relishes the feeling, retreating into herself. Putting the cigarette back on her lips, she takes a longer drag, the warmth sliding down into her lungs, filling them with warmth.
Briefly, she let her mind wander to the prospect of love. She believes in it, certain one day a man will come along and sweep her away. She only has around sixty dollars saved up in her money jar, working harder than ever to please the men that join her in her bed.
Finishing the cigarette, She lets it fall to the ground, the orange embers glowing brightly, even as she steps on it, snuffing it out. She looks into the shabby RV, glancing at the time. A customer should be coming within a couple of hours.
Taking out another cigarette, she flicks the lighter open, terror slamming through her body, jolting her back when she flicks the lighter, pressing down on the small red button. The flame is not there. She shakes the lighter, hearing no sign of lighter fluid within.
Gasping, she shrieks and slams open the screen door, rushing inside the cramped space. Looking for the container, the drops it in her panic. It crashes on the floor, the lid falling off. Lighter fluid that she saved up, nearly a gallon, floods across the carpeted floor.
She falls to her knees, hurriedly taking the top off of the lighter, shoving it under the opening of the bottle, the clear liquid filling it in seconds, still soaking into the carpet. She closes the lighter again, and without thinking, flicks the flame into life.
The flame travels to her hand, which is dripping with the lighter fluid. At first, it tickles, tenderly kissing her soft skin. Then, it burns. Shooting needles of pain into her hand, the flame dances upon her flesh, growing brighter.
The woman cries out, dropping the lighter. For a few short, precious seconds, nothing happened. Within just a millisecond, flames rose up, dancing together. The Yellow and Red danced together, their child Orange joining.
The nineteen year old, full of life and hope, sits on the back of her legs. She watches as the dancing flames licks her walls, her glass jar for money cracking, before exploding in a rainfall of clear shards of glass.
The late teen shrieks as her lighter begins to melt. “It’s not hot enough to melt silver,” she says to herself, frantically. She looks around, the illusions that had hidden her from reality fading like static. The fireplace, just a box with a screen. A button to turn it off and on glimmering on the side.
Her robe, threadbare, more holes than not. Her left breast is nearly fully exposed, the strings handing off heavily all over it. The soft fuzz long since worn off. Her money jar, only a few measly dollars littering the bottom.
Her once neat bed, covered in stains. Tears run down her cheeks. “W-Why?” This isn’t what it seemed to be. The fire... It’s showing her the truth. All her life, even in the orphanage, the flame strayed far from her. Even as it dances along the walls, it stayed away from her touch.
Now that it felt her loving skin, it could finally show her. And it is. Smoke rises in the room, wisps reaching out and twisting like vines. They reach towards her, thickening near her ceiling.
She stands, the smoke instantly clawing into her lungs. Within seconds, she loses her breath. Stumbling, she reaches soft, nimble hands to her neck. The gashes left from the smoke in her throat deeper, more smoke forcing itself into her soft lungs.
Coughing, her eyes water, running down her delicate, young face. ‘It’s not supposed to be like this.’ She cries to herself, unable to form words with her aching, burning throat.
She watches, choking on the smoke the flames created, at it illuminated her dirty, broken RV. Struggling to move, she coughs violently, her body jolting every time she forces one from her lungs.
Stepping towards the door, her sight is overcome with black dots. Tunnel vision fuels her need to get out, her hand reaching for the door. She spots a silhouette outside, fleeing into the shadows of the dark night shadows.
She tries to scream, but the sound is cut off before she can even try to make it. Smoke sends pins into her tongue, and she finds herself falling, her gaze staring at her lighter, melting in the harsh fire.
She numbly watches at blood runs down her hand, unsure of where it came from. She lacks the strength to stand, and instead watches as the fire licks her skin, her eyes drooping as a migraine spreads across her temples.
She struggles for air, her mouth open in a silent scream. Her short skirt burns her thighs, the cheap fabric catching fire. She watches, helpless, a struggling in vain to let a scream rise out of her throat.
Her vision is dragged away by a quiet hiss, her light blue eyes settling on the only thing she has from her dad, who had given her up at the orphanage when she was only seven.
“For my Baby Girl, From Daddy” reads the sticker. A smile morphs onto her lips, a single syllable released from her lips as her eyelids freeze open, the light fleeing her eyes, the flames licking her skin.