I sat staring at the fire, the heat drying the skin of my face like parchment left in the sun. I could almost imagine it peeling away and floating up with the sparks and ash in front of me. The sky was dark and the rain seemed to be taunting the fire and me.
The oranges and yellows flicked across the wood, slowly dying as the day was. I would let it die. Let the light and the heat ebb away like the breath of an old man. I stared without blinking, wanting the last of the heat to dry my eyes as it did my skin. I wondered if my vision would shrink as my eyes became raisins. I laughed at my silly thoughts as my skin floated away.
The fire was an old friend, one that often lent a hand. A warm shoulder if you will, wrapped around an old man. I stank, it had been a while since I was able to bathe or wash my clothes. I felt like the tin man, in a rigid shell of dirt and grime. I am not one to complain. This world is what I made of it and my mistakes are written on me. Whether it be a scar or grime, I wear them well.
I used to know my name, but that was a long time ago. I believe I was happy once without a fire. I avoid people because they avoid me, probably the smell. I laugh again. Nothing shields better than the smell of piss and sweat.
You get used to the flies, they only want to feast. They are no longer annoying. I almost consider them friends, but not like the fire. I think I was a father, I can almost remember what that means. My hands are so old now…when did that happen? I have gotten too thoughtful in my ageing bones.
I remember I was alive once. I had a beating heart of some kind. I don’t have a heart any more. I gave it to the fire. I remember less and less, but I remember I died well before I forgot. I laugh over those screams coming from the fire. I think dinner is ready.