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Burned (standard:other, 13521 words)
Author: 525Added: Jan 15 2001Views/Reads: 2963/1837Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A young man falls from society and searches for insanity.



Cole Reiley was born in LA during the Rodney King riots. He was born in
the early morning just as the sky was starting to lighten, which made 
it just a bit easier to make out the city backdrop behind the three or 
four fires you could see from his mother’s hospital room window. 

Shortly after that, his family moved to San Diego and his life
progressed normally, normally... for a pyromaniac, that is. 

He played with matches, started smoking, always had a lighter, dabbled
in minor homemade explosives, and he was always searching. 

By the time he was eighteen he was doing two things he liked regularly:
seeing his psychiatrist and setting fires. Seeing Dr. Lewis Ray had 
become a game to Cole, leading Dr. Ray down dead ends and keeping him 
on the line, making him think they were progressing and then pulling 
the rug out with huge set backs. Cole was very intelligent and he liked 
manipulating people, especially people who thought they were 
intelligent, especially Dr. Ray. 

In actuality, counseling was pushing him further and further towards
insanity. Watching his fires, on the other hand, was the only thing 
that made him feel closer to being sane. 

This is Cole's story of escape from society and his search for


I'm in a very large, very sterile, room -- not like hospital “sterile”
but “sterile” as in absent of character, like robots or soulless people 
had designed it.  There are large shiny black tiles on the floor; what 
look like huge stainless steel cabinets without handles line the walls. 
There are only a few things occupying the massive amounts of floor 
space: a handful of people, a podium, and a coffin. The coffin is on a 
stainless steel gurney against the wall behind the podium. 

A priest is standing between the podium and the coffin doling out
impersonal words that he has spoken so many times that they have lost 
meaning to him. He doesn't hide this very well. Those words may be 
affecting the others in attendance, though. Most of them seem very 
upset, but maybe they just feel this is how they are supposed to seem. 
It is as if they have a chest of drawers, each drawer containing 
different expressions or emotions. Depending on what the situation 
calls for, they would reach into the appropriate drawer and don their 
mask. Today’s expressions seemed to be mostly from the drawer marked 
“Sadness,” but as I looked closer I saw hints that some had dressed 
from the “Fear” drawer. Or maybe I was just seeing some reality 
slipping out from behind the costumes. 

The priest finishes and another man steps up to the podium.  I recognize
him as my dad. -Now this should be interesting-. He is looking down, 
apparently in sorrow, but when he looks up and opens his eyes, I see 
there is nothing there - nothing but empty sockets, personal black 
holes from which no gaze can escape. He seems unaffected and he opens 
his mouth to give his eulogy, but nothing comes out. Slowly his face 
changes from calm, to fear, from fear to terror, from terror to horror. 
His face pulls back and his mouth opens wider, as if to scream, but 
that pleasure is robbed from him when, suddenly, massive amounts of a 
thick black liquid start pouring out of his mouth, like some type of 
black jelly cry. Then, just as suddenly, his body ceases to exist. 
Nothing is left but a pile of ashes on the floor - a very small pile of 
ashes. You would think that the remains of a soul would be bigger. 

One of the stainless steel cabinet doors slides open as if by magic. The
room is blasted with heat and filled with the sound of gas-powered 
flames cranked full blast. Even the flames are sterile: a pretty blue 
with orange tips arranged around the sides all shooting toward the 
center, leaving about a two-foot by one-foot rectangle of wavering 
blackness in the middle. Two men from the party (two men I don't 
recognize) start pushing my coffin (I guess I always knew it was my 
coffin) towards the flaming, open cabinet. It starts sliding off of the 

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