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After The Fire Comes Salvation (standard:mystery, 1093 words)
Author: JKinAdded: Mar 23 2001Views/Reads: 3772/2225Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
In this story, we meet a young man who reapes the ultimate revenge on his dead-beat father. Then a mysterious hitchiker claims he is his savior. What happens next will leave you astonished

Running through the forboding woods, I made up my mind to toss the
orange fuel over in some bushes where it wouldnít be found.  Suddenly, 
I reached for the lighter in my coat pocket and rid myself of it.  My 
body smelled of thick, profuse gasoline and it kept getting worse it 
seemed--so strong and nauseating that I almost passed out right there 
in the midst of a these fiery woods.  But what mattered was that I had 
done it. Finished.  I breathed heavy exasperating gasps, feeling lucky 
to even make it back to my car.  I looked back and peered back into the 
dark woods and began to feel the night gripping my insides with its 
hot, sharp darkness.  Everything--the house, the surrounding  
trees--lit the sky and kept it ablaze, and in the beginning of my long 
journey back to Kansas, I passed an enormous sign reading "Gasoline, 
itís what keeps you going." 

At twenty-three, this had been the most dangerous, scary, yet
significant night of my life.  But I could relax now I hoped and forget 
about it.  People might think Iím a criminal, but I have reason for my 
actions.  After all, I possess clear impeccable standards of justice 
and not every one in this world is this lucky or brave, I believed.  
Always stand up for your beliefs my brother once told me because the 
world needs more honesty and courage.  Tonight I truly lived up to this 
belief like never before.  I felt my muscles tense in my arms and I 
smiled to myself.  I had always been such a quiet, soft-spoken person, 
like my mother, who taught me a lot about life, working hard and the 
importance of forgiveness. 

I turned on the radio, and while trying to listen to some lonely
talk-radio host, I noticed a person hunkered over along side the road 
wearing a thick wool coat. Getting closer to wear he stood, he glanced 
up at me with strange sad eyes, the same melancholy eyes my brother had 
when he told me that the man we called our father was not really our 
father. My real father, my brother said, lived in another part of the 
states. Even my mom hadnít told me about this, or where he lived... 

Apparently, he wasnít a nice man at all and I grew to hate him even
though I had never laid my eyes upon him.  But after years of hunting 
and searching,  I found out that he lived here among the mountains and 
foliage known as Fleen mountain.  And hereís what I did:  I burned him 
down inside his cabin tonight.  I lit the match, poured some gas and 
that was all it took.  I didnít even go inside and see him, just burned 
the bastard down.  Iím not crazy, just mad at him and all the damn 
absentee fathers of the world. I made a difference to the world. 

After all this malevolence, I decided I might as well help this
desperate person out alone side the road.   Maybe I could pass the car 
onto him and catch a bus back to Kansas.  If anything ever went down, 
this man would take the fall.  Just like clockwork, I thought. 

"Are you okay" I asked, after bearing my door open and walking up to him
slowly.   He turned and looked up at me. 

"No one would stop at all," he uttered first. He paused for a pensive
second.  "The worldís too scared nowadays. . . with all these damn 
maniacs, murderess and arsonists, itís a wonder you even stopped" In 
this moment, I didnít quite grasp the manís quirky, almost sarcastic 
tone. .  The word arson made me shiver a bit as I stood there quietly, 
hearing my engine hum into the cold night from behind me.  I said 
nothing.   He seemed too old to have any wit or humor left inside him. 
Then, he extended his hand out to shake my hand.  It looked rotten, 
tough, and scaly--I didnít want to touch him at all. 

"Thanks for stopping," he said smiling, and he put his hand down,
looking very ashamed, very lonely and very nervous. 

"Well, sir," I said, using a colloquial tone I rarely employed, "I sure
hope I can help you tonight--you look mighty worn down."  Truth was 
though, I wanted to hurry things up a bit, and frankly, I now wanted to 
leave the more I stood near him. Forget about my plan to frame him, I 
thought.  He did look  so unusual, yet familiar in a way. I quickly 
asked, "Whatís the--the--" 

"Problem," he answered sharply, as if he anticipated this question right
now at this exact moment.  I waiting anxiously for him to answer or 
continue.  I waited for him to utter something, some stupid reason, 
like his car broke down, or he ran out of gas.  But instead, he started 

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