Lars, 5 and 10, cracked his window- cold came in but smoke would go out.
Crrrrriikkhh, crrrrrrrrihhkkh, criiihkh… the matches struck and ran along the matchbox with a muted resonance, and when the phosphorus began to ignite, Lars felt he was oxidizing too.
Lars, 5 and 10, inhaled like a summer day- grasping fully that he was a wooden moth inside.
He pictured himself flapping his powdery birch wings onward to the heat, a vessel of tinder, a spark that might be what not-yet-men in winter needed to feel ok. Flame Lars was incomparable and invincible as kindling, just glowing with healing vibration…
Lars, 5 and 10, didn’t respond to the call for supper- Dad found Lars in his room.
Wooden sticks littered the wooden floor, defeated, Lars lying among them. Every inch, every slice of him boasted little match sized blisters oozing yellow and filmy- burns of the second degree.
Dad heaved and Siku mush plunged to the floor like an avalanche.
Lars, 5 and 10, wasn’t sad anymore- he was happy enough to die.