“What’s the worst way to die?” Jacob asked me. He was sitting indian style on my bed with his elbows hunkered over crossed legs— leaning over me with sick wonder stretched in his smile.

“Probably being burned alive.” I said alongside a sigh. The accuracy of my answer accompanied with the nonchalant way I responded got to Jacob. Being two years younger than I he was prone to manipulation— hopelessly latched to my every word. He thought I was smart. I shouldn’t have started with him.

“Have you ever touched a hot light bulb?” I continued, rolling on my back on the floor, looking up at the egg white monotony of my popcorn ceiling. It looked like an inverted mountain range of cottage cheese; a mini frozen tundra for my imagination to hike.

“Yes” Jacob said

“Imagine that feeling on your whole body until your nerve ends sizzle numb.” My hands made an all encompassing gesture.

He’d pulled the covers up— the same engulfed blankets lapping flames on my feet now— trapping me in the corner of my room.

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