The man skulked around the wooden structure late last night knowing it would be for the last time.
Empty now, he knew that behind those locked doors was a place of pain, suffering, and unspeakable horrors.
It was essential that he end it once and for all.
So he did what he had to do.
Weakened by age the man struggled yet managed to lift the first of the two containers of gasoline. Careful not to splash himself, he began sloshing the pungent liquid on the dried timbers until both containers were emptied and the building was moistened.
Taking the newspaper from his jacket pocket the man wadded the pieces of paper separately and then placed them at the bottom of the front door. He lit a wooden matchstick and stared at its flame for a few seconds as though he were having doubts or wondering what it was he was actually doing. But before he could question his own sanity or before the heat had a chance to burn his fingertips he simply tossed the lit match onto the pile of paper, smiled and walked away.
What started as a small flame soon became fire and smoke. Like a beast, it slithered up the dried timbers clawing its way to the roof, leaving nothing unscathed. The loud explosion of windows sent shards of glass raining to the ground in an untimely manner. It was followed by the whoosh of an inferno.
Feeling the searing heat on his backside the man kept walking. The light from the inferno danced shadows all around him. He could just barely see the dim silhouette of the abandoned house in the distance across the field.
The man kept walking.
Nearing what used to be a driveway, but was now littered with rubble and neglect the man turned around and gazed at his creation.
A screech owl flying above him screamed, drowning out the barest sounds of the pitiful screams of forgotten children being burned alive.
The man walked up the rickety steps of the house and opened the front door. The smell of desertion smacked him in the face. He didn’t have time to remember the past, for it was the future he needed to pursue.
Up the winding staircase dodging cobwebs as he went, the man went to a small room at the far end of the east hallway and opened the door. Occupied by only storage boxes, cobwebs, dead rodents, and a small desk, the man took a seat, opened the top drawer and took out a pencil and a tablet of writing paper that had yellowed with age.
My dearest daughter of my own blood....., he began.
When he had finished the letter he sealed it in an envelope and stuck it in the waistband of his Wranglers where it was sure to be found. He opened the bottom drawer of the desk and beneath the panel he removed a loaded pistol.
The man knew he wasn’t going to die. He was going to be reborn.
“Forgive me father for I have sinned.”
With a single tear falling from his eye, the man raised the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.