Serendipity Saved the Arsonist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short story about an arsonist, who is almost about to kill himself and blow up a power plant, when serendipity saves his life.

‘3:00, 2:59. 2.58’

I looked at the timer for the bomb that I had set at the Blackwater power station. This was it. I, Samuel Thistlethwaite, couldn’t live with my secret anymore. Some years earlier, I had committed arson, starting one of the many forest blazes that had ravaged in 2019. My terrible crime had destroyed my hometown Honeywood, as well as killing what mattered the most. My one true love, Sally Swallow, a fellow orphan at the orphanage, had perished in the fire.

I had kept my crime a secret over the years. Instead, I had reinvented myself and learnt to use lies to get ahead in life. The lies had got me to the top. At least to the top of Blackwater. As the councillor for the town, I had convinced my constituents that the best way to avoid future bushfires was to cut down the nearby forests. My actions had kept Blackwater safe although it had caused the Black Cockatoos to go extinct. A worthwhile sacrifice, I had reckoned at the time, as there were still White Cockatoos left.

One day I had faced an epiphany when I saw a long-forgotten drawing of Sally feeding a Black Cockatoo. I had realised the pointlessness of my life. Not only had I caused the death of my love, but I had also killed the animals that she loved. And for what reason?

I had realised that killing myself and destroying the dirty powerplant was the only way redeem myself. Destruction was all that I knew, so at least I could destroy terrible things to create a better world.

‘1:00, 0:59, 0:58’

“Twinkle Star, where are you?” I heard a young girl say.

I realised that I had left the door open, and a young girl had found herself looking for her pet in the set-to-explode abandoned power plant. I turned around, and a black pet cockatoo sat on my shoulder. “Defuse the bomb! Defuse the bomb!” The Cockatoo crowed and shrieked.

I got down on my knees and quickly defused the bomb.

The girl spotted me. “Oh, there you are, Twinkle Star.” She exclaimed happily.
As soon as I saw her, I yelled, “What are you doing here, little girl! This is no place for children.”
“I am sorry, the door was open, and my bird flew inside. My mum is waiting outside.” The girl replied and she ran outside. I chased the girl and I got outside the power plant. There I saw her, Sally, with her face covered in third-degree burns.

“Sally, you’re alive?” I exclaimed.
“Yes, I have been staying away.” Sally replied.
I collapsed to my knees. “I am sorry, Sally. I started the fire that mutilated you in 2019.” I wailed.
“I know, but I am dying, and Ciri needs her father.” Sally wheezed, and then she collapsed.

I comforted Ciri. Although it was a terrible day, Serendipity had saved my life and given me a purpose to go on.

Submitted: January 06, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Martin Lundqvist. All rights reserved.

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