“I love the smell of it. It smells like revenge. You know, that feeling you get when you’ve gotten one over on some jerk. Yeah, I let the horses out, whatever animals are in the barn. I’m not a creep. Some burners will set fire to a barn and lock the animals in. Even people. People take a long time to burn. It has to be a really hot fire.” Keynote Speaker for the 1965 Barn Burners Reunion, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
“I’m gonna burn you out, Lloyd. Burn your barn and everything in it. So come out Lloyd ‘less you wanna burn with it. I’m givin’ you two minutes to make up your mind.”
Larry Wilder doesn’t know it, but Lloyd Cartwright fell and broke his hip. Larry is going to try to set fire to the barn, but nothing will burn. Wherever he goes, flames die. He can’t even light a cigarette. People will run from him and the authorities want to talk with him. A fireproof life is only part of the story for Larry Wilder.
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“Dang it. I can’t get these matches to light and my Zippo is outta fluid. I knew I shoulda bought lighter fluid. Hey, Lloyd, you got any matches or a Zippo?”
“If I did, Larry, I wouldn’t be givin’ them to you . Get me an ambulance, will you?”
“I fell and I think I broke my hip.”
“Too bad, Lloyd. You gotta burn with your barn. I gave ya two minutes and it’s long gone. I just gotta get me some workin’ matches.”
“Now thems not the rules, Larry. I broke my hip and that prevented me from leavin’ the barn. Now, you burned me out three years ago. There are no more barn burners, Larry. You’re the last of your kind. Give yourself up to the Police.”
“This has been a shit day all round. First my Frigidaire stops working. I can’t cook on the range cause the burners don’t light. I’m just havin’ a shit day.”
“You know what’s happening, Larry? You’ve burned out. You are a burned out barn burner that can’t even light a match. Time to retire, Larry.”
“I ain’t burned out. It’s them matches–they’re bad, I swear, Lloyd.”
“Okay, okay, come on in and I’ll give you my matches, Larry. You’ll see what I’m sayin’ is true. You won’t be able to light a fire and burn my barn.”
Larry slowly walked into the shadowed interior of the barn. He didn’t see Lloyd and he called out to him. But Lloyd dragged himself near the double doors and was hiding in the shadows with a shovel. Larry called out to him again and Lloyd half stood and smacked Larry with the blade of the shovel right in the chops. Larry went down and didn’t get back up. Lloyd killed Larry. The end of the barn burners, thought Lloyd. There were only a couple of barn burners left and they all burned out.
We now return control of your device to you. Until next week at the same time when the control voice will take you to — The Outer Twilight Zone Limits.
Acknowledgments: Television series Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits
Inspiration Monday: Penquin Flight School @ Be Kind Rewrite
Prompt: Burned out
Photo Credit: unknown
Word Count: 600
Many thanks to Stephanie Orges for hosting Inspiration Monday